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