High speed meets haute cuisine
They both come from the Tyrol, they are both young and ambitious and rank among the best in their respective trade. Mercedes-AMG driver Lucas Auer from Kufstein and master chef Simon Taxacher from Kirchberg in Tirol are living only a few kilometres away from each other, but they didn’t know each other yet. Nevertheless, they have many things in common, as it became clear when the two Tyroleans met for a conversation.
“Incredible. That sound is just marvellous.” Simon Taxacher was impressed. Like many successful chefs, he is a passionate of fast sports cars and motorcycles and he looked on in awe as Lucas Auer parked his company car, a Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé, in front of the hotel restaurant ‘Rosengarten’ in Kirchberg.
Over a coffee, Auer reflected on the past race weekend at the Red Bull Ring. There is no sign of frustration about his early retirement from race two following the collision with Bruno Spengler. “In the midfield, the risk is higher, so being further up the grid simply has to be the goal.” The race driver and the chef speak about attention to detail as the key to success. “Often, it is about small things that you probably don’t even notice straight away, but that are important nevertheless,” Taxacher says about the finesses of haute cuisine. Perfection is important for both: “When competition is so close as in the DTM, everything has to be spot-on,” Auer knows.
While millions of people are looking on in front of TV screens all over the world during DTM races, the chef and his team deliver their masterpieces in the secluded surroundings of the kitchen of the restaurant. Auer is being rewarded for his performances with race wins, points and silverware. For Taxacher, the reward not only comes with the praise from his guests, but also in the form of accolades in renowned restaurant guides. Thus, his culinary skills brought him four chef’s hats anf 19 of 20 points in the famous ‘Gault & Millau’ guide and back when Austria still had its own ‘Guide Michelin’, Taxacher was the youngest chef in Austria with two stars and the only one in the Tyrol. “An inspector of one of the restaurant guides can be sitting in the room any day, so you simply can’t afford to make any mistakes,” he explains. “But, of course, it is not just the inspectors that we are cooking for. Every guest is looking forward to a great culinary experience that, as we hope, leaves a lasting memory.”
Taxacher happily sits down behind the wheel of Auer’s Mercedes to have a closer look. “This basically is the road-going version of our DTM race car,” the racing driver explains. “Albeit in a somewhat distinguished grey rather than the eye-catching pink colour of our sponsor BWT.” In return, the chef is guiding Auer into the kitchen of the restaurant where normally only employees are allowed in. Of course, Auer picks up a chef’s knife as well. “I really appreciate good food, but I only rarely cook at home,” he admits.
For Simon Taxacher, the summer season is now over, but before the first winter guests arrive early December, he will be facing two months of hard work. “We will be adding an indoor swimming pool to the spa section of our boutique hotel,” he tells. “On top of that, there are always some details that can still be improved.” Meanwhile, Auer still has the DTM season finale at Hockenheim coming up. “During the winter, things are a little bit more quiet for me, so I will come in to have dinner. I really like the relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant,” he tells the chef. In return, Taxacher plans to visit a DTM race next year so that he will be able to watch Lucas Auer in action. High speed meets haute cuisine. To be continued.