Thomas Henkelmann - Homestead Inn
Born in the Black Forest of Germany near the Alsatian border, Thomas began his training in his family's restaurant Zum Zacher. He continued his kitchen apprenticeship for three years in the famous Black Forest Hotel on Lake Titisee. The next year was spent at the world-renowned Hotel Le Richemond in Geneva. Realizing he needed to learn to speak fluent French, Thomas spent a year in Paris accomplishing just that.
At his mother's urging, he hitched a ride with a family friend to Illhauesern in Alsace to the famed Three-star Michelin rated Auberge de l'Ill. With no appointment, he sought employment with the illustrious owners - the brothers Haeberlin. As it was a Monday, the restaurant was closed and his ride departed. Thomas knocked on the kitchen door, hoping to use the phone. Chef Paul Haeberlin answered; a conversation ensued and so began the most influential relationship in Thomas’ career. Following his training there, he was Patissier and Poissonier at the Three-star Michelin Aubergine in Munich under Chef of the Century Eckart Witzigmann (Gault Milleau). He then completed his Chef's Master Degree before relocating to New York City in 1989 as Executive Chef of The Maurice at Le Parker Meridien.
In 1997, Chef Henkelmann and his wife Theresa founded a property which allowed him to showcase his world class cuisine and create culinary magic, while Theresa's role was her creative flair in the lodging. The singularity of this delightful establishment is based on a wonderfully eclectic mix of 18th century architecture and 21st century design.