Reaction Weekend

Norbert Niederkofler – Mountain Chef who made an art out of thinking differently

BY Bruce Palling   /  19 October 2019

Around the turn of the Century, Alain Passard of L’Arpège, had a major change of heart about what he liked to cook – he decided to remove all red meat from his menu. The catalyst was the spread of Mad Cow Disease in Britain plus a general uneasiness about celebrating portions of dead animals on his plates. This was not without risk, as he was considered one of the great French chefs and it was by no means certain that he would maintain his rank and status if he suddenly devoted himself to making vegetables his predominant ingredients. Fortunately, he managed to pull it off to such an extent that the celebration of vegetables as main ingredients became a worldwide trend in haute cuisine.

Shortly after this, Norbert Niederkofler, a young chef from the Dolomites in Northern Italy, made a similarly abrupt decision to fundamentally change his cuisine, starting with removing his signature dish of foie gras four ways.


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