AMG Driving Experience: Steaks & Cars

Performance on the grill and on the road

Ludwig „Lucki“ Maurer posing in front of a Mercedes-AMG vehicle
Ludwig „Lucki“ Maurer posing in front of a Mercedes-AMG vehicle

At the "Steaks & Cars” AMG Experience, participants savoured culinary delights and driving performance at the highest level. Our guest of honour? Ludwig "Lucki" Maurer – top chef, metal singer and cattle breeder.

Indulgence is a matter of mindset. This applies to driving as well as to eating, in which being sated is of utmost importance. But the real experience begins beyond this basic expectation. Where the journey becomes the destination – as in a Mercedes-AMG. Or where first-class food, perfectly prepared, turns dining into a culinary experience. When the two meet, the resulting pleasure produces an unforgettably emotional event.

This year marked the first edition of a very special "Steaks & Cars" AMG Experience, which invited two dozen participants to discover the interplay of driving and culinary delights along beautiful routes in the Bavarian Forest. The region is home of star guest and host Ludwig Maurer, who led a two-and-half-day culinary tour that concluded at STOI, his rustic 300-year-old converted farm. There, participants were treated to Wagyu beef from the smoker, grilled by Maurer himself.

Since 2006, he has been breeding Wagyu cows on the Schergengrub farm according to strict organic standards. The Japanese breed is famous for its tender, aromatic, finely marbled meat, which participants were able to taste for themselves at the laidback, stylish barbecue.

But the top chef, better known as "Lucki," specializes in more than just cooking and cattle breeding. He also plays bass guitar, sings in a metal band and is passionate about motorcycles. And, of course, for cars. In short, the meat connoisseur not only has the noble Wagyu beef in the smoker, but also several irons in the fire. "That's probably why I have so many things on the go – because I like to be happy," Lucki says. What a life motto!

Ludwig „Lucki“ Maurer with his barbeque
Ludwig „Lucki“ Maurer with his barbeque

He suits this gourmet tour like a V8 suits the AMG GT, like red wine suits beef: "I'm a musician, a restaurateur, a farmer, and a car fan – all of which have their own special characteristics," he says. It's the interplay that "makes a whole person out of you." Driving pleasure, a delicious meal at a 2-star restaurant, a concert in front of 500 people, many of whom "sing along to your lyrics that you don't know by heart yourself” – Lucki doesn't like to label it or even equate it. For him, it all has its own fascination. "That's the beauty of it: no matter what you do, it's always a different form of happiness,” he says. You can sense that when someone like Lucki Maurer is involved in an AMG Experience like "Steaks & Cars," it's about more than meat and motors. It's about an attitude toward life that also applies to Mercedes-AMG: Performance Luxury.

A variety of Mercedes-AMG vehicles on a street in the bavarian forest
A variety of Mercedes-AMG vehicles on a street in the bavarian forest

But first things first.

The AMG Experience kicked off with an exciting factory tour in Affalterbach. There, during a tour of the production halls, participants got a first-hand impression of AMG’s unique spirit. From the customer center, complete with a showcase of current AMG models, the tour led to the heart of the company headquarters: the engine factory. There, our technicians assemble engines with a great deal of passion and precision according to the principle of "One Man, One Engine.” The process culminates by the respective technician carefully affixing an autographed badge to the engine block.

From there, the dynamic fleet of current AMG models hit the road. Destination: Bavarian Forest. Needless to say, we took the scenic route. Numerous culinary stops rounded off the program for the perfect blend of driving and dining pleasures.

There are parallels between an affinity for beautiful cars and for good food. For Lucki Maurer, this is rooted above all in attitude: "There are people for whom automobiles are a passion. For others, they are a means of transportation." Likewise, he says, there are people who are content to get their fill at a pub for under 10 euros. He belongs to the other group: "I'm happy to spend a little more money on a bottle of wine because I like it and know it's a treat," he says.

several Mercedes-AMG vehicles next to each other
several Mercedes-AMG vehicles next to each other

It doesn't seem at all out of touch when Lucki talks about expensive wine and fine food. Nor does it seem condescending when he talks about pub fare. That's not just because of his appearance, which is more reminiscent of Lemmy Kilmister than of Paul Bocuse or Alfons Schuhbeck. No, he talks without conceit or boastfulness because one of his maxims in life is "respect," which he pronounces in a homey Bavarian dialect.

"Respect, respect and respect," he says, are the three most important qualities of a cattle farmer. "When we eat meat, we have to be aware that an animal dies for it. That's where you have an ethical responsibility. That includes respect for the husbandry, for the killing, for the cutting, and for the processing." That's why Maurer also takes a "nose-to-tail" approach with his Wagyu cattle, whereby all edible parts of the animal are used in one form or another.

A portrait of Ludwig „Lucki“ Maurer
A portrait of Ludwig „Lucki“ Maurer

Breeding Japanese Wagyu cattle is about "thoughtfulness, care, and calm," says Maurer. He sees a clear parallel to Mercedes-AMG. "It's not about building lots of cars for lots of people really quickly. It's about building that one special vehicle for someone. Having the mechanics sign their names on a plaque on the engine block is comparable to us, who know every animal by name."

For him, it all stems from a down-to-earth approach that is conscious of its roots. At its core, he says, cattle ranching, food service, or vehicle manufacturing and development are all about very traditional things: farming, cooking, and engineering. But, Lucki says, "It was out of this down-to-earth tradition that automotive development at AMG was brought to perfection. And that's exactly how it is with us."

A Wagyu cattle on a field
A Wagyu cattle on a field

Such perfection must be enjoyed and appreciated: "I'm not advocating eating meat every morning, noon, and night," Lucki says. "It's about thinking, How does it all make sense?" He sees it the same way with cars: "If you're going to splurge on this beautiful car, this high-end, high-performance engineering, it shouldn't be something mundane," he says.

That’s exactly what he observed among the attendees at “Steaks & Cars.” "The guests who were at this AMG Experience, they were engine lovers, petrolheads, collectors," he says. "There was one lady who had been longing for a car like this for 30 years. And now she's able to afford it. Think about how nice that is".

Two cooks working in a modern kitchen at the Steaks and Cars event
Two cooks working in a modern kitchen at the Steaks and Cars event
Ludwig "Lucki" Maurer
If someone has been cutting hair for 30 years to afford a car, it has a whole different emotional element.

In the end, it's the emotions that make an AMG Experience like "Steaks & Cars" so special – pure driving pleasure in current Mercedes-AMG models on thrilling routes; gastronomic delights en route; and inspiration when like-minded people from different backgrounds and lifestyles come together. It's just as well that this wasn't the last edition of "Steaks & Cars" – the next event is already in the works. Of course, Lucki Maurer will be there again. After all, the best cars deserve only the best steaks.

In the focus, there is a Mercedes-AMG Cabriolet which is photographed on a highway in summer
In the focus, there is a Mercedes-AMG Cabriolet which is photographed on a highway in summer

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