Born in Ahrntal in northern Italy, as a child Norbert Niederkofler could never have imagined what the wide world beyond the high peaks of South Tyrolean Dolomites would have in store for him. From an early age, however, his curiosity made him want to see and understand everything. And in addition to his ambition to discover the world, there was something else he had in mind in those early years: he wanted to become a chef. He inherited his talent for culinary creations made from quality regional products from his father.
His passion for cooking took him from London to Zurich, Milan to Munich and as far as New York. Luminaries such as Jörg Müller, Eckart Witzigmann and Nadia Santini were among his mentors. After traveling around much of the world, he returned to his native South Tyrol where he initially worked in Castel Colz. When Norbert Niederkofler became executive chef at St. Hubertus in San Cassiano in Badia more than twenty years ago, it was famous for its international clientele who sought the very best of haute cuisine. The chef instantly thought it absurd to serve his guests international dishes that they could have easily found at home too. So it was all the more obvious for him to offer them authentic South Tyrolean cuisine using regional ingredients. A sustainable cuisine based on the principle of deep-seated respect for the rhythms and the balance between the environment and those who live in it.
The long time I spent away from my home country led me to rediscover my roots: my country, nature and all its treasures. When Thomas, my first child, was born, I started to look at the world through different eyes. Sustainability became my guiding principle and changed the way I cooked.
In each of his dishes, he attempts to express the region, the traditional agriculture and the unadulterated quality of the products, presenting them with care, consistency and lightness. His aim is to create a complex sensory experience based on nature, exemplifying the motto “Cook the mountain”. Since over the years his cooking style had developed more and more towards regionality and seasonality, it also provided the name for his new restaurant, the AlpiNN. The restaurant itself expresses his philosophy and, together with an events and conference hall, is located in the LUMEM, the new Museum of Mountain Photography on the peak of Plan de Corones. High up in the mountains, it enjoys breathtaking views while the sustainably designed interior tells of the province of South Tyrol, of traditions but also of innovation.
In January 2019, Norbert Niederkofler will demonstrate at Restaurant Ikarus the sophistication he brings to combining nature and sustainability with the delightful Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine of South Tyrol.
ServusTV: Culinary Heights at Ikarus on ServusTV
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.