French chef Alain Weissgerber grew up in Ingwiller, Alsace, and started training to become a chef in 1982. While travelling through Switzerland, France, Austria and Germany he worked in some of the finest kitchens – among them restaurant,Steirereckin Vienna and Otto Koch’sLe Gourmetin Munich. During the following years he also invested a lot of time into studying and did different stages at the culinary elite of the time, including Elena Arzak in San Sebastian, Joel Robuchon in Paris, Tantrisin Munich as well as in Wolfgang Puck’sSpagoin Los Angeles.

In 1993 he felt ready for his first own restaurant,Blaue Gans,which he opened in Weiden at Lake Neusiedl in Austria. It was awarded with a Michelin star from 2005 onwards. Here, he also met his wife Barbara Eselböck, who shared his passion for gastronomy and supported him in the restaurant.

After a destroying fire at Blaue Gans in 2010, Alain joined Taubenkobel – the restaurant of his parents-in-law. The Relais & Chateaux was founded decades ago by Walter and Eveline Eselböck and belonged ever since to one of the best dining destinations in Austria – with 2 Michelin stars within the guide from 2005 until Michelin ended its rating in 2009.

After 4 years of cooperation, Alain and Barbara finally took over the operation and now continuing the family heritage by leading the hotel and kitchen into the future.

During his last years in Taubenkobel, Weissgerber developed and refined his distinctive culinary style of a regionally inspired cuisine, which emphasize the variety of the Pannonian landscape. And the current restaurant ratings respect the effort: Taubenkobel has earned three toques and 18 of 20 possible points in Gault Millau as well as it entered the World’s Best Restaurants list in 2014 on rank 89.

FOUR Questions with Alain

Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words…

Purity, Nature, Pannonia, Seasons, Craftsmanship

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

Nature and all its gifts to our taste buds.

What is your greatest inspiration?

Every day life with all its beauty. I am very nature-focussed and love to run in the morning. When I am outside and got physically challenged, my mind runs free and inspiration starts floating…and then of course there is music like my favourite Calexico…an excellent source of inspiration!

What three things would you take to a desert island?

My family, a suitable playlist and some bottles of Gut Oggau’s rare sparkling wine Gut cO2ggau to celebrate life – even on a desert island.

  • 3 Hauben (toques) / 18 pts Gault & Millau
  • No. 89 on the S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant List 2014
  • 1 Michelin star* at restaurant Blaue Gans
  • 2 Michelin stars* at restaurant Taubenkobel

(both until 2009 when Michelin stopped rating Austria outside the main cities)

Relais & Châteaux Taubenkobel

Hauptstraße 33

A – 7081 Schützen bei Wien

+43 (0) 26842297