The historic Steinbock Manor quite literally reaps what it sows. Mountain artichokes, yellow, red, purple raspberries, lettuce of all types, beef tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, mountain basil, parsley – the list goes on. The sheer variety on the family farm, the Fuchshof, is matched only by the range of aromas, shapes and colours in the kitchen!
Savour the scents
Elisabeth takes us through her garden world. She knows every plant by name and knows exactly how to cook it in her kitchen - naturally! Celery, leeks, onions, carrots; small, dark purple aubergines dangle from plants. “Unfortunately the weather played a dirty trick on us this year so the hail ruined a lot of vegetables.” A few of the leaves are yellow and it is clear to see that the plants have not had an easy time – although that certainly does not detract from their diversity or beauty. We sniff the fresh basil. “Do you know how to really smell herbs?” I shake my head. Is there a right and wrong way of sniffing herbs? “You have to tap the basil leaves. If you rub them between your fingers, it produces bitter substances – but if you tap with the palm of your hand then the aromas burst forth and you can truly smell the herb.”
We roam through the field, past colourful lettuce heads and even more colourful raspberries, and reach the artichokes. “One plant produces around 50 to 60 artichokes a season,” says Elisabeth. The large artichoke plant suddenly looks quite small considering its yield. “The fruits only need a few days to grow” she says and tells me that her mother has already gathered some today. I marvel at the tiny artichoke “roses” that will soon be ripe for picking. I can’t believe how much power nature pumps into such a plant. But who else ensures that the vegetables, berries and herbs all get what they need to thrive? “My mother - this is her domain, she does it all here herself, from planting to harvesting.” In the mornings she brings the vegetables into the kitchen of the historic Steinbock Manor. The menu is always planned according to the seasons and the resources from the garden. Sometimes there will be an “all-about-beetroot” theme, sometimes a warming artichoke soup. Everything reflects the colours of the vegetables that grow in in the Steinbock’s fields.
In every dish you can taste the passion of those who have helped in its creation. From the seed to the fruit, from the field to the kitchen, from the vegetable basket to the plate - each of these steps is guided by a sense of devotion. It is not just the head chef who cooks at the historic Steinbock Manor: Elisabeth, her mother and nature itself all cook together here. The result is a unique kitchen concept that tastes truly natural!