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GOURMET travel: Chef Norbert Niederkofler
Aman has just announced a partnership with Chef Norbert Niederkofler, to minimise the environmental footprint for food and beverage offerings. The legendary chef will work with the culinary teams at 33 Aman hotels across 20 destinations to create new menus as well as teaching each property to use sustainably sourced local ingredients. Chef Niederkofler won international recognition not just for his three Michelin-starred cuisine at St. Hubertus, his restaurant at Aman partner hotel, Rosa Alpina, but for leading the conversation on sustainable fine dining.  Aman is the first brand to partner with Niederkofler as consultant chef.  
 

 

Niederkofler has become known as ‘the chef who cooks the mountains’. So what is it that has inspired his vision for sustainable cooking?  Here is Niederkofler in his own words.

Early influences

"When I was 18 years old I had a great goal in mind: I wanted to see the world. And I had a second goal, a much more moderate one: I wanted to be a chef. With a lot of discipline, I was able to combine both my wishes. I experienced ups and downs. My success is the result of clear ideas and goals, and the fact that I always question myself and try to remain humble".

Love of travel

"Born in the Dolomites, in Alto Adige, I could not help wondering what other horizons there were beyond those high peaks. Ever since I was a child, I have always had a rebellious curiosity, the same that made me want to explore, see and understand the how and the why of things….. When I was 18 years old I had a great goal in mind: I wanted to see the world. And I had a second goal, a much more moderate one: I wanted to be a chef. With a lot of discipline, I was able to combine both my wishes. I experienced ups and downs. My success is the result of clear ideas and goals, and the fact that I always question myself and try to remain humble”.

Most moving travel and food experience

“Cooking a risotto in Nepal at 5,000m altitude which took 50 minutes! And an unforgettable meal in Catalonia atSanti Santamaria’s Can Fabes de Sant Celoni.”

Greatest inspiration.

“Nature. Nature and all of its wonders has always been a constant of my life”.

What travel (and coming home again ) has taught him.

"Being away from home for so long has led me to rediscover my roots, my land and how to give value to the raw material. When Thomas, my first child, was born, I started to look at the world with different eyes. Sustainability would become the principle with which to change my way of cooking".

 

 

Turning point

“When Thomas, my first child, was born, I started to look at the world with different eyes. Sustainability would become the principle with which to change my way of cooking”.

Cooking philosophy

“The best things are the simplest things but at the same time also the hardest things to do. It all started when I wondered how mountain cooking could contribute to the sustainable growth of the entire planet, how the chef could promote the protection of the territory in which we live in and what could be the future of mountain food. To find the answers I started right back to my roots with another eye on current trends such as rediscovery of the local, respect for biodiversity, the spread of organic products and km 0, the mentality of slow living, the following of seasonality. For sustainable economic and social development, every part of the value chain, from the producer to the product and its region of origin, to the consumer, must be included.”

The global goal

"Here the goal became immediately clear: to rethink the economic-social development by investigating the relationships between production, product, territory and consumption. The starting point for this change must be cooking, intended as a catalyst for cultural processes, for the diffusion of a model of sustainable development. With this in mind, the chef must take on the role of ‘emotional educator’, capable of promoting a new lifestyle".

On the new collaboration

“I am thrilled to embark on this new journey with Aman – a brand that shares my passion for conserving and celebrating the natural beauty found in the world’s most unique destinations. I look forward to the challenge of developing menus in these remote locations and helping Aman guests connect even more with their surroundings.”

Three things to have if thee cruise ship sinks and you are stuck on a desert island.

"My family, a Japanese knife and matches to make a fire".

Luxury links: www.aman.com

A movement that has recently grown into a food revolution, sustainable fine dining was formally acknowledged in early 2020 with the launch of a new Michelin Guide symbol. The green Michelin four-leaf clover honours those in the industry – Niederkofler prime among them – who are conserving Earth’s resources in every possible.

 
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