DORCHESTER’S Michelin-starred Russell Brown is to be the first UK chef to feature in an annual international summer culinary fest in Austria.
The mountain villages of Ischgl, Galtür, Kappl and See in the Paznaun valley of Tirol become a paradise of hiking, biking and climbing once the snows have melted leaving green rugged slopes to explore – and delicious dishes created with local produce are devised by international Michelin-starred chefs for the hungry holidaymakers.
The Culinary Jakobsweg project is in its 6th summer and this year's event, to be launched at the beginning of July, will feature for the first time a dish by a UK chef.
Russell Brown, who owns the exclusive Sienna restaurant, is thrilled to be part of the project as he loves devising dishes with an emphasis on regional produce and simplicity.
He said: “I am delighted to have been asked to take part in the Culinary Jakobsweg in the Austrian Tirol.
“My menus are based on simple dishes using the best regional produce and my wife and I both enjoy walking on the West country coastal paths and beaches so an event involving regional food and hiking seems a perfect fit.
“ At the heart of my dish for the Jamtalhütte is a beer braised beef cheek and there is an abundance of the high quality ingredients required in the region.”
In 2010 Russell became the first Dorset chef to achieve a Michelin star and currently is the only chef with such an achievement in the county.
Culinary Jakobsweg is named after the ancient pilgrims’ path which crosses the Silvretta Mountains in this part of Austria and has become a popular draw for holidaymakers who appreciate great food. The project is led by top Austrian chef Martin Sieberer, who has a restaurant in Ischgl, and is supported by Austrian Chef of the Century Eckard Witzigmann.
In addition to Russell, the three other international guest chefs for summer 2014 are Alfio Ghezzi from Italy; Dieter Müller from Germany; and Giovani Oosters of Belgium.
Each of the four guest chefs creates a recipe for one of the four main mountain lodges along Jakobsweg and teaches the kitchen staff how to prepare it all summer long for holidaymakers.
Russell represents the UK and assumes sponsorship for the Jamtalhütte mountain lodge above Galtür with his recipe for cheek of beef braised in beer and onions with whipped potatoes and onions four ways – pickled shallot rings, fried onions, spring onion and sweet onion purée.
Paznaun-Ischgl Tourist Director Andreas Steibl said: “We are so pleased to have a UK chef participating in our popular Culinary Jakobsweg this summer. He will add a new dimension to our summer culinary event. We are looking forward to welcoming him and many British holidaymakers to this very special area of the mountains this summer.”
The dishes will be on the summer menu of each mountain lodge until 21 September. On opening day at the beginning of July, the four guest chefs will hike with holidaymakers up to the Heidelbergerhütte above Ischgl, where they will prepare and serve their dishes to visitors.