The renowned Michelin-star chef grew up in Luttach in the Ahrntal valley, a small village nestled in the middle of nature and the alps.
At a young age, he decided to explore the world which led him to leave his hometown and travel to various countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. After his apprenticeship as a chef, he studied under Jörg Müller, Eckart Witzigmann and Nadia Santini. Beginning of the 90s, after a period of travelling and discovering the world, he finally returned to South Tyrol. In 1994 he took over the restaurant area at the Hotel Rosa Alpina in Kassian. Two years later, the Rosa Alpina opened today's award-winning 3-star restaurant St. Hubertus with Norbert Niederkofler as Executive Chef. There, he serves not only the finest haute cuisine, but also offers his guests an unmistakable Alpine culinary experience that you won't find anywhere else.
Cook the Mountain - a philosophy of life
At the heart of his creations are not classic gourmet dishes, but rather his attitude to life and passion for nature, the mountains and their inhabitants. With the concept of "Cook the Mountain", his cuisine follows the rhythm of nature. His way of cooking is in harmony with the environment, the surrounding and, above all, stands for a respectful use of resources. This also explains his preference for using seasonal and local ingredients. Often his dishes present forgotten fruits and vegetables in a unique way. Used ingredients talk about mountains, the hard work of farmers and growers as well as old traditions and customs. In this way he creates high-quality products, mountain cuisine that is pure and unadulterated in taste.
Together with Paolo Ferretti, Niederkofler founded Mo-Food, an innovative consultancy with a holistic view of alpine food, mountain culture and everything that promotes regional sustainability, deceleration, organic and 0-km products. Mo-Food supports various activities and partnerships all around the topic of food: among them the food space and restaurant AlpiNN in the Museum of Mountain Photography, the LUMEN, at the summit of Kronplatz or the project CARE's - The ethical Chef Days, which gathers chefs and professionals from the food industry to work together on an ethical and more sustainable cuisine. Gastronomy can thus actively contribute to the protection of the planet. The chef becomes a role model for the preservation of nature and biodiversity.
A visionary space with an impressive backdrop - with AlpiNN, the mountain chef has found a home for his concept "Cook the Mountain" where he combines tradition with innovation. He created a place that stands for regionality, home and sustainability - and that not only in the kitchen. The entire interior has been designed by the internationally renowned designer Martino Gamper and realized by local manufacturers. The restaurant is seen as a cosy living room in the mountains, a place to encounter and relax. Eating there is much more than just taking in food: it's about connecting.
Those who dine at AlpiNN not only encounter the finest gourmet dishes, but also thoughts, passion and the philosophy of the artist, who considers the entire value chain into account when cooking. From the suppliers to the raw materials, the dish to the guest, everything is included in the creation of a new dish. Ingredients change depending on the time of year, food leftovers are processed or preserved in creative ways and waste is reduced to a minimum. This is the only way Niederkofler creates distinctive, sustainable mountain cuisine, whereas little as possible is thrown away.
After the St. Hubertus had to close due to the renovation of the Hotel Rosa Alpina, there is now a new place of work for Norbert Niederkofler since mid-July 2023: the Atelier Moessmer in Bruneck, surrounded by a 7-hectare park. The historic villa on the site of the Moessmer cloth factory was carefully restored and extended by a glass pavilion. When furnishing the villa, the floors made of old spruce wood and the curtains made of loden are a reminiscence of the history of the textile factory and form an exciting contrast to the modern designer tables and chairs.
The annex built of glass includes the kitchen: Around the open kitchen on the upper floor, there is a counter with seating for 12 guests. Below that are further kitchen and service rooms. In the historic main building, in addition to the apéritif room at the entrance, there is a library with historic books by Moessmer and from Niederkofler's private collection, as well as a large table for dinners in a private atmosphere. In addition, the upper floor of the villa accommodates the dining salon and a special table on the veranda. The wine cellar is located in the basement.
In total, the restaurant offers space for 35-40 guests. The head chef is Mauro Siega, while Lukas Gerges is the restaurant manager and head sommelier. Norbert Niederkofler watches over the perfect implementation of the "Cook the mountain" concept as its patron. There are no à la carte dishes in the Atelier Moessmer, but a very special menu. The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Friday in the evening, on Saturday for lunch and dinner and on Sunday for lunch. A guesthouse is already planned for the future, located not far from the restaurant.