Stefanie Herkner in her restaurant "Zur Herknerin"

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Ten Questions for Stefanie Herkner

Interview: Andrea Ortmayer

1. Your motto is: “Cuisine with a big heart". But what does that mean for you?

Everything I do, I do with love. The dishes I cook are the dishes of my childhood. I try to conjure up an unadulterated taste of yesteryear on my guests’ plates.

2. What is Viennese cuisine for you?
For me it is down-to-earth and satisfying cuisine, the way it used to be cooked, with the best regional and seasonal ingredients without the frills – or foams.

3. What is your favorite dish in Viennese cuisine, and who does it best?

Paprika chicken with gnocchi, or classic meatloaf with mashed potatoes – and I do!

4. What is your favorite sweet dish from the canon of Viennese cuisine?

Apricot dumplings and plum dumplings.

5. What is the smell of Vienna for you?

Cabbage, pickled foods, clarified butter, fried onion.

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6. Who or what inspires you when you cook?

Gertrude Henzl – she’s an expert on wild herbs and wild vegetables. I can learn everything there is to know about meadow, forest and garden delicacies at Henzls Ernte (Kettenbrückengasse 3/2, 1050 Vienna).

7. Where can you meet Stefanie Herkner in private?

I love Café Korb, Restaurant Eckel, Trześniewski and ice cream at Tichy's because it's just iconic.

8. What is your favorite spot in Vienna?

The Neuwaldegger Bad pool in summer and certain Heuriger wine taverns. For me, these are places that exude a certain nostalgia, where I can savor life and unwind.

9. What can only be found in Vienna?

Grantler – Viennese moaning minnies who just complain about everything. Whingeing and complaining is part of the Viennese soul.

10. What sides of the city do you show visitors?

Traditional businesses like Altmann & Kühne, traditional coffeehouses, the Natural History Museum and the Heuriger wine taverns.

Zur Herknerin

Wiedner Hauptstraße 36
1040 Vienna
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