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The Chefs of the Decade 2004 to 2013 are KARL and RUDOLF OBAUER

Karl and Rudolf Obauer define the values of tradition, continuity and reliability for high-class cuisine in their own way.

Date: 11.09.2012

Karl and Rudolf Obauer define the values of tradition, continuity and reliability for high-class cuisine in their own way. They do not believe that the art of preparing good food needs to be constantly reinvented, but that it should be an ever evolving process of creativity and work. The two chefs scored 19 out of a possible 20 points in the Austrian restaurant guide “Gault&Millau 2012”.

The “Chef of the Year” award, presented by Gault&Millau, is the most coveted of its kind in the domestic restaurant industry and has a long tradition. Gault&Millau has been presenting this award for 30 years, and it has been supported by the sugar, starch and fruit company AGRANA for 20 years. This year, the title “Chefs of the Decade” has been up for grabs by Austria’s top chefs for the very first time. The “Chef of the Year” award was awarded to Rudolf and Karl Obauer back in 1989.

While Karl took control of the tradition-steeped establishment in 1979, his brother Rudolf went to gather experience working with top international chefs. The result is that the two brothers believe that international creations do not clash with regionality. “Our cuisine demonstrates its excellence just as much with regional dishes and classics as it does with seafood and other exotic creations,” explains Rudolf Obauer. “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. The work to constantly develop and enhance our own style has evidently paid off,” says Karl Obauer.

“As an internationally active refiner of agricultural raw materials with deep roots in Austria, AGRANA is also characterised by a successful combination of tradition and innovation. “Just as Karl and Rudolf Obauer strike a perfect balance between tradition and exotic when preparing their dishes, combining cutting-edge technology and classic products such as sugar with cultural activities at AGRANA, far from being a contradiction, is rather of absolute necessity,” says AGRANA CEO Johann Marihart.

The publishers of Gault&Millau, Martina and Karl Hohenlohe, also express their support of the special award: “Karl and Rudolf Obauer are our longest-standing four-toque chefs, pursuing an extremely intelligent form of creativity with determination. Their ideas make sense, are understandable and yet continue to amaze. Their imaginativeness is impressive. This is what we are honouring this year by awarding them the title of “Chefs of the Decade."

Karl Obauer was born in Werfen, Austria, on August 23, 1953. After completing his training at the “Restaurant & Hotel Bayerischer Hof” run by the Porsche family in Salzburg, Austria, he went on to work at a number of different places in the following years including “Zürserhof” Hotel in Zürs am Arlberg, “Grand Hotel Bellevue” in Gstaad, Switzerland, “Hotel Stalheim” in Norway, on the Norwegian American Line ships Sage and Vistafjord and as an apprentice in France with Emile Jung, Antoine Westermann and Jean Paul Lacombe, to name but a few.

In 1979, Karl Obauer took over the “Lebzelter” Inn (as it was known then) in Werfen. During the first five years of working independently in Werfen, he also worked as a chef at the “Zürserhof” Hotel in Zürs am Arlberg for five winter seasons when the inn was closed for the winter. The Restaurant and Hotel Obauer, as the inn is now known, began opening all year round in 1984.

Rudolf Obauer was born in Werfen, Austria, on February 17, 1961. He completed his training to become a chef at the Salzburg Hotel “Goldener Hirsch” under the chef Adolf Meindl and in “Zürserhof” in Zürs am Arlberg. Thanks to his work in France, Denmark and Belgium, Rudolf Obauer acquired a sound knowledge of classic and creative cuisine at the highest level under the auspices of chefs such as Emile Jung, Alain Chapel, Alain Dutournier and the Troisgros brothers.

SUGAR. STARCH. FRUIT. – This three pillars represent the foundation on which AGRANA Beteiligungs AG has established itself as an internationally successful company. The core competency of AGRANA lies in refining agricultural raw materials, turning them into high-quality products for the processing industry. AGRANA is present on all five continents, employing around 8,000 people at over 50 locations. In the 2011/12 business year, the group recorded revenues of more than two billion euros.

AGRANA products are a fixed part of daily life. The scope of products ranges from sugar in food products, starch in textiles and paper, fruit preparations for yoghurts and fruit juice concentrate to bioethanol as an environmentally friendly mixture to petrol. The “Wiener Zucker” brand, with which AGRANA markets itself in Austria’s grocers, covers a wide range of sugar and specialized sugar products. The range of Wiener Zucker products has established itself as a fixed part of the sweet life in Austria.

This press release and a photo are also available online at, and

Image caption:
From the left: Johann Marihart (CEO AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG), Karl and Rudolf Obauer (Chefs of the Decade), Martina Hohenlohe (Editor-in-chief Gault&Millau), Karl Hohenlohe (Publisher Gault&Millau).

Photo credits: Gerhard Deutsch

Christine Goeller, AGRANA Beteiligungs AG, tel. +43-1-211 37-12084
Martina Hohenlohe, Editor-in-chief GAULT&MILLAU, tel. +43-1-712 43 84-10
Karl Hohenlohe, Publisher GAULT&MILLAU, tel. +43-1-712-43-84-20

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