Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, Norbert Niederkofler says "the best things are the simplest things but at the same time also the hardest things to do". He describes his cooking philosophy as "simple, clear and clean", it is always the most basic products that are the most important. Chef Niederkofler loves travelling both in his private life and in his professional life, in order to find new inspirations for dishes. 

Having attended the Hotel Management School in Tegernsee, in Germany, he trained further in Italy and in starred restaurants in London, Zurich, Milan. Claiming his most formative experiences were with Eckart Witzigmann in Munich and David Bouley in New York, he learnt that perfection can be reached when you respect nature and the quality of the produce. Without that, he says, you can't achieve anything.

Before being awarded two Michelin stars Chef Niederkofler had launched Rosa Alpina as a pizzeria. Following its success, Norbert began moulding the restaurant into a classic fine-dining experience based on a mountain with Italian tradition and Austrian influences in South Tyrol.


FOUR Questions with Norbert

Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words…

Seasonal products of the mountains


What was your most moving culinary experience? 

Cooking a risotto in Nepal at 5,000m altitude which took 50 minutes! And an unforgettable meal in Catalonia at Santi Santamaria’s Can Fabes de Sant Celoni.


What is your greatest inspiration?



What three things would you take to a desert island?

My family, a Japanese knife and matches to make a fire.


  • 2 Michelin Stars
  • 'Tre Forchette' (three forks) by Guida Gambero Rosso 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 
  • Awarded the Relais Gourmands in the Relais & Châteaux Guide as the best restaurant in Italy 2008
  • 19 points at Gault Millau, 4 toques




Rosa Alpina Hotel and Spa

Strada Micurá de Rü, 20

I-39030 San Cassiano in Badia (BZ)

Dolomiti (Alto Adige)


+ 39 0471 84 95 00


Images © Rosa Alpina