For 30 years, Fritz Hüttner has worked in the restaurant industry at Gletschermühle in Kaprun. He knows the business in this unique workplace like no other.
Mr. Hüttner, first, congratulations on the anniversary. What is so special about the Gletschermühle?
Here at 2,450 meters above sea level, we offer a wide range of gastronomic specialties from haute cuisine to self-service, mainly with natural regional delicacies – accompanied by panoramic views of the three-thousand meter peaks around us in Salzburg and Zell am See.
You have the distinction of being a “Genussrestaurant” (A restaurant to enjoy). What is this supposed to mean?
The Gletschermühle is actually the highest-situated member of the Genussrestaurant club. In fall and spring, we put out an invitation to come to the summit restaurant for a real gastronomic treat, where famous chefs create a 5-8 course meal with wine pairings for around 100 guests. Right now the “Jeunes Restaurateurs” group is serving the delicacies of five young chefs and in the spring, for a real treat, Paul Ivic, Austria’s only vegetarian celebrity chef, will showcase his skills.
You are up here for the entire season?
We are open 365 days a year, with 7,000 to 10,000 guests daily. Although the focus is on winter sports, summer vacationers also come who want to hike or simply enjoy the mountain scenery. We do not actually have summer skiing – only for Arabic guests who are just fascinated by snow in summer.
The architecture of the building is naturally modeled after a glacier mill (Gletschermühle) with tubular chutes hollowed out in the ice created by the melting water. And the entire area is setup to be correspondingly circular?
Exactly, that’s really the hallmark of our “Glacier Mill/Gletschermühle”, which has nothing to do with a traditional mill, as some people think.
But the two Meissl large umbrellas with wind protection walls fit perfectly here?
The first Meissl après ski umbrella was already erected up here in 1992 so we have solid experience. It was only natural to plan expansion of this. However, a challenge was the direct access to the building because an enclosed protection area was supposed to be created. But the Meissl specialists and the local fitter shop, Jäger, succeeded perfectly – and this was done during ongoing operations!
How did you come to Kaprun back then?
I had already helped out here a few times, but I first went to Arlberg in 1984 before I came to the glacier lifts here. I got to know everything from scratch, which helped a great deal.
I have belonged to the management team for ten years now, and I know every detail. And this is great because I have many young colleagues and it’s quite practical if an “old hand” is nearby.
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