We caught up with the Michelin-starred Chef from Restaurant Hubertus at the Rosa Alpina hotel.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do…
My name is Norbert Niederkofler and I was born in Lutago in Alto Adige, a small village in the valley called Valle Aurina. Like everybody growing up in this area we had a great childhood with lots of fun playing and doing sport; skiing in winter, running around the forest in summer.
How long have you lived in South Tyrol and what is it about the destination that you love the most?
After finishing school and doing an apprenticeship here, I left for 14 years where I gained experience in the USA, Germany, Switzerland, UK and Austria. Back in Alto Adige 20 years ago I started to work at the hotel Rosa Alpina where I create menus with Mediterranean cuisine.
How does South Tyrol inspire your work and creativity?
My inspiration comes mostly from nature and from old traditions. I use old methods and technics, and I also try to recreate beautiful pictures from nature on the plates.
How would you describe the cuisine that you serve at restaurant Hubertus?
It started as a pizzeria and we went on to become the first restaurant in the North of Italy to achieve 2 Michelin stars. 5 years ago we started with an new concept of cuisine called Cook the Mountain, using only local products from farmers we know and trust. We want to respect nature and its timing by using seasonal products when they are fresh and ready.
How would you spend a summer’s day in South Tyrol?
Summer is great and, in my opinion, more beautiful than winter. Nature gives you much more with different tastes , colours and variety.
Have you got a favorite time of year?
Working with seaasonal produce, I don’t have a favourite time – I just always forward to get the next season when I get new products which taste great. It never gets boring.
Where would you go to taste the best wines?
If you work with local products its very important to use wine from the area too. This ensures we connect flavours that come from the same area of nature, giving the tastes synergy.
Where is your favourite local hangout? Why is it so special?
Restaurant wise there is a place called Zum Löwen, but I also like aperitif bars with great wines and bubbles from our region, such as Ferrari or Haderburg.
Where would we find the best food?
I think you can find great places all over Alto Adige. It‘s not alway necessary to got in the to restaurants, but you get great quality food on the moutains or in small “Wirtshaus“, which are the typical places for locals. They always use great quality products when it comes to food and wine.