PAZNAUN PEOPLE: MICHAELA EHGARTNER, SUPERSTAR WAITER

Michaela Ehgartner is 18 years old and Austria’s junior National Champion in Table Service. Born in Styria, she studied in Carinthia and works in Tyrol. She speaks with Trisanna about motivation, wanting to learn from the best, and her yearn to travel – although perhaps quite not so far.

 

Michaela, you’ve even got the documents to prove it, you’re one of the best waitresses in Austria. How did it come about?
It’s really funny that it turned out like this. Yes, my parents are in catering too, but they always said to me: Michaela, you have the world at your feet, do what you believe in. And then in the end I was mostly interested in what they did, too. Then in my third year I became the Carinthia State Champion and qualified for the National Championships. And then I actually won it.

What is a competition of this sort like? Is it partly about who can carry the most glasses?
(laughs) No, it’s about things like tablecloths, the technique of serving, wine service and expertise, appearance and manner, and fingerprints on the cutlery. You really have to pay attention to every little thing.

You’ve only been in Ischgl since this season – did you want to make Tyrol the next step?
Yes, I studied in a very good hotel in Pörtschach and wanted to go somewhere else now. Ischgl was my favourite because there are so many high-class hotels and restaurants here. It’s also what I like so much here at the Hotel Post – it is high-class and yet familiar at the same time. I can learn a great deal here for later.

You come from Styria originally. Do you get homesick?
Not being at home is not a problem for me. I am a family person, yes, but I love getting to know new people and seeing new things. And it’s like that now too: I’m pretty much just taking things as they come – who knows what will happen?

So going abroad is also an option?
If I think about it properly, no, not at the moment. Because my urge to travel isn’t that strong really. So at the moment it’s not on the cards, but I’m sure it will be at some point.