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Taubenkobel.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and hotel in the country. Austria,Schützen/Gebirge

Walter Eselböck et Alain Weissgerber

Chef
Taubenkobel Schützen/Gebirge A-7081

I’m completely self-taught. I only knew other kitchens as a customer, which is a nice position to be in.
It was my curiosity that led me to become one of the best – and best-known – chefs in Austria, my determination to perfect my skills continually, and my creativity. Creativity has always played an important part in my family, and it’s a tradition that goes back a long way, whether it’s been painting, writing or cooking: we have always needed to express our artistic side very clearly.

When I opened the Taubenkobel with my wife Eveline in 1984, we agreed that the one who was the best cook should be in the kitchen, whilst the one who was most charming in terms of dealing with customers would take care of things front-of-house. It was a close-run thing, but looking back, I think it was the right decision.

The recognition we get from our customers on a daily basis and the awards we get from the critics, such as our two Michelin stars, are what stimulate me and my team and encourage us to keep working.
My cooking is rooted in the local area and its produce: it's authentic cooking and it evolves in a way that's open-minded, intelligent and spontaneous.


What was your most moving culinary experience?
There are so many emotions involved in fine food and they spark a whole array of feelings, whether it's a fresh grilled fish at the seaside, a successful evening in a three-star restaurant or just a good meal with friends.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
Looking back, and I’m absolutely clear about this, it must be the evening we had a power cut when the restaurant was fully booked. We had to serve our guests an improvised “energy-free” menu by candlelight - an unforgettable experience.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Cook what you know, and if you haven’t got to grips with a particular dish yet, keep trying it out until you’ve mastered it – but preferably not on your guests!


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