As a teen growing up in a small Austrian village where garden-centered cooking was the order of the day, Kurt Gutenbrunner knew he wanted to become a chef. At age 14, he enrolled in a professional hotel and restaurant school. Two years later, culinary arts degree in hand, Gutenbrunner signed on as an apprentice at Austria’s prestigious Hotel Richard Lowenherz. There he developed an appreciation for the wines of the Wachau region — an influence that remains evident in his culinary style to this day.
Gutenbrunner subsequently served as chef in noteworthy restaurants in Vienna, Austria; Munich, Germany; and New York prior to opening his own New York City restaurants — Wallse, named after his hometown of Wallse-on-the-Danube, in 2000 and Café Sabarsky in 2001. Gutenbrunner’s next challenge? Austrian Airlines recently tapped the culinary master to serve as executive chef and catering consultant for its eastbound trans-Atlantic service to Vienna from Washington, D.C.; Montreal, Quebec;and Toronto, Ontario.
“We want our Austrian Airlines passengers to experience the best of Austrian hospitality on board our aircraft,” said Guenter Hude, Austrian Airlines’ general manager for the Americas. “What better way than to offer them a five-course gourmet meal from Austrian Master Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner?”
In the mood for some authentic Austrian cuisine? Try these Gutenbrunner recipes in your own kitchen.
Palatschinken with smoked trout, apples, dill and horseradish yogurt — Serves 8
For the batter
1 cup plus 1 and 1/2 tablespoons milk
3 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
Mix flour with salt and sugar. Whisk into milk. Add eggs and mix until smooth. Set aside. Heat a nonstick frying pan until very hot. Add a little butter and ladle in just enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the edges start getting brown, flip palatschinken with spatula and repeat on other side. Makes 8 palatschinken.
For the filling
1/3 cup smoked trout pieces
1/2 Golden Delicious apple,julienned
1/2 red onion,thinly sliced
4 and 1/4 teaspoons fresh grated horseradish
2 and 3/4 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons dill
Mix the horseradish and the yogurt with a little lemon juice. Lay palatschinken flat and spread with horseradish yogurt. In the middle of the palatschinken, place 3 or 4 slices of apple and a thin layer of red onion and dill. Place the trout directly on top and roll the palatschinken starting from the side closest to you. Cut ends at a 45 degree angle and, at the same angle, in half. Arrange each half on the plate. Garnish plate with dill.
Marinated asparagus with prosciutto and organic peppercress — Serves 4
For the asparagus
20 pieces white asparagus
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup sliced snow peas
8 slices prosciutto
4 and 1/4 teaspoons peppercress
For the vinaigrette
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Peel the asparagus. Cook in salt water and butter until 80 percent done. Let cool. Mix ingredients for vinaigrette. Add the warm asparagus and let cool. Cook the sliced snow peas for 10 seconds. Cool in ice water. Add to vinaigrette. Place asparagus on plate. Cover with thinly sliced prosciutto and top with vinaigrette. Garnish with peppercress.
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