Shortly after completing my training as a chef and waitress – it was one training course at that time – I met my husband, Dietmar. Together we moved to Paris. We spent two years there and learned everything we could about French cuisine. On our return, we worked in the hotel of my parents-in-law – the Gasthof Hubertus. Dietmar and my mother-in-law did the cooking, I was responsible for service and our guests. On the death of my mother-in-law, I took over the cooking. That was in 1984.
We celebrated the first successful season with a meal at the Obauer brothers’ restaurant in Werfen. I would describe that meal as a formative experience. It awakened my desire to offer fine cuisine of a high standard.
I spent time with Dieter Müller, Hans Haas, André Jäger and Jean-Georges Vongerichten and learned a great deal from all of them. Given all these different influences which have definitely had an impact on me, I would say that my cuisine is neither French, Asian nor regional. It is simply my cuisine. I channel all my efforts into what I want to taste, what I want to feel and what I want to believe in. I am particularly happy that my guests appreciate that. Since 2006 our hotel has consistently had 2 stars – also a great confirmation. And recognition as a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux is the crowning glory of my efforts.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
When I was thrown out from Thomas Keller’s
restaurant in New York because I wasn’t dressed elegantly enough. Thomas Keller
came and rescued me, offered me a glass of champagne and made sure that I didn’t have any, but the best seat in the restaurant with views of New York.The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
On my return from Paris I immediately made a vanilla sabayon, which prompted my father-in-law to say, “There’s soot in it!”Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
To remain true to yourself, to never stop evolving and to keep a lively mind. Cooking never stops, the diversity of taste is infinite, the garden of nature is inexhaustible. Every day must bear witness to a new pursuit of tastes, experimenting, feeling one’s way towards what is perfect.