This Is What Summer Tastes Like In Paznaun-Ischgl

The taste of summer in the mountain villages of Paznaun-Ischgl in Tirol, Austria, is a gourmet delight cooked up by five guest chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants, including British chef Stephen Crane from Ockenden Manor in West Sussex.

The innovative summer programme of the area's Culinary Jakobsweg combines fabulous food with exploring the mountains in summer - particularly hiking and mountain biking.

Each guest chef creates a new dish using local produce, which is then adopted by the kitchen of one of the five mountain lodges dotted along the ancient pilgrims' path of Jakobsweg as it crosses this part of the Alps and then features on the menu enjoyed by hungry holidaymakers all summer long.

Stephen and his wife Jane will be swapping the gentle rolling landscape of the South Downs for the rugged alpine paths above Ischgl and the neighbouring villages of Galtür, Kappl and See for the launch weekend of 9-10 July. They will hike up to Jamtalhütte above the village of Galtür, where Stephen's recipe of braised pigs cheeks, alpine cheese mash and apple, celeriac and wild herb salad will be this summer's special dish.

Said Stephen: I'm really looking forward to going to Austria. I've not been before - I barely get out of the kitchen! And I'm so looking forward to meeting the other chefs.

Stephen is the 3rd UK chef to take part in the eight-year-old popular Culinary Jakobsweg programme and was introduced to the project by Beaulieu chef Matthew Tomkinson who took part last year, who had in turn been introduced by the 2014 UK chef, Russell Brown. Matt told me how much he'd enjoyed it and that it's a very special experience, said Stephen.

The four other guest chefs are Bobby Bräuer - Chef Of The Year 2016 - from Germany who has devised a veal dish for the Niederelbehütte; Viki Geunes from Belgium with a beef dish for the Heidelbergerhütte; Austrian Josef Steffner with his pork dish for the Friedrichshafenerhütte; and German-born Tanja Grandits from Switzerland with a beetroot risotto and goats cheese creation for Ascherhütte.

Patron of the project is Chef Of The Century Eckhart Witzigmann and the whole programme is co-ordinated by multiple award-winning local chef Martin Sieberer who runs the Paznaunerstübe in Ischgl's 5*S Hotel Trofana Royal.

Holidaymakers can visit each of the five lodges when staying in any of the Paznaun villages of Ischgl, Galtür, Kappl and See by using the all-inclusive Silvretta card which gives free and unlimited use of cablecars, chairlifts, buses and other facilities. Three nights' accommodation with breakfast is from Euro 75 per person - go to www.paznaun-ischgl.com to check out availability and also more about Paznaun-Ischgl.

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