Agata Reul – Host with a star
Agata Reul, née Wójcik, reached for the stars and made some of her dreams a reality. On the initiative of her guests, she was awarded a Michelin star after just 13 months and she is currently trying to get the second. Her restaurant called “Agata’s” became one of the best culinary addresses in Düsseldorf, the oh-so sophisticated capital of NRW.
But she was never supposed to work in gastronomy. Her parents did not want that for her, despite Agata having had to learn such a lot about cooking and seasoning from her grandmother when she was a child. She often remembers that whilst other children were allowed to play, she was cooking with her grandma and then had to decide which spices needed to be added. She was five years old and she was a lot more interested in playing than cooking. But “what will be, will be”, and that was to bear fruit in Agata Wójcik’s later life. Her grandparents had a piece of land and a large garden in Pomerania. That is where she learnt, mainly from her beloved grandfather, how to grow fruit and vegetables and all the things you can magic up out of various ingredients in the kitchen. At home with the family, it was very important that everybody ate together, that everybody was together at the table. Agata was also influenced by the famous Polish hospitality and by the memories of life’s significant moments that were celebrated at the table with family and friends, good food and a great atmosphere. Even today, she is still at pains to point out that eating was a very important part of life together in her family.
After the school-leaving exam, she decided to give in to her parent’s wishes and went to study administration in Szczecin. She was a good student and if it had not been for a bit of bad luck in her personal life, she would perhaps have become an outstanding Polish civil servant. Things were, however, to take a different path: During the summer holidays she decided to visit her mother who lived in Germany and to get away for her own life for a while. That is how she came to Düsseldorf. And she stayed.
After she met and fell in love with her husband Bertold Reul, who came from Aachen and was the former manager of the famous Nikko Hotel in Düsseldorf, she surprised everyone by deciding to train as a chef at catering college in Düsseldorf – and later, after training and working in good restaurants, to open her own restaurant. At the time, that sounded completely unrealistic. But Agata made it happen. In October 2012, at the age of just 31, she opened her first restaurant “Agata’s” at Münsterstraße 22 in Düsseldorf-Pempelfort. At the beginning, nobody, apart from her, believed she could make a success of it. Neither the location of the restaurant or the age and experience of the ambitious dreamer gave any indication that she would reach such heights so quickly.