Given that restaurant Taubenkobel is the only kitchen that Walter Eselböck has ever worked in, let alone owned, makes his rise to such culinary greatness all the more extraordinary.
First entering the kitchen through curiosity, Walter’s determination to perfect his culinary skills and expand his creativity under no one’s guidance but his own has led him to become one of the best – and best-known – chefs in Austria.
Walter opened Taubenkobel in 1984 with his wife Eveline who runs the front-of-house and oversees the wine selection at the restaurant. Since then, the recognition that the restaurant has received, not just in the form of awards, has been phenomenal. While Taubenkobel received two stars in the prestigious Michelin Guide for Austria in 2009 as well as 19 out of 20 points in the Gault Millau Austria, gourmets and connoisseurs regularly make a pilgrimage to the tiny village of Schützen just to sample Walter’s offerings, proof enough of Taubenkobel’s notable success.
Guests travelling from far and wide never regret their efforts. Walter serves up exquisite cuisine that is rooted in the local area and its produce, which evolves in a way that’s open-minded, intelligent and spontaneous.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
There are so many emotions involved in fine food and they spark a whole array of feelings, whether it's a fresh grilled fish at the seaside, a successful evening in a three-star restaurant or just a good meal with friends.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
Looking back, and I’m absolutely clear about this, it must be the evening we had a power cut when the restaurant was fully booked. We had to serve our guests an improvised “energy-free” menu by candlelight - an unforgettable experience.
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Cook what you know, and if you haven’t got to grips with a particular dish yet, keep trying it out until you’ve mastered it – but preferably not on your guests!
- 2 Michelin stars, 2009
- 19/20 points, 4 toques, Gault Millau Austria, 2014
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