On 10 July, the Culinary Jakobsweg Trail in Paznaun entered its eighth season with two new features, under the patronage of Eckart Witzigmann: and Tanja Grandits has brought a touch of ‘girl power’ to the rankings of these top chefs for the first time. Also new: this summer, guests will be exploring the dishes created by the top chefs along five gourmet routes.
Gourmet walks in picture-perfect weather: yesterday, the 8th Culinary Jakobsweg began in Paznaun, Tyrol in bright sunshine and high temperatures. The many guests were accompanied by five top international chefs - Bobby Bräuer (Germany), Tanja Grandits (Switzerland), Viki Geunes (Belgium), Josef Steffner (Austria) and Stephen Crane (Great Britain) - along the gourmet routes to the mountain lodges for which they are each a patron. The destinations for the day were the Jamtalhütte, Friedrichshafener Hütte, Heidelberger Hütte, Ascher Hütte and Niederelbe Hütte in Paznaun. Here the chefs presented their recipes based on regional produce and cooked their dishes with the landlords of the respective lodges for the first time. The creations devised by these exceptional gourmets are available on menus from now until the end of September. This year, Germany is represented by 2 Michelin star chef Bobby Bräuer (EssZimmer at BMW Welt in Munich). Austria is fittingly represented by a top chef on the Culinary Jakobsweg for the first time this year in the form of Josef Steffner from the Mesnerhaus in Mauterndorf. Switzerland is represented by German chef Tanja Grandits who cooks at the Stucki in Basel and guarantees to bring a dose of ‘girl power’ to the mountains for the first time. She is impressed by the concept: “It’s a great idea to bring top quality cuisine to the mountain lodges. The greatest challenge for me was to create a recipe which can be produced at the lodges, which contains local ingredients and yet which is unmistakeably ‘Tanja’. All of the recipes from this year’s creations can be downloaded for free from the homepage. All information at www.paznaun-ischgl.com.
Niederelbe Hütte: Bobby Bräuer (EssZimmer, Munich)
Bobby Bräuer was named ‘Chef of the Year 2016’ in the great Bertelsmann Guide. After a four year stay in Austria, the Munich-born chef returned to his homeland. Since then, he has been impressing guests at the ‘EssZimmer’ at BMW Welt with his creations. Bobby Bräuer has cooked up 2 Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points since 2012. For the guests at ‘his’ lodge, he created a menu of ‘Conchiglioni with ‘Paznauner Schafl’ lamb, zucchini and ricotta’.
Ascherhütte: Tanja Grandits (Stucki, Basel)
‘Girl power’ is coming to a mountain lodge for the first time in the history of the Culinary Jakobsweg. German-born chef Tanja Grandits moved to Switzerland after working in London and the South of France. She has been chef at the legendary ‘Stucki’ in Basel since 2008. She skilfully serves up colours and spices with her unmistakeable culinary signature. With her two Michelin stars, 18 Gault Millau points and ‘Chef of the Year 2014’ award, she has been accepted into the rankings of Switzerland’s top chefs and now enjoys a fantastic international reputation. She has created a ‘Red beetroot risotto with goat’s cheese and a cinnamon ducca’ for her lodge.
Heidelberger Hütte: Viki Geunes (´t Zilte, Antwerp)
Viki Geunes is one of the world’s best gourmets. And what is so special about him? The Belgian chef is self-taught. At his ‘‘t Zilte’ restaurant in Antwerp, he lends his creations a modern, flavour-intensive and playful touch by using innovative cooking techniques. Viki Geunes was awarded the first of his two Michelin stars in 2004 for his creativity, special textural contrasts and very personal cuisine. Guests to the Heidelberger Hütte can sample his ‘Roast joint of local beef with celery risoni, pickled chanterelles and wild herbs’ throughout summer.
Friedrichshafener Hütte: Josef Steffner (Mesnerhaus, Mauterndorf)
“Happiness starts with good food and ends with the satisfied smiles of the guests”. Austrian chef Josef Steffner stays true to this motto every day. At his Restaurant Mesnerhaus in Mauterndorf, he impresses his guests with a mix of traditional dishes with imaginative herbs and special ingredients. The cheerful chef has already secured himself three Gault Millau toques and 17 points for his cooking. He shares his knowledge at his sought-after workshops. The ingredients used in his creative dishes are available from the restaurant’s own delicatessen, including for amateur chefs. His recipe: ‘Potatoes, pork from the mountain pastures, lichen, ‘Tauernroggen’ rye and sauerkraut’.
Jamtalhütte: Stephen Crane (Ockenden Manor, Sussex)
Innovation meets tradition: British chef Stephen Crane moved back to his home county of Sussex from the vibrant metropolis of London. He has been cooking here at the ‘Ockenden Manor’ since 2003. During his very first year, he was awarded a Michelin star for his cleverly devised menu which combines innovation with tradition. Crane primarily uses local produce in all of his dishes. The British chef also applies his expertise to support local schools, universities and charity organisations in Sussex. He has composed a dish of ‘Braised pork cheeks on an Alpine cheese purée and an apple, celery and wild herb salad’ for the Jamtalhütte.
‘Culinary Jakobsweg’ gourmet hiking package
Guests can visit the five gourmet lodges individually up until the end of September 2016 during this mountain summer in Paznaun. Three nights in a category of your choice and all of the ‘Silvretta Card all inclusive’ services are available from 75 euros per person with breakfast. For all the information and online bookings: www.paznaun-ischgl.com.
Flavour from the region
Paznaun’s landlords work in close collaboration with regional suppliers such as Handl Tyrol and the Paznauner Almkäse gourmet region to produce their dishes. This means that guests will be able to enjoy primarily regional ingredients and specialities in this year’s ‘Star Chef Dish’ and the ‘Paznauner Marend’ (a Paznaun cold platter with Paznaun Alpine cheese, farmhouse bacon, Paznaun farmhouse belly pork and Paznaun venison slices).