Klaus Helmin was born and raised in Germany, and in the days following World War II there was little to eat, so his mother could prepare only the most basic dishes. When young Helmin tasted his first northern Italian cuisine, it was a revelation. He graduated from Berlin’s Hotel and Restaurant School in 1957 and then moved to Hamburg to apprentice and practice his trade.
A contract brought him from there to the first of a series of American kitchens, from the Broadview Hotel in Wichita, Kansas, to the Brown Palace in Denver, the Del Coronado in San Diego, and the Rice Hotel in Houston. In 1965, he became the sous chef at the Washington Hilton in DC. Later he became a founding partner in the Restaurant Corporation of America which owned the Watergate Restaurant and several other facilities, including the Tivoli Gourmet Shops and Les Champs. In the mid 70’s he sold his interest in RCA, and with his partners, started an operation that would create the Tivoli in 1983.
In November 1992, the Great Chefs team showed up at the Tivoli to tape Chef Klaus for two different Discovery Channel television series, Great Chefs of the East and Great Chefs – Great Cities featuring northern Italian cuisine. Chef Helmin has since retired and the Tivoli restaurant is now closed, but the Gourmet & Pastry Shop continues to thrive.
Phone: (703) 528-5200
901 N Stuart St #115, Arlington, VA 22203