The Austrian “Kurier” recently published an article about ‘Arlberg’, a small, traditional and extremely popular ski resort in the Austrian Alps.

In towns between St.Anton and Lech, not only skiing but also gourmet cuisine is at a top level, making the area the highest density of “Haubenrestaurants” of all Austrian alpine ski resorts.

With the absence of MICHELIN star rating in Austria, GaultMillauts “Hauben” are the ‘ruling’ gourmet rating.

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The “Red Wall” (Rote Wand, 2704 metres high) actually is one of the most significant mountains within the “Lechquellengebirge” (Lechquellen mountain range) in western Austria. It has its name from the distinct red lias limestone, especially visible at the south wall.

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Rote Wand” (red wall) also is the name of an award winning restaurant and hotel in that area.

Whilst the gourmet level at Arlberg is at its highest, many chefs actually remember old traditions, such as Fondue. Already in the 1960ies, guests from noble Lech travelled by horse sleight to Zug to enjoy the legendary Chese-Foundue by the Walch family.

Today, Joschi and Natascha Walch follow the family tradition and serve classic Fondue as well as French Bourguignonne Fondue with oil or Fondue Chinoise, where meat and vegetables are cooked in hot soup.

Of course the kids love chocolate fondue.

The “Kurier”-article cotes Joschi Walch: “We only use a special cheese, “Bergkäse” from Vorarlberg. The mix of different maturities is the key. If you use too young cheese, the Fondue will taste boring, too mature cheese will make it too spicy.”

Austrian website www.travel4news.at even calls “Rote Wand” the new “Gourmet-Hotspot”. The article praises Walchs regional sustainability and cites him:

“I have always wanted to do something that I like and enjoy!”

A few people know: In the international racing community, Joschi Walch is no stranger. During BMW’s recent Formula One™ campaign, he ran the prestigious race winning team’s hospitality. Famous racing drivers as well as international stars from the movie and film industry loved his cuisine; the world’s top sports media still hails his hospitality.

His hotel offers various locations to indulge in fabulous food: The Hotel Restaurant, the Bar & Lounge, the “Terrace”, the “Fondue Stuba” and the “Schualhus” (school-house).

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Here, at the “Chefs table” in the first floor, 3-Hauben-chef Manuel Grabner with his team composes and creates a 12-15-course meal from mainly regional top level products, accompanied by corresponding juices, Beers and wines, making it an unforgettable alpine gourmet-experience.

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Team „Schualhus“ Thomas Krenmair, Gernot Schartner, Manuel Grabner & Thomas Achilles

Walchs “Schualhus” at his “Rote Wand” (Red Wall) is one of four 3-Hauben-Restaurants at Arlberg. In addition there are seven 2-Hauben-restaurants and ten 1-Hauben-restaurants. The “Kurier”-article also mentions the other 3-Hauben-restaurants:“Tannenhof” in St.Anton, “Burghotel Vital” in Oberlech and “Hotel Aurelio” in Lech.

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Walchs 4*-Hotel “Rote Wand” also features a 1500 square metres “Red Spa” and a 300 square metres fitness centre. The main building was built in 1651, the resort offers a total of 50 rooms and suites. A renovation in 2011 under energy saving aspects made “Rote Wand” an ‘energy-pioneer’ in the alps.

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If you can’t resist – the best fondue recipes: www.wirkochen.at/magazin/aktuell/Die-besten-Fondue-Rezepte/216535118

Useful information:

RW Hotelbetriebs GmbH • Zug 5 • A-6764 Lech am Arlberg • Telefon: +43 5583 34350 • Fax: +43 5583 3435 40 • E-Mail: gasthof@rotewand.com

pictures curtesy of Rote Wand / (c) Petr Blaha

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Inga Stracke
Inga Stracke is a multi-talented journalist, event organizer, and networker who is equally at home in the Formula 1™ paddocks around the globe as well as the winter hills of the 4-Hill-Ski jumping tournament and other world class events. She is also a motorsport travel advisor for DERTOUR.Born in Bavaria, Inga became famous as pit-lane reporter for German Sky-TV and F1’s™ own multi-channel digital TV, and she founded the first agency for F1™ commercial radio broadcast in D-A-CH. She also produced the first Formula 1™ live radio show nationwide in US/Canada and headed the creation of the original Red Bulletin. Inga regularly contributes culinary trip reviews and gourmet features for MICHELIN starred restaurants around the globe.

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