151 S. Barfield, Marco
Chef/Owner, House of Mozart Restaurant, 151 Barfield Drive, Shops of Marco. Phone: 643-5220
Began working at present restaurant?
Since 1993, the year my wife, Manuela, and I moved to Marco Island and opened the House of Mozart.
Who or what inspired you to become a chef/cook?
All the women in my family. My mother and grandmother were good cooks and I was a very grateful eater.
What was your first restaurant job?
In 1975 when I began my apprenticeship in Austria. The executive chef was very high strung and threw plates at us when he was upset — it was a wild time back then —- they could do anything they wanted with you.
How long have you been cooking professionally?
Since 1976 to the present, including the years working in European restaurants in Austria, Germany and Holland. My first restaurant in America was when I opened Mozart’s in 1976.
How would you describe your cooking style?
International/classic European with a contemporary twist.
What is your most popular dish?
All the dishes from the Austrian Traditional’s section of Mozart’s menu and, of course, Mozart’s baked French onion soup. Incidentally, my Summer Early Bird Dinner Menu available until 5:30 p.m. includes several of my Austrian specialties as well as other favorites and two new salad entrees at lower prices too.
What is your favorite wine?
It’s hard to answer. With veal I like a fruity Chardonnay, but with steak or duck I prefer Burgundy or a nice Claret.
Do you cook at home? If so, what would we always find in your freezer?
Yes, I cook at home but there’s a big void in my freezer — maybe some ice cream.
What is your secret ingredient?
My love for cooking — because my heart is in all my dishes!
What would you like to be doing if you weren’t a chef?
A customer! It’s true that I’m fond of my cooking, but that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the cooking of other chefs.
What annoys you most in the kitchen?
What really annoys me is when it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I have to stay and cook in Mozart’s kitchen!
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
Everything — as long as I don’t have to cook on Super Bowl Sunday!