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On Sept. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Spidle Hall Kitchen, a well-known personality in the German-heritage communities, Rolf Meyer, is joining the International Cultural Center’s Year of Germany Culture & Cuisine Class to give a hands-on cooking demonstration of authentic German dishes. Meyer is a German immigrant engineer turned chef and restauranteur. The event is free and open to Auburn University faculty, staff and students, as well as the general public. Space is limited to the first 40 participants.

“I am looking forward to showcasing my passion for German cuisine and to awaken Auburn’s taste buds to filling dishes with spices and other ingredients from around the world,” said Meyer. “For Germans, food is culture and community, so get ready to be treated to a taste of my home land.”

In addition to his cooking instruction, Meyer will be talking about his resolve and indomitable spirit that drove him to follow his passion in his new home in Alabama. He is the youngest of six children and was born in 1961 in the small rural town of Hoya, Germany. Growing up, he was a volunteer firefighter with a youth group and played sports, including handball and soccer. He was always interested in cooking and baking, having learned most of what he knows from his mom. From the ages of 14 to 17, Meyer worked at a local butcher store learning to make sausages. He hoped to take over the business one day and begin his apprenticeship, but his parents pushed him to join the manufacturing industry as a lathe operator.

Meyer then went to work for Mercedes-Benz in Bremen, Germany, where he worked for 12.5 years before becoming a freelancer in industrial engineering. As a consultant, he worked in Portugal, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Netherlands, Spain, Bulgaria and the United States. While working in the engineering industry, Meyer developed many talents. He plays the guitar, speaks five languages and has a black belt in taekwondo.

After coming to work at the Vance Mercedes-Benz plant in 2013 and working for several years, Meyer decided to retire and follow his culinary childhood dream. He started with a food truck and then opened his deli and restaurant in Northport, Rolf’s Café and Bistro. The restaurant opened in December 2020, and specializes in homemade German breads, desserts and sausages. His most popular menu items include bratwurst, spaetzle, schnitzel, sour dough bread, pretzels, windbeutel and Black Forest cake. Meyer takes pride in serving clean products, free of dyes and preservatives.

The Culture & Cuisine Class is just the first of several Year of Germany events throughout the fall semester. Learn how you can participate by clicking here.

For more information on the International Cultural Center in the Office of International Programs, visit the ICC website by clicking here.