WHERE MORE STARS SHINE
It could surprise a lot of people, but the area in Italy where more Michelin stars are shining is the South Tyrol/Alto Adige area. This bilingual land close to Austria should be considered a true gastronomical paradise. The origins of its internationally renowned success are possibly explained by its vicinity to the Austrian border.
Indeed, the fusion of Italian and Austrian recipes has created a gourmet cuisine. Alto Adige is a territory rich in steep vineyards, orchards, wild herbs and edible flowers. It is formed by numerous villages consisting of wooden houses and castles, and it attracts numerous tourists who search for uncontaminated nature, art and gastronomic culture.
Recognized throughout the globe
Without a doubt the gourmet cuisine has grown also thanks to the respect for unspoiled nature which allows for extremely high-quality ingredients.
Another element that should not be overlooked is the presence of tourism that searches for authenticity and wellness. The hotel facilities have high standards and all of these elements contribute the international success.
Excellence in food service
Among the points of excellence throughout the province, the restaurant Sissi in Meran stands but thanks to the Michelin-star chef Andrea Fenoglio, famous for his offerings that find the synthesis between traditional Italian and Austrian cuisines. It is impossible to not cite the “phenomenon” of Alta Badia area, Unesco World Heritage site, which confirms is gastronomic record. Within its territory of only 15 square kilometres, there are 6 Michelin stars! The third Michelin star was confirmed for the champion chef Norbert Niederkofler of the restaurant St. Hubertus located in the Rosa Alpina Hotel in San Cassiano. His project “Cook the Mountains” allows for the rediscovery of seasonality and cultivation techniques that respect nature. Another hospitality gem of Alto Adige is Stüa de Michil in Corvara; the young executive chef Nicola Laera, whose father comes from the Puglia region of Italy and whose mother is Ladin, and who was formed under the prestigious guidance of Norbert Niederkofler, maintained his Michelin star. At this restaurant, the cuisine is an excellent example of the motivations that make this area a paradise for those who love to taste dishes that can tell the story of a territory: a flower, a seasonal vegetable, selected materials, organic ingredients that have been elaborated as if it was a fairy tale.
A more modern take can be found in the menu offered by the Michelin-star chef Manfred Kofler at Culinaria im Farmerkreuz nearby Meran; his cuisine starts with in the territory, but it the journeys towards the sea and towards Mediterranean flavours.
In fact, it’s no coincidence that the tasting menu is named “from the Alps to the sea”.
Our journey into the gourmet gastronomy of Alto Adige concludes with two chefs that offer a particularly researched cuisine.
Peter Girtler, chef of the Romantik Hotel Stafler in Vipiteno, has always been convinced that “the product is the star, not the chef” and Karl Baumgartner who since 1986, in a tranquil, dreamlike corner of the Val Pusteria, uses innovation as a precious tool to reclaim the local culture.