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A Memorable Experience

How the mountains elevate one’s palate and mind we find out in St. Anton am Arlberg. 

Summer in the Alps hosts a variety of things to do and to experience. Apart from exploring the endless beauty of nature, St. Anton am Arlberg offers a chance not to be missed to be adventurous with your palate: at the culinary and art progamme “Kulinarik & Kunst”.  

Nestled between the spectacular scenery of some of Western Austria’s most stunning mountains of the Arlberg Massif, the Lechtaler Alps and Verwallgruppe, more than 30 chefs decorated by Guide Michelin (30 stars in total) and Gault-Millau (50 toques), 25 winemakers and 40 different artists get busy in and around St. Anton am Arlberg. Together they create unforgettable impressions whether it be tickling your palate with food or stimulating your imagination with amazing art and concerts. Behind this abundant culinary and art spectacle are the renowned hotels Hotels Arlberg Hospiz, Schwarzer Adler, Sonnbichl, Tannenhof and Waldhof.

“Nature in the Alps is particularly charming in summer because so many amazing things happen in just a very short amount of time,” says initiator and main organiser Axel Bach from Hotel Tannenhof. The idea is to introduce the highlights of summertime in the mountains to their many loyal winter guests. “In our busy everyday lives we tend to forget what pleasure it is to be outside in nature,” adds Mr. Bach about the raison d'être for Culinary & Art in St. Anton am Arlberg. With a varied programme like Kulinarik & Kunst, the aim is to create “memorable moments”. And that allures visitors from Australia to America.

Noted chefs such as Heribert Dietrich, Martin Dalsass, Tanja Grandits, Nenad Mlinarevic, Maximilian Moser or Josef Viehhauser make for outstanding culinary treats. A real highlight is the “Gourmet-Gondola-Storm”: during the gondola ride all the way up to 2.811 meters chefs such as Eckart Witzigmann, Heinz Winkler und Hans-Peter Wodarz serve a divine six course meal. A dinner date not for the faint of heart!

Those who look for more leisure away from the busy culinary hotspots around St. Anton am Arlberg will find amazing art by artist Daniel Nikolaus Kocher or can try themselves at the high art of balancing stones. Being one of the oldest art forms of mankind, it helps experience unity of body, mind and soul. The programme also features beautiful music from jazz to performances by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, or unusual ones such as the water glass performance of Petr Spatain.

“Those who are looking for extraordinary experiences will definitely find them here,” says Axel Bach, who has been working in the hotel and gastronomy industry for over 35 years. “For seven weeks you can taste your way through the sophisticated creations of the best chefs. Where else can you find this?” “There is a lot of effort and passion in this project,” says Axel Bach. “And most out of all, we have a tremendous passion for our region here.

To sharpen your senses you can start your day with a hike for a breakfast at some of the picturesque alps, ease into a jazz brunch or join a culinary golf match. What the latter one entails, we are not being told. Best to come and try out yourself.

Text: Sandra Pfeifer
Photos: Astrid Knie // friendship.is

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