Riese officially began his culinary journey as an apprentice to the restaurant specialist at the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Stadt Hamburg on the Island of Syltin in northern Germany. During Riese’s ever-evolving career, he was hired at First Floor restaurant in Berlin where he worked as the maître d’ hotel and developed the position of water sommelier – a distinctive job that allowed him to share with guests his passion for multiple varieties of water from around the world. Riese’s knowledge of water led to appearances on television and radio programs throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, ultimately leading the German press to refer to him as the country’s foremost water sommelier. In 2009, he co-authored the critically acclaimed book Die Welt des Wasser (World of Water) - considered the foremost European book on the subject. Riese reunited with the Patina Restaurant Group in 2011 and unveiled his own water program at Ray’s & Stark Bar, Los Angeles in 2012.
The Taste and Savor Questionnaire–Beverage Experts
Describe your beverage philosophy in one sentence:
Water is not just water!
What is your earliest beverage memory?
As a child I realized that even tap water from different cities taste different. On vacation with my parents it was for more interesting to taste the differences in tap water than to discover the cities.
Who is or was your biggest influence?
Nature, it’s amazing that nature gives us a broad taste spectrum of waters. Water can go from bitter to sweet and from smooth to complex.
What is your favorite beverage that most would consider to be a guilty pleasure?
Dr. Pepper Cherry – Sometimes I need something so strange in taste to reset my taste panels.
After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?
Champagne – the light sparkling beverage refreshes my mouth and helps me to calm down.
Money is no option – what is your drink of choice?
1988 Louis Roederer Cristal
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