Detlef Waber at a glance

Cruising on the gastronomic route

As Head of SAP HCM / SuccessFactors Europe, Detlef Waber is extremely busy at work, but his relaxation is hardly just a hobby! Wine Master of the Year finalist, restaurant critic, competitive chef, and with a book coming out in 2021, he takes his ‘other’ life very seriously indeed.

My working life is heavily influenced by technology with packed schedules negotiating with clients. I am involved in delivering results in projects and demonstrating leadership in my area of work. While on the one hand, my career is enormously satisfying, there is another life I enjoy besides SAP HCM / SF.

I take immense pride in being a top hobby chef, restaurant critic and food/wine taster in my leisure time. I cook, compete and write frequently about all things concerning food.

I have been cooking for the past 25 years. It started as a hobby but, over the years, I have worked hard to perfect the art. I take part in cooking competitions; being ranked in the top ten position regularly. I also participate in cooking shows and demonstrations and have several signature dishes to my credit.

I am proud of all my victories, but my favorite moment was being a 2018 finalist in the “Wine Master of the Year” contest. Although I did not win this prestigious competition organized by “DER FEINSCHMECKER” magazine and the German Wine Institute, I felt it to be a tremendous experience.

In this competition, there are several preliminary tests where it is necessary to taste blindly, describe and determine the wines with precision, before moving on to the semi-finals and final.

“My favourite moment was being a finalist in the 2018 ‘Wine Master of the Year’ contest”

When cooking, I like to experiment with different methods, styles and spices. I like to cook with fish and seafood and have experience in Mediterranean, Japanese and Indian cuisine. In my vegetable garden, I grow nearly 30 different herbs. With more than 150 different spices, I can elevate the colors and flavors of my food in an infinite number of ways.

Spicing up his hobby

I always try to enrich my desserts with a bit of spice or different flavors. In fact, one of my signature dishes combines the yellow of sweet mango with black of chocolate salt and red of the slightly spicy Piment d’Espelette to create an imaginative dessert delicacy.

Before preparing a dish, I like to visualize and paint a picture of what the finished plate looks like. This image of my future creation helps me to channel my skills and achieve the perfect end result.

Looking to the future, I see many promising projects. Of course, there are more competitions to attend. In addition, I am writing a cookbook to be published in 2021. Due to my struggle as a diabetic, the book, complete with 100 different recipes, has the provisional working title, “Gourmet cuisine – not only for diabetics.”

A Superstar’s message to us all

I would like to invite everyone to cook more often at home and to always choose good quality, fresh ingredients. Cooking is a collaborative activity that encourages creativity. Invite your children, your friends and their families, or invite others to help prepare a joint meal. Even shopping can be an experience. Eat, drink, chat and enjoy life together.


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