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Vitus Winkler is owner and chef at restaurant Sonnhof. After his education at the hotel management school, Vitus worked in various high-end establishments. In 2012, together with his wife Eva-Maria Gumpenberger, he took over his family’s business, hotel and gourmet restaurant Sonnhof. In the kitchen, Vitus transforms his ideas and products into culinary landscapes. His presentation of artfully crafted butter brilliantly showcases this. We asked the chef some questions to get to know him better, about his culinary inspiration, his favourite ingredient, and much more.
Vitus, how would you describe your cooking style?
I would describe my cooking style as Alpine cuisine, with a focus on wild herbs and plants. From Austrian classics to avant-garde.
What's your favourite dish to make?
I love making Tafelspitz – a classic Austrian beef dish. After boiling the beef you can get an unbelievable soup with horseradish, spinach and roasted potatoes. It is great. A little reminder of my childhood.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
You can do some crazy things with the wild plants of the mountains and the taste of some wild herbs is just incredible.
My favourite ingredient to work with is wild herbs, because this is the original natural tastemaker of the earth.
Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?
My top supplier is butcher Max Mann. He is a butcher, a farmer and also a fantastic man who loves animals. It sounds weird, but it's true. As a result, his ham meat is phenomenal. You can taste the love of his work in it.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?
The biggest challenge for me is to make the perfect potato salad as my grandmother did.
Which gastronomic trend are you excited about the most?
The real Japanese kitchen, because they are so fanatic about producing perfect food.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?
What’s one thing in the area that your guests absolutely need to see or do?
I would recommend guests to do two things, to go for lunch to my friend and JRE colleague Andreas Döllerer in Golling, or go for a hike at the Sonnenterrasse. It’s a lovely place up on the mountain.
Thank you, Vitus.
Book your table at restaurant Sonnhof
Taste chef Vitus Winkler’s award-winning Alpine cuisine at restaurant Sonnhof in St. Veit im Pongau, Austria. You can make your lunch or dinner reservation through our website, for an exquisite culinary experience.