Bowls with various delicacies on a wooden table at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut in Upper Austria (c) Photo Stefan Sigl

Sharing epicurean delights at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut

Stiegl-Gut Wildshut, Upper Austria, Austria

Philosophy of sublime simplicity

Stefan Sigl is a purist at heart, favoring simplicity. Hardly a surprise, given his background honing his craft in Scandinavia at the three-Michelin-starred Maaemo in Oslo and at the Steirereck in Vienna. Now the head chef at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut, he indulges his passion, embracing the philosophy of sublime simplicity. “The fields of our estate grow the rare ancient grains that produce our robust beers. Mangalitza pigs and Pinzgauer cattle graze under the fruit trees. And our garden is a treasure trove of flavorful, uncommon produce,” Stefan Sigl enthuses.

At their “Kramerladen” organic eatery, only the absolute finest the estate and season have to offer is brought to table. The menu features dishes such as gratinated artichokes, fermented eggplants, parsnip spread, and kohlrabi in whey, as well as lardo of Mangalitza pork and sausages made from Pinzgauer beef, “kicked up a notch” with a homemade hop gin.

Stefan Sigl, head chef at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut with white chef's jacket and blue apron as well as three baguettes in his arms (c) Photo Jörg Lehmann
Wooden table in the Kramerladen restaurant at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut on which a fine dish is presented on a small plate, next to it are a spoon and fork, a white cloth napkin in a black napkin ring and two natural stones, one presenting a pastry covered with icing sugar, the other the green table decoration (c) Photo Stefan Sigl

Snacking as shared experience

For those who struggle to choose just one dish, there is always the option to share. In that case, dishes can be ordered in smaller portions, allowing everyone to taste and nibble from the various bowls and plates, making dining a truly shared experience.

All paired, of course, with Wildshut beers and freshly baked bread, both made from locally grown organic ancient grains. “I’ve noticed that the microclimate here in Wildshut is particularly well-suited for baking good bread. Our sourdough starters practically explode,” chuckles Sigl. And because bread and beer are such a natural match, they are served before every meal along with homemade butter, fermented vegetables from their own garden, and a small selection of bacon and lardo. “What makes our circumstances so truly beautiful and rare, is that the chef has direct control over the quality of the staple ingredients, many of them grown right here on the estate, and the rest sourced from small local producers and farmers. If we want our Mangalitza pigs to mature longer so as to develop fat and further enrich the meat with omega-3 fatty acids, we just talk to our farmer,” comments Stefan Sigl, adding, “This is an incredible form of freedom that really inspires me.”


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