Presiding over Vienna’s best restaurant, Steirereck, Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Heinz Reitbauer serves modern Austrian food, including the resurrection of some long forgotten classics. Passionate about ingredients, Heinz manages his own farm from which he sources much of restaurant Steirereck’s ingredients. Every two or three months, the kitchen team at Steirereck visit a few of their important suppliers to ensure that they know everything about their ingredients and the people who supply them and so the producers can discover how their products are used in Steirereck's kitchen.
Also passionate about variety, the restaurant caters for every taste and offers a 35,000 strong wine list, as well as a ‘Meierei’ Milk Bar with 120 cheese varieties.
After one year’s training in his parents’ hotel, he switched to the brothers Karl and Rudi Obauer in Werfen and finished my training there, where he learnt culinary and life skills that he still holds dear. Alain Chapel in Lyon, with his great timeless cuisine, and Anton Mosimann in London, were other important mentors for him. In 1996 he opened a restaurant in the Steiermark, the first Steirereck, in which he worked from the very beginning as executive chef, where he opened a farm that he still uses today.
"I would describe my cuisine as a contemporary reinterpretation of Austrian cuisine, which is very much shaped by products and seasons."
Describe your culinary philosophy in 4 words...
Flavour, excitement, clarity, purpose.
What is your greatest inspiration?
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
I would prefer a time machine so that I could return 200 years to 1814 and the Viennese Congress where all of Europe gathered in Vienna to decide the fate of the continent. The guests were served with specialties from all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The beginnings of the Viennese cooking tradition are dated to this point!
What four things would you take to a desert island?
My wife, seeds, a sharp knife, a good book.
2 Michelin stars
19/20 points, 4 toques | Gault Millau
Am Heumarkt 2A/im Stadtpark
+ 43 (0)1 713 31 68
Images by René Riis