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  • Unser neuer Küchenchef Martin Schmölzer

Our new chef de cuisine Martin Schmölzer

Martin Schmölzer already worked in several top-class restaurants, including Restaurant Steirereck** in Vienna, Restaurant Maaemo*** in Oslo and Restaurant Toya* in Faulquemont. In coming winter season he starts in in Thurnher’s Alpenhof. His creations will be uncomplicated, fresh and genuine. However, we are interested in even more ...

How did you decide to become a chef? A childhood dream, a sudden passion, or chance?

Cooking has fascinated me since I was a child because I was continuously watching my two grandmothers while cooking. One grandmother was a pastry chef and the other one made excellent stews and offal dishes. What impressed me the most, that they created top dishes out of just a few products. The real passion for gourmet cuisine came when I was 16 years old and I visited Heston Blumenthal in The Fat Duck for the first time.

Besides cooking, you also love to travel – at some point you combined both. You gained experience in Michelin restaurants in Norway and France, and spent some time in Japan. What impressed you the most about your experience abroad?

What inspired me in Japan was the outstanding quality of the fish. I had the chance to work in a small restaurant next to the fish market in Osaka. They offered simple dishes with just a few ingredients, but with an incredible taste which creates the will to eat more and more. The cooking techniques of French cuisine were a big part not only in my time in France, but also in many gourmet stations I had so far. French cusine has a very big impact in the whole industry. In my opinion it needs a modern transformation in some points. The first thing I would change: the highly reduced and very butter-heavy sauces.

Is this the reason for your motto “each dish is living from a perfectly coordinated sauce”?

Yes, in some way. I cooked and ate in a lot of top restaurants. And wherever you go, the sauces are completely different: either too reduced or with a similar flavor in the whole menu or light and digestible. It is a very thin line between “extremely good and I want more of it” and “the sauce sticks in my mouth and I need water”. Additionally, I must admit that I love nothing more than dipping bread in sauce. Therefore, the sauce is particularly important to me.

And which kitchen shaped and significantly influenced you in your career the most?

I experienced in each restaurant many positive but also negative aspects. I am a very inquisitive person and picked out the best ideas in every kitchen. Out of that I like to create something new with a personal touch. I can never get enough inspiration, which is also why I own more than 200 cookbooks. Two chefs I particularly adore: the Austrian Thomas Dorfer from Landhaus Bacher, because he re-stages old classics from Austria. And Heston Blumenthal has been a role model since the beginning of my career, because he simply brings out the best in a dish, like his famous Black Forest Gateau.

How is your kitchen style?

For five years I have been mainly following the Carinthian cuisine. One of my own dishes is the Ritschert Tortellini – which is a homage to a Carinthian Ritschert stew. It is my home and I like the versatility due to the many different influences. In 20 minutes you are in Italy or Slovenia and have the choice between the best pasta or excellent traditional fare. This coupled with my experiences abroad – not least as Chef Gourmet in the two star michelin restaurant at Hotel Castel in South Tyrol – have made my cooking style very international, with main focus on Italian cuisine.

So what can our guests expect?

Classics, that tastes good to everyone and will bring along some modern twist. Guests can just enjoy and will not have complex dishes to think about.

And what are you looking forward to in Thurnher’s Alpenhof?

As a travel enthusiast, I am very excited about all the international guests. I would like to convince each guest of my re-interpreted classics, because there is so much more in gourmet cuisine than goose liver and lobster. We want to focus on regional products combined with an authentic taste. It is particularly important to me to receive appreciation of the guest.

Documentary films about chefs have become increasingly popular in recent years. What would be the main subject of the Chef’s Table programme about you?

Me against the ordinary.

And why?

Nowadays the methods of many kitchens are outdated. Operational blindness is a big issue in our business. Young chefs must now assert themselves. You just have to dare to create something new. The most important thing is to do it with love, ambition and self-confidence. Whether home cooking or gourmet menu, it has to be fun and you have to stand behind it.


Neuer Küchenchef Martin Schmölzer


You will not need mountaineering skills to dine in the restaurant which critics and testers have confirmed to be one of the top gastronomic addresses in Austria.

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