The Culinary Jakobsweg in Paznaun

Tirol, Austria's 10,000 square mile province, is well-known for its breathtaking mountain scenery. Once the snows have melted, the mountains become a paradise for hikers, bikers and culinary enthusiasts.

If you're still looking for the perfect summer getaway, then head up to the Paznaun Valley, situated in the very west of North Tirol. The 6th of July saw the ceremonial opening of the "Kulinarischer Jakobsweg" (Culinary Jakobsweg), an exclusive and charming culinary route, named after the ancient pilgrims' path which crosses the Silvretta Mountains in this part of Austria.

Under the patronage of Gault Millau's "Chef of the Century" Eckart Witzigmann, four international star chefs took over sponsorship of four Alpine club lodges in the Paznaun Valley and created an exclusive dish from regional produce for the respective summer menus. The gourmet-lodges can be reached on different culinary routes – starting from IschglGaltür, Kappl and See – which will get you in the mood for culinary flights of fancy.

The chefs and their dishes

Russell Brown (UK)
Restaurant: Sienna, Dorset
Dish: Beer braised beef cheek with potato puree and textures of onions
Served > Galtur - Jamtalhütte 
Alfio Ghezzi (Italy)
Restaurant: Locanda Margon, Trento
Dish: Tagliatelle with veal ragout, Parmesan Cheese sauce, Ferrari Maximum Brut and coffee powder
Served > Ischgl - Heidelberger Hütte 
Giovani Oosters (Belgium)
Restaurant: Vous Lé Vous, Hasselt
Dish: Spelt risotto with Paznaun Alpine cheese, air-dried bacon, fresh local spices, beetroot Carpaccio cooked in cherry beer from Wilderen, mustard powder from Kempen and honey from Niederhof
Served > Kappl - Niederelbe Hütte 
Dieter Müller (Germany)
Restaurant: Dieter Müller on the MS Europa
Dish: Roast fillet of char, herb salad, mashed potato, horseradisch, mustard sauce, beetroot confit
Served > See - Ascherhütte

Up to 21 September 2014, you can either hike or bike the four delightful routes, discover the Paznaun nature and taste the dishes. But don't forget your sunscreen! In the Austrian Alps temperatures can raise up to 32 degrees and the sun shines very intensely, so it is easy to get sunburned.

Recently, we experienced the Culinary Jakobsweg with a select group of journalists from all over the world. Below you can check out some of the highlights from the press trip...

Local hero Martin Sieberer, who is 
responsible for coordinating the chefs and their dishes, presents a 6-course gala diner at the 5* Hotel Trofana Royal in Ischgl

Chilling in Hotel Fliana's warm-water swimming pool

I came across this beautiful scenery while hiking in the Gampenalpe in Ischgl

Some curious cows along the way :)

After a long walk up the hills to the Wilderer Hütte (at 2,264 meters altitude!) I finally had the chance to meet my hero Eckart Witzigmann. What a great man!

The chefs & their dishes. From left to right: Martin Sieberer, Giovani Oosters, Eckart Witzigmann, Dieter Müller, Alfio Ghezzi and Russell Brown. / Photo: Martin Boon

My favourite dish, the 'Roast fillet of char' by Dieter Müller /  Photo: Martin Boon

For more information about the Culinary Jakobsweg, visit the website: www.paznaun-ischgl.com


Kharma Enigma Veyron System

When you're filthy rich or trying to become so, there comes a time you find yourself wanting the very best of whatever it is you want. If it is an exquisite ultra high-end audio-system you are after, you might want to take a look at Kharma. Kharma International is a luxury audio brand based in the Netherlands. The Kharma brand was developed with in mind the ultimate goal of perfect true sound, but with aesthetics that match the luxury design environment of the clientele.

Their recently announced 'Enigma Veyron' system will be the most advanced audio system in the world. To create extreme resolution and dispersion for the upper mid en lower high frequencies the main loudspeakers will be equipped with eight absolutely unique diamond drivers, constituting in the largest diamond surface cone ever build into a loudspeaker system.

For the low midrange Kharma uses four 10-inch bass-midbass drivers and they've added four 7-inch midrange drivers for speed and dispersion. This new Kharma Enigma Veyron system has internal cabling with mono-atomic ultra pure silver and all crossover elements are in pure silver-gold-carbon. Complete freedom of resonance is achieved by using a newly-developed lossless connector system on a mono-atomic bases and a stand using ceramic balls.

Kharma's Enigma Veyron system will be launched in 2015. No price has been released yet.

By Jelmer Stavenga 


Glenmorangie Pride 1978

UK-based Glenmorangie Distillery has launched Pride 1978, its rarest and most exclusive whisky to date.

The company's 34 year-old release started as an 19 year-old whisky before being extra-matured for 15 years - the longest ever period a Glenmorangie whisky has undergone extra-maturation.

Artist Idris Khan has created a limited edition piece of artwork, entitled 'Disappearing Casks', to accompany each purchase of Glenmorangie Pride 1978.

Only 700 bottles will be made available worldwide, as only five casks were laid down. Bottled at 47.4% ABV, Glenmorangie Pride 1978 is priced at GBP3,400 (US$5,800).

Tasting Notes
Aroma: Sweet woody and nutty notes, like sweet chestnut or cedar, mingle with hints of toffee, fudge, almond marzipan and cherries.

Taste: The flavour of baked fruits (apples, plums cherries and apricots) lead into a solid oaky 'backbone', with flavours of clove, cinnamon, lots of aniseed, cardamom, cumin, toasted oak and eucalyptus.

Finish: Once these powerful, primary flavours die down, soft creamy fudge/vanilla, is encountered along with tangy, caramelised citrus fruits, a hint of cassis, and some milk chocolate and café au lait on the aftertaste.


Hugo by Hugo Boss FW 2014 Campaign



Andrew Westermann, Paul Boche, Tim Schuhmacher, Amanda Murphy & Maja Salamon


Superyacht Highlander for charter

The Highlander, the 50-metre Jon Bannenberg-designed superyacht owned by American financier Roberto de Guardiola, is available for charter for the first time.

The yacht was built in 1986 for Malcolm Forbes, the Publisher of Forbes magazine, who died in 1990. The yacht hosted HRH Prince Charles, President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as well as movie stars including Robert de Niro, Elizabeth Taylor and Harrison Ford, and musicians Mick Jagger and Sir Paul McCartney. Malcolm Forbes once said: "On a yacht like this you can establish the kind of rapport you don't achieve talking across a desk."

"This is glamour personified - the yacht has been an iconic location for some of the world's greatest political powerbrokers and socialites. Her distinctive history is reason enough for chartering but I think many people will also be attracted by her extensive facilities, so that they can entertain just as Forbes did in the late 1980," says Edmiston founder and chairman Nicholas Edmiston.

"The entire Forbes family is thrilled to see the iconic yacht, created by Jon Bannenberg for our late father, not only being cherished by its new owners, but also stunningly adapted to the needs of 21st century family life," says the Forbes family.

Highlander is 50metres/162feet long and has a cruising speed of 13 knots. She has six staterooms, which can comfortably sleep up to 12 guests, and holds a crew of 11 people.

Highlander is now available for charter through superyacht broker Edmiston, with prices starting from €160,000 per week. She will be based initially in the Mediterranean before moving to the Caribbean later in the year.


The Brando has opened its doors

The Brando, an exquisite luxury resort on French Polynesia's private atoll of Tetiaroa, officially opened its doors today.

Designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture, the all-inclusive resort features 35 deluxe villas, each with its own private beach area and plunge pool and offers carefree luxury in the midst of pristine nature.

The award-winning cuisine of Guy Martin of the Michelin two star restaurant Le Grand Véfour in Paris is featured in all dining venues and in-room dining. The resort's two restaurants showcase Polynesian-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine. Les Mutinés is The Brando's fine dining restaurant with a world-class wine cellar. The Beachfront Café offers indoor and beach dining. The resort's Te Manu Bar features lagoon views and private tree-top seating areas reached on walkways through a palm canopy.

The Brando's Varua Polynesian Spa specializes in the finest holistic treatments which are inspired by ancient Polynesian traditions coupled with modern techniques. The spa includes private massage and treatment villas, steam baths, a tea and relaxation lounge overlooking the pond, a yoga shelter and a special spa suite for couples high up in the palm trees.

The Brando was inspired by Marlon Brando's original vision to create a venture of sustainable development that resonates with visitors and fosters opportunities to get to know both the place and people of French Polynesia. He was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa's natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education and a model of sustainability.

In 1999 Brando asked Richard Bailey of Pacific Beachcomber S.C., a long-time resident of Tahiti who shared his passion for the environment and who had created some of the region's finest resorts, to help him conceive a plan that would help him achieve his dream. Together, Brando and Bailey pursued a vision of creating the world's first and foremost post-carbon resort—an island where innovative new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for resort guests, residents and scientific research. The Brando is the legacy of that shared vision and the resort is committed to protecting the precious biodiversity of Tetiaroa.

"The mission of The Brando is to provide one of the most luxurious, authentic, and enriching travel experiences available anywhere, in an environmentally sensitive, sustainable and culturally rich manner," said Richard Bailey, President and CEO of Pacific Beachcomber. "We are committed to preserving and protecting the natural splendor and precious biodiversity of Tetiaroa; respecting and supporting Polynesian culture, hospitality and traditions; and striving to be a model for the rest of the world."


Aston Martin DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo unveiled

Aston Martin has unveiled an exceptional new addition to the PlayStation 3 racing game Gran Turismo 6 (GT6) in the shape of the stunning Design Prototype 100 -- DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo.

Developed in-house by the Design team at Aston Martin, led by Design Director Marek Reichman, DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo is a new, virtual-only GT racer that will be available for Gran Turismo 6 (GT6) owners to download in July 2014, following the global launch at Goodwood Festival of Speed.