Four questions for World Champion Chef Thomas Tutzer:
Our heart-felt congratulations for winning the World Championship for professional cooks! How did you celebrate this stunning success, and are you looking forward to a little rest now?
I immediately celebrated this victory with the entire South Tyrolean team in Abu Dhabi and later, after our return, at Maretsch Castle and finally once again in Bad Schörgau. In recent months, the members of the team for South Tyrol / Italy grew to be like a family. There was no time for a rest. After two days of celebrations, I resumed my full-time schedule at the Alpes Gourmet Restaurant in Bad Schörgau – after all, we still have a lot of guests in October and we thus have a great deal of work to do.
You are only 21 years old, and thus still quite young. When did you discover your passion for the cooking profession, and what were the major mileposts for you during your apprenticeship?
I discovered my passion for the cooking profession at the age of about 11 or 12, when my grandmother came home to us every Tuesday night. That's when I was allowed to help her cook for my parents. We prepared traditional dishes like roasts, risotto, and noodle dishes which my grandmother had learned from her mother – but I was also allowed to try out new dishes. As an apprentice, I view my time at the Kaiserhof Provincial Hotel Management School in Merano and my first kitchen practicum with Gottfried Messner at the Restaurant Braunwirt in Sarnthein as major milestones. Then, at the age of 15, I got the opportunity to work in the kitchen with Master Chef Egon Heiss in Bad Schörgau. At first, this was only as a kitchen helper while still attending school. But then I've stayed there until the present day, and have learned invaluable things from Egon Heiss. He also provided me with significant support during my development, and always "had my back." I really do owe him everything that I am today! But my one-month practicum in Switzerland with Andreas Caminada, one of the world's 50 best chefs, or my time with Hans Haas at the "cult" restaurant Tantris in Munich have also influenced my development.