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Nature forms the foundation

Nature forms the foundation

Nature forms the foundation

Manfred Nussbaumer of the Krone Seminar Hotel in Langenegg values regional ingredients. So it should come as no surprise that cheese comes from the local Alpine dairy. Meanwhile, his brother Helmut, a butcher, supplies the meat products. With a sense of tradition, the chef also emphasises the history of the Bregenzerwald within his hotel.

“How many Falstaff points do we have right now?” Manfred Nussbaumer has to think long and hard. It turns out they have 85 out of a maximum of 100 points, plus two toques from Gault Millau, but who’s counting? Obviously, such lists are not Manfred’s highest priority. Though top quality is a matter of course for the 59-year-old, that doesn’t mean he’s willing to chase doggedly in the footsteps of others. And why should he? After all, he runs the “Krone” in Langenegg with confidence and composure.

His many years of experience stand him in good stead: After completing an apprenticeship as a chef, the native of Langenegg made stops in Lech, Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland. After the sudden death of his father, he returned and took over the historic “Krone” hotel in Langenegg at the age of 24. The property had been in his family since 1955. “Back then, it was just a small village inn,” recalls Manfred. But he renovated the house step by step with the courage and fortitude to try new things. Today, there are 44 rooms in addition to spacious facilities for weddings, seminars and small congresses. Best of all: “Company getaways can remain completely self contained with us. We can put them up either in the main building or at three separate, small, external units.”

When guests are keen to get some fresh air, they stroll through the vegetable garden. The potatoes are sourced from their own farm. As of this summer, Manfred has begun breeding riverine brown trout and char. When it comes to gathering the right herbs and mushrooms, the kitchen apprentices come along for the search. “Nature forms the foundation,” says Manfred. But what about meat products? For that he calls upon his brother Helmut, who is a butcher with premises right next door. “I can get a calf’s liver that’s still warm,” explains the chef. His menu consists of family classics such as Käsknöpfle cheese spaetzle, schnitzel, and a mix of somewhat more exclusive dishes such as lamb or goat kid. Game dishes are on the menu on a seasonal basis. Ingredients are provided by a hunter friend.

Manfred Nussbaumer is a collector of antiques and has a soft spot for the region’s history: 200 black-and-white photos hang throughout the house. These old images depict work in the fields, village festivals, excursions, and street scenes. The goal is to bring guests from around the world closer to the culture of the Bregenzerwald. Nearly all the hotel’s employees are from the Bregenzerwald. As used to be common in local inns, the “Krone” hotel still has a small store that sells, among other things, self-produced dandelion honey. Though retirement is not far off, Manfred still has plenty of novel ideas, not to mention the energy to implement them. “People say that I am a passionate builder. I guess there’s some truth to that… after all I do seem to have a construction site somewhere almost every year,” admits Manfred with a wry smile. For short or long-term projects, he can count on support from the next generation. His sons Maximilian and Philipp, who both trained in Michelin-starred restaurants, are waiting in the wings.

Author: Thorsten Bayer
Travel Magazine Issue: Winter 2022-23