An Austrian adventure
A man, a wooden boat, and his search for perhaps the most extraordinary of all alpine fish – Alexander Scheck is an Austrian fisherman who specialises in lake char. It takes a lot of work and a great deal of experience to track down a delicacy such as this in the lake’s clear mountain water. As simple and pure as the char grows in nature is also how it tastes the best: from the fire directly to the plate.
For decades, Montegrosso, Italy, was just a farming village whose residents primarily made their living from growing olives - until Chef Pietro Zito put Montegrosso on Italy’s culinary map when he founded his restaurant Antichi Sapori (ancient cuisine) there in 1992. When it comes to his restaurant, Zito’s approach is clear: almost everything that goes into his pot comes out of his own garden. His commitment to the Slow Food movement means that he only serves regional cuisine with native vegetable and animal. Whatever is on the menu at his restaurant is decided by his 15,000 m2 vegetable garden.
At sea in Belgium
A centuries-old tradition: in the Belgian region of Oostduinkerke, tough Brabant horses pull heavy nets into the shallows of the sea to catch shrimp. The catch may be small, but the taste is beyond compare. For Stefaan Hancke, who comes from an old farming family, shrimp fishing is but an important and enjoyable way of passing time. The Brabant horses’ enormous power has fascinated him since he was a small boy, when he dreamed of following in his grandfather’s footsteps. Today he breeds the animals and offers his land to other crab fishers, who keep their horses on his meadows and in his stables.
A French delicacy
The French know a thing or two about cheese. Many varieties undergo months of ripening before they gain their distinctive flavour. ‘Affinage’, the French word for ‘cheese ageing’, is a perfect mix of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. Chief affineur, Hervé Mons, is the guiding star when it comes to excellent taste. He uses the milk from Salers, an old French cattle breed known for its delicious milk, to create his award-winning Comté or Reblochon. Mons is known to gourmets around the world and his cellars contain well over 100 tonnes of cheese.
Freshly baked in Munich
Germans love their bread. The thought of a shrink-wrapped loaf on a supermarket shelf, robbing you of a wonderful sensory experience feels so wrong. After all, nothing compares to sampling crusty bread still warm from the oven. That’s the kind of sensory experience master baker, Fridolin Artmann, works for. He's living proof that bringing out the best in dough is all about love and passion.
A Welsh revolution
When Welsh cattle breeder, Ifor Humphreys, first heard about the stunning buttery taste of Japanese Wagyu beef, he saw more than a business opportunity. He decided to import an embryo from Japan, and nine months later his breeding bull, Abramovich, was born. The rest is breeding history. In a world governed by the rules of mass production, his small Wagyu operation stands out as an example of high standards of quality. Today, he supplies gourmet restaurants, upmarket food stores and, as he’s very pleased to point out, his local community. When cooked, the meat is incredibly juicy, tender and full of flavour. It’s testament to one man’s passion to create very special food.
Spain's green gold
Olive oil is not a cooking ingredient; it's an element of desire, according to Josep-Maria Mallefré, who elevates the humble olive to green gold in the gentle lowlands of south-western Catalonia. His mill proudly continues the family tradition started by his grandfather who founded the oil production business. Where many other mills combine the harvests of different farmers when they press oil, Mallafré produces single-sort, personalised oil from individual harvests. This way, their unique character can be preserved, reflecting the source, the individual climate and time of year the olives were harvested.
Cooking with NEFF
Feel inspired to get your apron on and test your own culinary skills? Then join us at one of our NEFF events where you can meet like-minded people and talk about all things food: from ingredients to preparation, and what appliances are best suited to your tasks. Or attend one of our Cookery Schools and learn some tricks of the trade using NEFF appliances. If you can’t wait that long, have a look at our recipes inspired by fellow cooks for truly inspiring meals.