Billy & Micha

The 2 Minute Interview

Together, Billy Wagner and Micha Schäfer run the Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Billy has been voted best German Sommelier and is one of the most assertive restaurateurs around. Shoes on or off, no bottle with great contents should get in his way – it’s just tequila he can’t stand. Micha is a family guy, foodie virtuoso and as chef de cuisine, he is responsible for culinary indulgement at Nobelhart & Schmutzig. We met the two gents and sussed them out about fastidious taste, anxiety and the moment that changed everything. Cheers!


Name: Billy Wagner / Micha Schäfer
Age: 34 / 27
Location: Kreuzberg / Tempelhof
Occupation: host & sommelier / chef
Shoe size: 42 / 43
Favourite recipe: almost burnt bread, ice-cold raw milk and chives / muesli with lots of raisins
Contact: Whoever is looking for me, will find me. / Just drop by the restaurant – I’ll probably be there.

Tell us your favourite magical place!
B: May 1st – Kreuzberg at before it all starts.
M: Home.


Where do go out to eat?
B: Osteria Centrale at Bleibtreustraße and Long-Men‘s Noodle House at Kantstraße.
M: I’m munching myself through Berlin.


What inspires you?
B: The Panorama Bar at four o’clock on a sunday afternoon – Laurent Garnier playing LFO.
M: Necessity.


What moment changed everything for you?
B: My job at the Essigbrätlein in Nuremberg in 2001.
M: My first day as a chef. New Year’s Eve 2009. Two hours of absolute failure.


What’s so special about Berlin?
B: That Monday is a Sunday and Monday is party-day!
M: People give other people a chance, which is great.


What was your favourite food when you were a child?
B: Schnitzel, carpaccio, rocket, tomatoes, foie gras, oysters and cheeseburgers.
M: Dry, raw pasta.


Were you fastidious?
B: I still am.
M: If anything, I was rather frugal.


Which problem would you like to solve?
B: Get rid of assholes that believe they are in the right yet only come up with excuses.
M: Everything concerning logistics in Berlin.


What would you have never done without alcohol?
B: Discover beer, schnapps and wine.
M: I am a decent person.

The perfect product:
B: A person that knows what they’re doing and at the same time is not an asshole!
M: A story well told – witty and alluring.


What can’t you get enough of?
B: Dancing.
M: Lobetaler organic lemon yoghurt.


What sinful thing would you like to do?
B: Not telling.
M: Drink alcohol.


If we came to visit you at home what would you you cook for us?
B: Oven baked vegetables by Roberto Vena with lemon, salt and fresh goat’s cheese from Capriolenhof.
M: Nothing. I only cook for my family and myself at home. No one else.


What are you afraid of?
B: I feel good and safe. I have no fear.
M: That the sky will come crashing down on my head.


What were you most recently moved by?
B: The opening of Nobelhart & Schmutzig.
M: The birth of my youngest daughter.


What should no one know about you?
B: I’m a virgo. So I’m meticulous and very orderly. People who work with me know this.
M: I tend to be prejudiced. Especially against men without beards.


Which question should we have asked?
B: Can you open a bottle with your shoe?
M: Mr. Schäfer, may I ask you a few questions?


Last words:
M: No guts, no glory.