Culinary news from the GROSSARLER HOF
Innovative expertise at the luxury hotel
he wind of change is blowing through the kitchen at our luxury hotel. Well, maybe not entirely new, as Andreas Gratz – our ‘new’ chef – already spent a winter season as a junior chef at the GROSSARLER HOF after completing his culinary training. After leaving us, he went on to gain valuable experience in excellent 4-star and 4-star superior hotels all over Austria.
We listen in as Andreas Gratz and our own hotelier and sommelier Markus Andexer chat about cooking habits, food passions and role models over a glass of fine wine.
Markus Andexer: Andreas, I’m delighted that after your spell here as a junior chef, you decided to return to us and the Grossarl Valley.
Andreas Gratz: Thanks very much! As I come from Grossarl and have such happy memories of the GROSSARLER HOF, taking on this new professional challenge wasn’t a difficult decision to make. In fact, I got such a warm welcome from everyone, I felt right at home from the word go.
Markus Andexer: So, what is your favourite dish? As a chef, working with all sorts of different dishes, flavours and aromas on a daily basis you must get to taste a lot.
Andreas Gratz: Definitely pasta dishes! Preferably with cream and lots of cheese. As a child I could polish off huge quantities of all kinds of pasta. Some things never change!
Markus Andexer: When did you first think you’d like to become a chef?
Andreas Gratz: My interest in cooking started when I was around six years old. It might have been inherited, as my mother is also a chef. Every now and then, she’d let me go to work with her when I was little.
Markus Andexer: Our guests always ask about the hotel’s cooking style. How would you describe yours and what do you think our guests should particularly look forward to?
Andreas Gratz: I love traditional dishes and enjoy interpreting them in new ways. A lot of chefs say that, of course, but my approach is serving lighter dishes that are prepared in healthier ways. I refine recipes with products and elements that reflect today’s lifestyle. I really enjoy working with fruits from all over the world, but I focus primarily on products from the Pongau gourmet region. This means I know exactly where raw ingredients such as venison come from and that they are of exceptionally high quality. Our guests really appreciate this.
Markus Andexer: How would you describe the challenges involved with a hotel kitchen of our calibre?
Andreas Gratz: To me, maintaining a functional and harmonious team is the most important thing! So much can go wrong without a reliable and well-coordinated kitchen brigade! Perfect planning and smooth organisation also play fundamental roles in ensuring the kitchen is as stress-free as possible. Delighting the palates of our guests every day with 4-star superior standard cuisine is a huge challenge for myself and my team.
Markus Andexer: Who would you like to have cooking for you?
Andreas Gratz: I’m a huge admirer of the Italian chef Massimo Bottura – one of the world’s most creative chefs. Bottura adores his country’s traditional cuisine and gives it a contemporary twist to suit modern lifestyles.
Markus Andexer: Sounds a bit like someone else we know, Andreas…
Andreas Gratz: Yes, you could say that. Bottura, who now has three Michelin stars, is an inspirational role model for me. I too love to combine old and new, national and international ingredients to arrive at my own creations. As a chef you can reinvent yourself daily… so I see the profession as comparable to that of artists.
Markus Andexer: We couldn’t agree more! So, Andreas, do you enjoy cooking at home too?
Andreas Gratz: At home I prefer to be cooked for! But of course, I do treat my family from time to time, it’s a must.
Have we whet your appetite? Want to find out more about our chef Andreas Gratz’s culinary creations? We look forward to welcoming you to our luxury hotel in Grossarl in SalzburgerLand.