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Marc Bernhart is the chef at the Weißes Kreuz Hotel in Burgeis, South Tyrol - a hip maverick who casts his flavour nets both close to home as well as wide, stocking his kitchen pantry with homemade goodness and the nomadic tastes of exotic destinations. Being a mountain heart, Marc Bernhart was born and raised in this stunning region of Vinschgau/Venosta Valley; his inherent knowledge of local flavours dance through his cuisine as well as cleverly pairing the tastes of South Tyrol and peppering them with accents from across the culinary globe. He may be a local, but he for sure has let his taste buds explore the world. He is a creative, skilled taste blender with an impressive lexicon of culinary excitement.
Connectivity to his rural surrounds has enabled Chef Bernhart to get his hands dirty down on the farm - rearing his own cattle, churning their creamiest of goats' cheeses, butters, yoghurts and, inseparable from this region, cures his house speck. Marc can tell you a story of each of his partners - from his bread maker, Jörgls Backstube, to Matscher Bergziege (Mountain Goat) "Ziegen im Winkl" from Anita and Christoph.
Traditional dumplings rally around fine culinary talents, house-reared Waygu Beef sits with housemade pasta, and Asian fusions inject fire into his oriental plates. Seasonality steers Marc Bernhart's cooking, but it is also his obsessive quest and curious mindset that inspires new ways to cook with flavour and texture. His penchant for new ingredients and fresh cooking methods hallmark his food - this could be a chance encounter with an interesting producer, an old heritage recipe or an idea while munching on a fresh juicy apple - picked from his orchard, naturally.
Visually, Chef Bernhart excels too. His plated dishes are a delight, and he presents with artistic flair; delicate, layered, balanced and incredibly delicious.
'Whenever I discover something somewhere or try something that I really like, I like to include it in my creations. It is always of utmost importance to me to emphasise the original taste of the product and to do this you really require top-class products.'
His Aunt sowed the seeds of culinary passion and ignited his curiosity for taste while working as a teenager at her Inn during the summer months. This was the catalyst. He set about learning from the best in Kitzbühel, Lech and Zurich.
He was influenced most by Christopher Engel, Bobby Bräuer, Gerhard Wieser and Stefan Heilemann. 'I have them to thank for the chef I am today.'
'Good food holds body and soul together'.