On top of the world

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In IceQ, the worlds highest gourmet restaurant: Chef Gottfried Prantl, Michael Waschl and Angelika Falkner.

Is it possible? Can  gourmet experiences, mountains,  snow, fine Wine, wellness and Skiing all be combined  into one? Here, in this winter-wonderland, in the magnificent Alps anything is possible. Especially in Das Central in Sölden. We go up the mountains to the worlds highest gourmet restaurant for the most amazing food, breakfast at sunrise on the glaciers, taste wines at different altitudes on ski-stations.

Now you know why I’m on top of the world. In more ways that one. Not only am in the highest gourmet restaurant of the world ( perched in the Austrian Alps ), am also in the most unique gourmet food and wine festival on the mountains. And  Also, I have finally got hold of the recipe of my most favorite Austrian dish “Weiner Schnitzel”. I’m in  “Sound of music” country, in Austria’s swish ski resort Solden. Along with pristine, gleaming white snow all around there are lush green trees and rolling pastures, dotted with picturesque houses. It is here that I go up ski gondolas to the worlds highest gourmet restaurant, IceQ.

JAMES BOND WAS HERE

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The interior of the James Bond restaurant IceQ.

IceQ, the gourmet restaurant  where James Bond’s Spectre was shot has been making global waves, since then. Sure, it’s a spectacular architectural glassed in  marvel, almost suspended in the air. But it’s here that the most gourmet of dishes are conjured by the brilliant chef Gottfried Prantl Please take a look at the photograph and you’ll know what I mean.

It’s here that I attend the finale of the  annual (not to be missed) “weinamberg” “wine on the mountains”. We not only taste wine on the snow clad ski slopes ( and savor the difference) but our taste buds are pampered with wines from 15 countries. The hostess, the gracious Angelika Falkner, in the most magnificentDas central,  ensures that the finest of Austrian Alpine cuisine as well as creative Mediterranean and Asian food work magic. And after all the winter sports and wine tasting on the mountains, there is the magnificent Venice inspired “Venezia water world” (saunas and steam and a pool with a Venetian mural and a real gondola too)to relax in. And then there is  the finale of the Mountain gourmet safari with music and wines at different heights  is truly spectacular. This is when we zip up  in the ski lifts to the Ice Q peak restaurant. It’s the  height of gourmet luxury. Even while I’m here, I’m already planning my next trip. Just like  the “Sound of music” chorus I repeat… “These are a few of my favorite things” for sure!

DAS CENTRAL WEINER SCHNITZEL

Since I cannot send you the brilliant sunshine and snow, here’s the recipe of my most favorite Austrian dish “Weiner Schnitzel” generously shared  by the brilliant chef Gottfried Prantl, This typically Austrian dish, is made with veal, but it can very easily be substituted with  chicken. Its simple to make and its delightful to taste.

Ingredients for 4 persons/4 Schnitzel

         4 escalopes of vel around 120 grams each

         Salt and pepper

         2-3 eggs

         50 g flour

         200 g bread crumbs

         300 g dripping or clarified butter

         2 Lemons

Recipe:

The escalopes will need to be pounded until the meat/chicken is around a 1/4 of an inch thick. Make sure to trim the edges of the meat carefully.

Lightly season the escalopes with salt and pepper. You will need three shallow bowls – 1 for the eggs, 1 for flour and 1 for breadcrubs. Dip the escalopes in the flour first, then in the whisked egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Be careful to ensure that the the entire escalope is completely covered with the breadcrumbs. Place the escalopes in a hot frying pan, the oil in the pan should be deep enough that the schnitzel’s float whilst cooking. Cooking time should not be more than 4 minutes for each side.

Remember to serve hot with fresh lemon and potato salad Viennese style!

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