On 7 July, the Culinary Way of St. James started its eleventh season in Paznaun under the patronage of Chef of the Century, Eckart Witzigmann, with five gourmet routes. To kick things off, this year's starred chefs Jean-Georges Klein, Paul Ivić, Tristan Brandt, James Knappett and Onno Kokmeijer hiked with their guests to their respective adopted lodges and presented their special lodge-creations. The dishes are now available on the respective lodge menus, recipes to collect included.
Enjoyable start to the hiking season: On 7 July 2019, Chef of the Century Eckart Witzigmann declared open the 11th Culinary Way of St. James in Paznaun. For guests to Paznaun this means: From now until the end of summer 2019, you can enjoy leisurely hiking along no less than five different gourmet routes at more than 2,000 metres altitude with many gourmet stops along the way. The concept behind the Culinary Way of St. James: Initiated by the tourist office Paznaun - Ischgl and under the patronage of ‘Chef of the Century’ Eckhart Witzigmann, five international starred chefs will assume patronage for one mountain lodge each to create a fancy yet down-to-earth dish from regional produce. For the opening on 7 July 2019, starred chefs Jean-Georges Klein, Paul Ivić, Tristan Brandt, James Knappett and Onno Kokmeijer hiked along the gourmet routes together with their guests to their adopted lodges. There the highly decorated head chefs prepared their dishes, which now feature on the respective lodge menu until the end of the 2019 summer season. The recipes are available at the participating lodges or can be downloaded online at: www.ischgl.com/en/Active/Active-Summer/Culinary-st-jacobs-way.
Tirolean Martin Sieberer will be in charge of coordinating the top chefs, who with three toques and 18 points for his Paznaunerstube in Hotel Trofana Royal in Ischgl numbers among Austria's best chefs. Gourmet tip: On 18 August, at the summer festival of the Culinary Way of St. James, all five star-creations can be tasted at the Jamtal Lodge. Those who'd rather go ‘gourmet cycling’ can get to all the lodges of the Culinary Way of St. James easily by e-bike or mountain bike. The bikes are available to rent in all townships in Paznaun.
Jamtal Lodge: Jean-Georges Klein (Restaurant Villa René Lalique, Wingen-sur-Moder)
Light, spirited, technical, airy, colourful, tasty... there simply aren't enough adjectives to describe Jean-Georges Klein's cooking. The talented, self-taught chef got Villa René Lalique its first two stars in just three months. This distinction awarded so quickly by Guide Michelin is a reflection and acknowledgement of the head chef's precision, technique, consistent work and development. His aspiration: developing classical cooking with the help of modern techniques, because for him the future lies in the creativity and personalisation of dishes. His dish for the Jamtal Lodge: Savoury Alsatian tarte flambée.
Friedrichshafener Lodge: Paul Ivić (Restaurant Tian in Vienna)
Uncompromisingly fair and artful. That's the best way to describe Paul Ivić's award-winning vegetarian cooking. With his creations from purely vegetarian ingredients and a never-ending search for the best quality, fairly produced groceries and sustainable cooking, Ivić was awarded one Michelin-Star and three toques by Gault&Millau for TIAN restaurant in Vienna. This was unprecedented in Austria for a vegetarian restaurant. For his guests he uncompromisingly transforms fairly produced and organic produce, including almost forgotten types of vegetables, fruit and grains, into spectacular fancy dishes. "As hosts we not only put enjoyment, quality and beauty on the plate, but also embrace our social responsibility", says Paul Ivić. His dish for the Friedrichshafener Lodge: Cheese mash from Fisser barley with braised leek and pear vinaigrette.
Heidelberger Lodge: Tristan Brandt (Restaurant Opus V in Mannheim)
Under the motto: "Experimenting yes, but the identity and taste of the products must always be preserved", Tristan Brandt and his team in OPUS V in Mannheim conjure up discerning gourmet cuisine. Contemporary so, without any fancy frills. The basis of his creative and authentic cooking is formed by regional and seasonal produce, supplemented with national and international ingredients. In doing so, the OPUS V team relies on its trustful relations with its partners, suppliers, farmers, winegrowers, breeders, pâtissiers, bakers and cheesemakers. In December 2016, OPUS V was awarded its second Michelin Star. His dish for the Heidelberger Lodge: Veal cheeks / Sweet potato / Ginger.
Almstüberl: James Knappett (Restaurant ‘Kitchen table’ at Bubbledogs in London)
James Knappet's cooking is inspired by his experience in the kitchens of world-famous restaurants, including Noma, The Ledbury and Thomas Keller's Per Se. In 2012, the head chef opened Bubbledogs in London together with his wife and sommelier Sandia Chang, in which he serves champagne and sparkling wine with typical hot dogs. Hidden away at the rear of Bubbledogs is his Kitchen Table: A ‘head chef table’ for 20 persons, at which Knappett and his team celebrate intimate dinners with daily alternating 12-course menus from carefully selected and prepared British ingredients. In 2014, the Kitchen Table received its first Michelin-Star. In 2017, the Knappetts were awarded the Welcome Service Award by Michelin for "proving that harmony can reign between kitchen and service team". In 2018, the Kitchen Table received its coveted second Michelin-Star. His dish for the Almstüberl: Fallow deer, sauce, celery purée, plum soaked in tea, 100% chocolate.
Ascher Lodge: Onno Kokmeijer (Restaurant Ciel Bleu in Amsterdam)
Onno Kokmeijer knew at the age of nine that he wanted to become a chef. His culinary journey in Ciel Bleu began in 2003, when he was asked to manage the restaurant. Since then, the Executive Chef and Manager, meanwhile named chef of the year 2019 by Gault&Millau, has been working tirelessly with his Chef de Cuisine Arjan Speelman on creating a first-class culinary experience. And successfully so: In 2005, they received their first Michelin-Star. In the following years, the requests of the international hotel guests became the foundation of their cuisine. Result: the restaurant was awarded the coveted second star in 2007. His dish for the Ascher Lodge: Wagyu Short Rib, shallots, salted lemon and Trappeur sauce.
Holiday package ‘Culinary Way of St. James’
Those who want to explore all five dishes on the gourmet routes of the Culinary Way of St. James by foot, can also book their holidays in the Paznaun alpine summer from now to the end of the summer 2019 as a package: Five nights in Paznaun in a category of your choice including all services of the ‘Silvretta Card all inclusive’ can be had from € 153.00 per person incl. breakfast. Online booking: www.paznaun-ischgl.com.
Holiday savings tip: Silvretta Card all inclusive
Hikers and mountain bikers in Paznaun benefit from the guest card ‘Silvretta Card all inclusive’ from stays of just one night. Thanks to the free use of the cable cars and chairlifts all through Paznaun, all mountain bike trails, hiking routes and alpine pastures are accessible at no cost. Those looking for some cooling off after all those sports can enjoy a free dip in the outdoor and indoor pools in Ischgl and Galtür as well as in the swimming lake in See. Also included: Bus rides in Paznaun and the toll on the famous Silvretta High Alpine Road. All the details: www.ischgl.com/en/Active/Active-Summer/Silvretta-Card-all-inclusive.
All details about the chefs and tours can be found on www.ischgl.com/en/Active/Active-Summer/Culinary-st-jacobs-way or www.paznaun-ischgl.com.