T: +49 (0) 8823 18-0



The Japanese word IKIGAI can be translated as “What makes life worth living” and represents the quest for a meaningful and fulfilling life. This mindset guides the restaurant’s culinary direction, as well as its treatment of both employees and guests. The philosophy promotes appreciation, mindfulness, and a harmonious atmosphere. Executive Chef Christoph Rainer has for many years been at the helm of our two-starred casual fine dining restaurant, which since 2024 bears the name IKIGAI.

Wednesday through Saturday
First Seating 7:00 pm

Creative Breaks 2024
11 – 21 September
4 – 14 December

+49 (0) 8823 18 880

From delicious Jausenbrettl snack platters to petits-fours finales: Anyone who has enjoyed the culinary artistry of Michelin-starred chef Christoph Rainer at our IKIGAI gourmet restaurant is unlikely to forget this epicurean experience. In this very special cookbook, four seasonal menus invite you to indulge your appetite and senses / pamper your palate. Readers also get an exclusive insight into work and everyday life at Schloss Elmau: from team meals to the Ikigai philosophy to Christoph Rainer’s inspiring trips to Japan (in German).

You can buy this book wherever books are sold. True to the maxim "Support your local dealer," we recommend that you purchase it from your neighborhood bookstore, online from our bookstore or next time you visit Schloss Elmau.

A compelling and exciting culinary proposition in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. Contemporary yet cozy. An up-to-date interior with clear lines and lots of wood on the walls creates exciting contrasts and provides the perfect setting for the Japanese-French inspired creative cuisine that Christoph Rainer and his team serve guests here.

Above all, it is the informal atmosphere that attracts not only culinary connoisseurs but also many young epicures to Schloss Elmau. Far from rigid etiquette, anyone who wants to can immerse themselves in the world of Fine Dining. The exceptionally competent and friendly consultation provided by chef sommelière and restaurant manager Marie Helen Krebs and her unobtrusively attentive service team further enhance the pleasure of dining here.

Christoph Rainer

Executive Chef

Marie-Helen Krebs

Chef Sommeliere

Since September 2017, Christoph Rainer has set accents with his cosmopolitan and creative approach to cooking, giving the IKIGAI its own distinct culinary identity.

When creating a dish, the team always focuses on the essentials: the product and its taste. Their creations often use only three main components and „aroma bridges,“ showcased by using surprising preparation techniques and flavor combinations. An intriguing interplay of sour, sweet and spicy, as well different textures and consistencies, turns the dishes into thrilling culinary experiences brimming with complexity and surprises. Braggadocio, however, is one ingredient you won’t find.

Christoph Rainer often finds inspiration on his travels. Sometimes it is an unknown product, at other times an unfamiliar tradition or technique that captivates him and inspires his team to come up with new dishes.