PAZNAUN CHEFS: MARTIN SIEBERER

Martin Sieberer lives in Kappl, works in Ischgl and is the very embodiment of the culinary passion which is prevails in Paznaun. His restaurants have won top awards, but his favourite meal is potato goulash prepared by his wife, Veronika. An open conversation with a full-blooded restaurateur. Film by Hannes Kröll. Photos by Philipp Horak.

Name
Martin Sieberer

Age
49, born in Hopfgarten in the Tyrolean Unterland

Place of residence
Kappl

Job
Chef, president of the Paznaun Chef’s Club

Family status
Married to Veronika since 1993, daughter Verena (born 1994),
sons Thomas (born 1996) and Michael (born 2000)

Was being a chef always your dream job or vocation?
Becoming a chef was definitely my career goal. It then became a vocation over the course of the years.

How did you come to choose this job?
Eating, and therefore cooking, were always very important in our family. Not at any high level, but honest, natural food. That’s where my choice of career originated from

What’s the biggest challenge for you as a multiple award-winning gourmet chef?
To always meet the expectations of my guests

What do the various awards mean to you, such as Austrian Chef of the Year 2000, 3 stars or 18 points from Gault Millau, and so on?
It’s a great confirmation of my team’s work over all the years

The Paznauner Stube has been around for 20 years, what has changed in a culinary sense in the past two decades?
Fundamentally, the guests’ expectations. The preparation methods and cooking techniques have seriously changed. There are practically no taboos any more in cooking.

Describe a typical guest at the Paznauner Stube
Our guests want to experience something special. Away from everyday life, to slip into a state of happiness of some kind with good food and great wine in pleasant company. That makes people really content.

  Your second restaurant, “Sieberers Heimatbühne”, has also received multiple awards.
We opened in 2016 and received 2 stars straightaway. These were confirmed again 2017. It’s a great recognition of our work in the kitchen and in service.

How important are regional ingredients in your dishes?
Regionality has always played an important role for me. At the moment it’s very popular.

Is this particularly celebrated in “Sieberers Heimatbühne”?
Yes, we carry it out to an almost eccentric extent here. We only used products from the region. We are recreating grandma’s kitchen here, in a way, and guests like that.

Will summer tourism also play a greater role in Ischgl in the future?
Absolutely. The winter has been fully exploited. In the summer, there’s still space to grow. That’s why we’ve opened in the summer, too. It’s a great motivation for my staff. It’s a question of being appreciated, too, and we’re also creating year-round positions for our permanent staff.

Your favourite meal?
Potato goulash

Cooked by Martin Sieberer?
No, by my wife Veronika, the taste is virtually unbeatable.

Your favourite spot in Pazanaun?
The mountain meadows on the Dias Alm above Kappl

What’s a typical Paznaun characteristic?
Basically unapproachable, to win them over or convince them requires a considerable effort

If Ischgl were an animal, which would it be?
A mountain lion

With what drink should you toast to a successful season?
With a good glass of Austrian Blaufränksich from central Burgenland.

Your favourite colour in winter?
Blood-red (at sunset)

Describe the Silvretta Arena in one word?
Fantastic

Your favourite language during the season?
Well- mannered colloquial speech

Where do you find a moment of peace?
In the perfectly-prepared restaurant before opening, normally around 18.30

Your favourite song with a Paznaun connection?
“I am from Austria” by Reinhard Fendrich
(Ischgl summer concert in 2010)

The most important accessory in winter?
A perfectly sharpened knife and my skis

Your favourite time of day?
Mealtime

The most important change in recent decades?
Both my sons, Thomas (21) and Michael (17), have chosen the culinary profession of their own accord. Having graduated from the tourism school at Villa Blanka in Innsbruck, they go on culinary travels in summer, and work in the winter in my team at the Trofana Royal. So we’ve come full circle.