Masterchef S01 ep8: Heinz Winkler, Winkler Restaurant, [Munich]
Interview with Heinz Winkler
Today, the repertoire of a young chefs is limited because they only work in 2 or 3 restaurants and not in 15 or more. Anton Mosimann and myself were always looking for new places to learn, looking all over Europe for the best Chefs to train with, from Italy, from France and we took ideas from everywhere. You store all this information and every time we create a new plate, you draw from all these experiences. In Germany, haute cuisine never existed - all that existed was sauerkraut and basic ingredients. Nowadays, the food people demand is lighter. We recreated the original plates and made them much lighter and healthier but its origins are heavy stodgy food.
KM: What is the residence Heinze Winkler?
The residence is an old building from the 1400's - my idea for making a
restaurant with rooms.
KM: So a Guesthof restaurant?
KM: Why did you want to go to the Hotel. I mean this is another headache.
No the time has changed in the restaurant it is a problem for drinking.
For the wines and the champagne.
KM: Ah in Germany?
After for the driving the car
KM: Ah, yes, yes
KM: When did this happen, because ten years ago you were doing Tantris.
I bought and
KM: You renovated
Renovated. In 91
KM: Why did you become a chef in the first place?
My home is North Italy…
KM: Yes, but Heinz Winkler?
Yes but this is before… this is Austria.
KM: ok, ok, got you I understand
And now this is
KM: Oh yes, OK
And in the south of Tyrol , the tourist industry is very important for this little
country. My home is 11……
He had 11 sisters and brothers. And all go into Gastronomy
KM: Did you do an apprenticeship with a restaurant? How did you start?
Yes, first I started in a little hotel, and then after in Italy at the "Venetian"…an
And after that, very, very important was Switzerland.
KM: So who did you train with in Switzerland?
In Switzerland there was a famous hotel, not a restaurant. The Palace Hotel
at St. Moritz.
KM: Mossiman told me he also worked there…
He is my very good friend of mine.
KM: You were together yes.
Yes, we even shared a room together.
KM: You're kidding.
No, yes yes, both of us.
KM: He went in another direction with Nouvelle and all this, you never went in
this direction. Why?
London is not a difficult like Germany.
KM: Ah, because people are more traditional in Germany, in London they are
more open minded, so when he was working in the Dorchester he could do
Yeah, in London it is fantastic, In Germany…...too hard.
And after Mossiman become chef in the Dorchester in London.
KM: Yes, and where did you go?
I worked in Tantris in Munich for a year working with Ekhardt Witzigmann and
after I worked for Paul Bocuse.
KM: Oh you went to Bocuse, where? In Lyon?
KM: Why, why Bocuse?
Because Bocuse was the big name then.
KM: Then, then he was the top.
KM: How has your cooking changed from ten years ago till today.
The plates that are not good finished. And the very good plates stay. My style
is vitality food, but it is very important for the evening, that you don't feel
KM: You don’t feel heavy yes.
You are not stressed when you eat my food because it is very light and it is
healthy – this is very important.
KM: Is the produce better today than it was 10 years ago.
No it is not better. 10 years ago there were not as many restaurants as there
are now. Now there are too many and it is difficult to search out the best
suppliers. 10 years ago is better.
I have a picture 400 grams truffle!
KM: White truffles?
Yeah, white truffles, and all the house smelt of truffle.
KM: You smell it forever, especially white truffles, they are very strong.
And now this supply of truffles is finished.
KM: You can't get it now?
2 million restaurants all over the world, want white truffles. This is the problem.
In Italy it is very difficult for the cooks to create a new plate. If it is not Italian
food, people complain, and say "This is not Italian!"
In Germany, haute cuisine never existed - all that existed was sauerkraut and
basic ingredients…but this is more light. We recreated the new plates
KM: The re-interpreting.
Yeah, but this is not heavy.
Today, the repertoire of young chefs is limited because they only work in 2 or 3
restaurants and not in 15 restaurants. Anton Mossiman and myself we were
always looking for new places to learn, looking all over Europe for the best
Chefs to train with, from Italy, from France.
KM: You were taking ideas from everywhere.
You store all this information and every time we create a new plate we draw on
all the experiences and information we remember.
KM: They don't know how to create because they are just reinventing the
For the Germany people it is not important everyday to have a new creation -
what they want is good food.
KM: They want consistent quality.
Fresh, quality, food.
KM: Did you ever think when you were in the kitchen working as an apprentice
or as a cook, that you would one day receive the German Cross?
This is very important, It proves that if you believe in your future, anything is
Funny story. I was coming into the house in a smoking jacket after attending
an opera in Salzburg and I greeted a very important guest who was sitting at
the bar who seemed not to know who I was.
I was a little surprised, so I went in to the kitchen, changed into my Chef's coat
and reappeared and he finally realised who I was.
KM: So he didn't recognise you in a normal jacket
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