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Wilde Kräuterküche

Success with green cooking: the big cooking battle

On March 21, 2023, just in time for the beginning of spring, an exciting cooking competition with a first-class jury took place at 5-star Hotel MalisGarten under the motto "Green Cooking".

The most creative herbal dish 

Appearance, overall taste, creativity, and technical skill: these are the 4 evaluation criteria that the jury had to keep in mind as they savored these dishes made for the competition. With great enjoyment and expertise while tasing the dishes, the 3 jury members Bernhard Wildauer, director of the Zillertaler Tourismusschulen, Peter Frankhauser, top chef with 3 Gault Millau toques, and Ronald Felder, managing director des Zillertal Tourismus, asked themselves questions such as: How surprising is the dish? How attractive is the presentation? Do the flavors skillfully complement each other? On March 21, 2023, a cooking battle took place for the 1st time in the Wilde Kräuterküche. And thanks to its great success, it will now take place yearly. At the end of this article, you can find the recipe for winning dish so that you can cook it at home! 


Four participants, two coaches

This is how the competition was structured: four participants were invited - Lea Kristin Rösch, Tina Rosenkranz, Catrin Ferrari-Brunnenfeld, and Alexandra Keller. More or less, they all have a professional connection to cooking: Tina runs Die Kräutermacherei, Catrin inspires people with her popular recipes as CookingCatrin, equestrian Lea has a keen sense of good taste, and Alexandra Keller, who has things perfectly under control as our front desk manager, loves to switch the front desk for the kitchen sometimes. The 4 competition chefs were accompanied by 2 coaches, who were not allowed to intervene themselves, but - quite unlike what we are used to from many shows and films about hot-tempered top chefs - very patiently, calmly, and appreciatively gave tips. The coaches have also been successful in the area of fine dining for a long time: David Geisser comes from Switzerland and has even cooked for the Pope while serving in the Swiss Guard. He has published several cookbooks and has his own cooking studio. Christian Haller is the head chef for the entire ZillerSeasons group and was born in the Zillertal. He loves cooking with regional, seasonal ingredients of organic quality with an honest flair and is also a certified nutrition coach. Catrin (team David) and Alexandra (team Christian) each prepared an appetizer while Tina (team David) and Lea (Team Christian) prepared a main dish. They had only 35 to 45 minutes to impress the jury with a taseful creation - and what they had at their disposal was only announced shortly beforehand. 

Fine ingredients from the garden

As soon as they arrived, the participants focused on the motto of sustainability: they were able to get acquainted with the green philosophy of the hotel and participate in an herbal cocktail course with chef de bar Alexander Morgenstern. Before they started cooking, there was a special item on the agenda, because Alexandra, Tina, Catrin, and Lea together with our spa manager Ramona made their own hydrolate, which later gave their dishes a special flavor. In addition to millet, wild garlic, asparagus, rowan berries, and saddle of venison, the list of ingredients also included rosemary hydrolate and lemon-thyme hydrolate. Since you probably don't have this super green ingredient at home, you can simply use rosemary when cooking the winning dish - or make you own hydrolate when visiting MalisGarten. 

Lea Kristin Rösch won the cooking battle, and her winning dish can now be found on the Wilde Kräuterküche menu.


Green cooking: winning recipeSaddle of venison with rowan berries, chard, and Jerusalem artichoke

For 4 people:

Sear 600 g saddle of venison seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Turn and place in the oven at approximately 120° for around 12 min. Then let it rest for 10 min. 

For the sauce:

Flavor the venison sauce with rowanberry purée.

For the foam:

Bring 100 g rosemary hydrolate, 40 g rowanberry syrup, 100 g vegetable stock to a boil. Season with salt and a little lemon juice; mix in 20 g soy lecithin.  

For the Jerusalem artichoke:

Wash 500 g Jerusalem artichoke. Cook in seasoned water (salt, juniper berries, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, whole coriander) until soft, ca. 25 min. Cut according to size and sauté in a pan. 
Wash 300 g chard and cut the green leaves into strips. Sauté in a sauté pan with a few shallots and deglaze with white port. Add the cream and let it thicken. Season with herb salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 
Lightly sauté the chard stems in a pan, season with salt, vegetable stock, and a pinch of sugar, and cook until soft. 
Slice the saddle of venison and arrange with the side dishes and a few rowan berries. Pour on the rowanberry jus and add the rosemary foam. 

Bon appétit!