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Johann Lafer

Relais & Châteaux Chef

Johann Lafer
Le Val d'Or
Member Relais & Châteaux from 1997
Michel Obentrautstrasse
55442 Schlossberg 1 Stromberg


Johann Lafers Stromburg

13 rooms: 195-310 EUR s.i.
1 suite: 450 EUR s.i.


Le Val d'Or

Menus 110-145 EUR s.i. Carte 22-49 EUR s.i.

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Terminology : t. = tax - s.n.i = services not included - s.i = services included


Already as a child, I was just as happy to cook as I was to play football. I grew up in the Steiermark and most of the products we cooked came from our own farm. Hence, I learned very early on to have great respect for food and even today, the quality of the products and greatest care during preparation are the guiding principles for my cuisine – as well as natural individual creativity.After training in Graz, I decided to go to Germany.First to Berlin, then to Hamburg to Josef Viehauser at Le Canard. Co-operation with Dieter and Jörg Müller and then with Eckart Witzigmann in the years thereafter made a great impression on me. After a stopover with Gaston Lenotre in Paris, an introduction to the wonderful world of patisserie, I applied for my first job as executive chef – with Silvia Buchholz-Lafer whom I later married.For 11 years I worked as executive chef and later owner together with my wife of the Restaurant Le Val d´Or in Guldental. When the Stromburg came up for sale in the neighbouring Stromberg, we didn’t hesitate very long. After comprehensive conversion work – a challenging task – we opened Johann Lafers Stromburg at the end of 1994 with our restaurant Le Val d’Or and the Bistro d’Or.Even today, the shining eyes of our guests are my biggest motivation.

Tell us about your star ingredient.

I like foods of superior quality produced using sustainable methods, and Styrian balsamic apple vinegar is a good example. It’s a full-bodied cider pressed from Styrian apples and then transformed into a fine vinegar. After it matures, it’s refined with pure apple juice and aged for nearly 20 years in oak barrels out in the open air. I use it to flavor various kinds of salads or to accent chutneys, jellies, soups and delicate sauces. I also marinate different varieties of beetroot in it, and add it to broths and concentrates. I use it in our millefeuille of red beets with slow-cooked arctic char, and to heighten the flavor of our local crayfish, from the Rhine and Nahe rivers.

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