British Columbia

'World's worst director' Uwe Boll wins international accolade for his restaurant Bauhaus

Rotten Tomatoes may have rated his movies as 1 per cent, but Uwe Boll's Gastown restaurant is getting two thumbs up from elite international food critics.

Has Uwe Boll finally found the thing he's truly good at?

Before his life as a busy restaurateur, Uwe Boll directed 35 films. He is pictured here on the set of Rampage:Capital Punishment. ( Rampage:Capital Punishment)

Once dubbed the "world's worst director," Uwe Boll has largely given up on the film industry, but he may have found his calling in the food business.

Boll's Gastown restaurant, Bauhaus, has been chosen as one of the top six to visit in Canada and the mid-USA, according to the influential World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

"It's interesting, right?" remarked Boll. "I had to open up a restaurant to get good reviews."

Winners, published in Restaurant magazine, are selected by a jury of about 1,000 critics and industry consultants from around the world.

​The ranking has the power to turn winning chefs into global celebrities and tiny boutique restaurants into travel destinations.

Many consider being named to the "Discovery Series" as a step towards one day securing a spot in the coveted "50 Best" list.

An ego thing

Boll said the decision to open Bauhaus in 2015 was "really an egotistic thing" after he discovered a love for fine dining while travelling on film shoots.

"This is the food I love, it's not in Vancouver and I want to do it," he recalled.

The restaurant's take on delicately-flavoured, modern German cuisine has been well-received by critics — a drastic difference from his work in film.

Boll's 2005 movie, Alone in the Dark — starring Tara Reid — has a 1 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In 2009, he won a Golden Raspberry Award for "worst career achievement." That was preceded by a slew of other nominations and wins for "worst director." 

Despite the criticism, the outspoken German-Canadian continued to direct until last year, when he posted an expletive-filled retirement video.

Boll's tone has changed since then.

"I can live with the bad reviews because I also made some good money in the business," he laughed.

"[Now] we have a situation where we actually make some money with the restaurant and I get good reviews, so it's the best of the two worlds."

Boll said he and his team had no idea Bauhaus was even in the running for the list. The owner said being named is even sweeter when he considers that the restaurant was completely left off another list naming Canada's top 100 restaurants earlier this year.

In 2016, after only one year in business, his restaurant debuted at number 37.

"We disappeared in year two, which was for me, really not believable," adding he questioned the credibility of the judging criteria.

New cooks in the kitchen

A key part to Boll's newfound success is Michelin-starred chef Stefan Hartmann, who has been leading the charge in the Bauhaus kitchen since day one.

However, after more than 20 years in the industry, Hartmann resigned to go into restaurant consulting — which meant Boll had to bring in replacements.

He hired two co-executive chefs: David Mueller, who worked alongside Hartmann, and Tim Schulte, a Berlin-native with an impressive culinary resume.

"They're hungry to show what they can do, they're both under 30 years old — they, together, will bring Bauhaus to an even higher level," said Boll.

What to order 

For those visiting his restaurant, Boll always recommends the tasting menu — otherwise, his favourite dish is a hearty, German classic: geschnetzeltes.

The chopped up veal tenderloin is done medium-rare, served with homemade spätzle noodles, topped with mushrooms and a sauce he promised is so good, he described it as "Oh my god ... I can die."

The owner hopes potential customers will take the World's 50 Best Restaurants nod and give German food — and his newfound passion project — a chance.

"Just try different food — there is not only Cactus Club in Canada!"

Follow Lien Yeung on Twitter: @LienY.


Lien Yeung


Lien Yeung is a host and reporter with CBC Vancouver News. She has covered stories locally and nationally from Halifax to Victoria on television, radio and online. Find her on Instagram or Twitter @LienYeung or via email at