These top chefs will present their Alpine cuisine on Monday, September 16, on the stage of the Ferry Porsche Congress Center.
Andreas Döllerer, Salzburg
For almost 10 years now, Andreas Döllerer has been cooking his “cuisine alpine” right into the international spotlight. The foundation of his diverse and creative approach to cooking are his numerous regional suppliers, who provide him with the best products SalzburgerLand has to offer. In the process, he has established himself as a pioneer of modern Alpine cuisine and become a role model for young chefs!
Vitus Winkler, Salzburg
Hunting for herbs, mushrooms and wild fruit in nearby forests and alpine meadows is a part of Vitus Winkler’s daily routine. His guests thank him for it through their lively demand, and gourmet guides through their ever more positive reviews. Close to nature, regional and yet creative, his cuisine is “current” in the best sense of the word.
“Vitus Cooking” at Hotel Sonnhof
St. Veit im Pongau, Salzburg
Lukas Nagl, Upper Austria
At his restaurant right on the shore of Lake Traunsee, Lukas Nagl has never been able to escape his fascination for fish. The ways he is able to utilize the complete catch brought in by local fishermen is likely unmatched throughout all of Austria. Nonetheless, lamb, pork and vegetables are in the very best of hands with him as well.
Restaurant Bootshaus at Hotel Das Traunsee
Traunkirchen, Upper Austria
Hubert Wallner, Carinthia
Hubert Wallner has been the top chef in Carinthia for a number of years, shining with his combination of deep local roots and avant-garde approaches, as well as his personal interpretation of Alps-Adriatic cuisine. His restaurant is beautifully situated on Lake Wörthersee and is always well worth the trip.
See Restaurant Saag
Techelsberg am Wörthersee, Carinthia
Roland Essl, Salzburg
Roland Essl is a chef, gastrosoph, author and was, until recently, the host of the radically regional Weiserhof. This 52-year-old native of Salzburg grew up in a Wirtshaus milieu. At his parents’ business, they completely rethought their culinary approach some 30 years ago, replacing anonymous, interchangeable dishes with recipes that embodied the essence of the region. At the Weiserhof, he also began to write stories about his dishes, since his goal was and is to help people discover their own culinary heritage. Essl follows Alpine cuisine back to its roots, researching it as far as the sources take him. His goal is to reconstruct the knowledge about traditional recipes and techniques which, in some cases, has been practically lost over the passage of time, restoring an appreciation for special products and producers. For Roland Essl, Alpine cuisine thrives from its side dishes, it creates meat-free experiences, it is a cuisine of reduction. It is in this understatement that Essl sees something truly special, the potential of Alpine cuisine, which, now as then, clearly demonstrates what nature has to offer.
Former patron in the legendary Weiserhof in Salzburg,
now “culinary researcher” of alpine cuisine
Reinhard Pohorec, Vienna
At the age of 30, Reinhard Pohorec already has numerous successes to his name. He is an entrepreneur, consultant as well as host of the Viennese bar Tür 7. Sensory experiences are the focus of the many building blocks that make up his work. For this expert on spirits and the senses, whose honors include a victory in the Sensory Challenge of the Diageo World Class Global Finals, it is enthusiasm that is the key to success. This bustling and dedicated perfectionist has discovered something he loves to do from the bottom of his heart. Pohorec takes joy in the simple things and pleads for greater appreciation of what a bar can offer. Variety is all too often missing. Through his Alpine drinks, he wants to translate regionality and seasonality into liquid form, with many of the same products encountered behind the bar as inside the kitchen. Pohorec also sees trans-regional potential in Alpine drinks, since “nature and products don’t allow themselves to be constrained by borders”. Through innovative, diverse drinks that reflect the products of the Alpine world, he seeks to redefine how people perceive the bar.
Reinhard Pohorec, Spirit Journey
Thomas Penz & Michael Ploner, Tirol
At the Festival of Alpine Cuisine, Thomas Penz (24) and Michal Ploner (25) show us what the youth movement has in store for us. In addition to the stations they have shared in their careers, including Villa Blanka in Innsbruck, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and Noma in Copenhagen, as well as shared successes – both were junior national champions – they also took home gold together as members of the national youth team at the Culinary World Cup 2018. Regionality and seasonality are integral to their culinary self-image. Which explains why Thomas Penz has little understanding for products that have to be flown in huge distances. It’s about quality, after all. Michael Ploner wants to bring nature to the plate and create a culinary awareness for it, wherever one happens to be. These two young chefs also see immense potential in Alpine cuisine, a potential which first requires far more intimate knowledge about the products that grow in our fields and on the mountains. Appreciation of regionality and seasonality needs to be something that touches the broader masses.
Michael Ploner, Hotel Cental
Thomas Penz, The Penz Collection
Hannes Pignater, Alto-Adige
The exceptional is a function of refined simplicity. Accepting nothing less than perfection, Hannes Pignater’s culinary language allows the flavors of products from his immediate region to speak for themselves. This young South Tyrolean, head chef at Adler Lodge Ritten just outside Bozen, brings his Alpine neighborhood and his personal story to the plate. In the process, technique is never permitted to outshine flavor. He profoundly regrets the phase when star chefs and food magazines were suggesting that “a pineapple that had been flown halfway around the world was suddenly more valuable than an apple from your own valley”. Add to that the fact that people in mountain regions are frequently far too modest to appreciate the true value of locally produced foodstuffs. This is very much a function of taking things for granted, since relationships with farmers, their products and local producers here are intact and a matter of course in South Tyrol. Thankfully, the appreciation for this world has taken a turn for the better. Chefs are becoming bolder, which also explains why Hannes Pignater now proudly serves his guests at the Adler Lodge what he would also enjoy eating at home.
ADLER Lodge RITTEN
Sven Wassmer, Switzerland
After training and apprenticing at a number of acclaimed establishments, including Schloss Schauenstein in Fürstenau, Sven Wassmer was employed between December 2014 and May 2018 as head chef of restaurant «7132 Silver» at Hotel 7132 in Vals. In 2016, Gault Millau awarded him 17 points and declared him «Discovery of the Year». In the same year, he received his first Michelin star; with the second coming just one year later.
No wonder, then, that this young star chef (32) from the Fricktal region in the canton of Aargau, has since been regarded as one of the most important representatives of new Swiss Alpine cuisine. When he left “7132 Silver” at the end of 2018, the big guessing game began – where would he look next? The puzzle was quickly solved. Sven Wassmer moved on to become Culinary Director at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, one of the leading spa hotels and resorts in Switzerland. He is responsible for all eight (!) restaurants of the resort. At the end of June, he opens his personal signature restaurant “Memories” at the resort, where this young top chef will provide an authentic, close-to-nature complete culinary experience through his reduced interpretation of new Swiss Alpine cuisine. The name says it all: awaken memories and create new, lasting impressions – this is what Sven Wassmer intends to offer his guests right there at the table.
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
All other program highlights can be found online at alpinekueche.com/festspiele