© Foto: Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH/Robert Maybach: Restaurant Rossbarth in Linz
© Foto: Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH/Robert Maybach: Restaurant Rossbarth in Linz
Restaurant Rossbarth in Linz

10 young chefs every gourmet must know

Brimming with fresh talent and accomplished feats, Upper Austria’s young chefs are crafting culinary masterpieces by building on the values instilled by their parents. They blend creativity with boldness and a touch of audacity, yet they remain deeply rooted in tradition, which they skillfully weave into their dishes. With numerous accolades from Gault&Millau, Falstaff and À la carte, these prodigious talents have gained recognition far beyond their local stomping grounds. Here are 10 young top chefs you simply must know.

Marie Christine Rahofer and Sophia Schartner

Gasthof Rahofer, Kronstorf

Just a short, 7-minute drive from the A1 motorway exit, Gasthof Rahofer is nestled in a quintessential Austrian courtyard setting. Marie Christine Rahofer passionately continues her family’s legacy of hospitality, while Sophia Schartner, the resident sommelier, curates exceptional wine pairings that complement the innovative cuisine. In springtime, the inviting beer garden becomes the perfect spot to savour these culinary delights. And for those not ready to hit the road post-meal, the inn’s charming guest rooms offer a welcoming stay.

Gasthof Rahofer


Lukas Nagl

Bootshaus, Traunkirchen

At Bootshaus in Traunkirchen, Lukas Nagl crafts dishes that celebrate the riches of Traunsee lake, aiming for the zenith of culinary refinement. A vanguard of regional gastronomy and a notable figure in Austria’s gourmet landscape, Nagl’s approach marries local traditions with global perspectives. His brand, LUVI Fermente, showcases this fusion by applying Japanese fermenting techniques to Austrian ingredients, creating unique products like white soy sauce, koji rice and bread miso in Altmünster. Not to be overlooked, the “Das Traunsee” hotel’s suites offer direct lake access, enhancing the gastronomic experience with stunning views.

Restaurant Bootshaus

Lukas Kienbauer

Lukas Restaurant, Schärding

In the picturesque town of Schärding, Lukas Kienbauer is the name behind three thriving eateries. His flagship restaurant, simply named Lukas, offers a dynamic, menu-free dining experience where regional dishes are infused with a Nordic flair. Lukas prioritises ingredients from his own garden and embraces a nose-to-tail philosophy. The restaurant features an open show kitchen, allowing diners to observe Lukas as he masterfully prepares their meals. For aficionados of Japanese cuisine, Lukas Izakaya is essential, while Lukas Steak caters to those with a penchant for succulent steaks.

Restaurant Lukas

Clemens Grabmer

Waldschänke, Grieskirchen

At Waldschänke in Grieskirchen, culinary creativity runs in the family. Elisabeth Grabmer, a seasoned chef, and her son, Clemens, combine their talents in the kitchen to uphold tradition while embracing innovation. This dynamic mother-son duo benefits from their synergy, exemplifying how two generations can collaborate to create remarkable dishes. Their deep appreciation for local agriculture shines through in their cuisine, featuring ingredients sourced from the surrounding forests, meadows and waters. Diners can enjoy the menu either in the serene meadow garden on the forest’s edge or within the cosy confines of the parlours.

Restaurant Waldschänke

Philip Rachinger

Mühltalhof, Neufelden

The Rachinger family has been at the helm of Mühltalhof for six generations, a legacy of culinary excellence. Philip Rachinger, now leading the kitchen, draws on his experiences from stints in London and Paris to prefer simplicity in his cooking, focusing on local and unpretentious ingredients over exotic imports. Mühltalhof, a distinguished restaurant with four Gault&Millau toques, offers standout dishes such as the fillet of freshwater fish cooked on a cedar shingle. For the ultimate gastronomic experience, opt for the “Ois” package, which includes an overnight stay at Mühltalhof and a morning greeted by the aroma of freshly baked bread from their sibling establishment, Fernruf 7.

Restaurant Mühltalhof

Sebastian Rossbach & Marco Barth

Rossbarth, Linz

Sebastian Rossbach and Marco Barth, the driving forces behind Rossbarth, have rapidly climbed to the top of Upper Austria’s culinary ladder. Awarded two Gault&Millau toques, these chefs embody a bold culinary philosophy perfectly complemented by their establishment’s architectural design. At Rossbarth, the focus is on simplicity, regional sourcing and maintaining the highest quality standards. Describing these chefs in a few words: young, daring and quintessentially Upper Austrian.

Restaurant Rossbarth

Klemens Schraml

IM RAU, Großraming

Life has a way of rewriting plans. Originally destined for the kitchen at the Ritz Singapore, star chef Klemens Schraml instead returned to his roots, cooking at his family’s inn by the Kalkalpen National Park. Don’t let the rustic setting fool you; his “RAU — nature-based cuisine” counts among the nation’s most elite eateries. The kitchen’s dedication to ecological sustainability and harmony with nature are central themes. Schraml’s cuisine is a minimalist-modern reflection of Upper Austria’s culinary values — honest, deeply rooted, yet also innovative and bold. Dining here offers a unique blend of alpine authenticity and relaxed urban flair.

Restaurant IM RAU

Christoph Forthuber

Restaurant Forthuber, Munderfing

Christoph Forthuber, alongside Doris Pfleger, brings a wealth of experience from renowned establishments both at home and internationally to the historic walls of their inn in Munderfing. First documented in 1431 and rejuvenated in 2018, the venue is now a vibrant community hub, featuring a lively inn atmosphere and an inviting beer garden. Forthuber serves creative, down-to-earth dishes, sourcing ingredients from local partners. The offerings vary with the day and season, ranging from lunch specials to barbecue evenings. Don’t miss the “light rice pudding with chocolate”, a must-try dessert.

Restaurant Forthuber

Thomas Hofer

Hotel Bergergut, Afiesl

At Bergergut, nestled between the Bohemian Forest and the Danube, couples find an idyllic retreat from children, daily stress and work pressures. Here, head chef Thomas Hofer and his partner Eva-Maria Pürmayer have crafted a culinary sanctuary. The hotel’s restaurant showcases regional cuisine with a flair for artful presentation and top local products. Situated in Austria’s largest hop-growing region, Bergergut boasts an impressive selection of over 40 different beers. Additionally, guests have the unique opportunity to delve into the art of bread baking at the hotel’s own bakery, guided by the chef himself.

Genießerhotel Bergergut

Antonia Schmiedleitner

Litzlberger Keller, Seewalchen am Attersee

Antonia Schmiedleitner leads the kitchen at Litzlberger Keller in Seewalchen am Attersee, where her approach to cuisine is as thoughtful as it is sophisticated. Her guiding principle: “Nature and the season dictate what’s on the menu.” This philosophy ensures that every dish respects the integrity of its ingredients. Antonia’s talent lies in her ability to infuse traditional recipes with a contemporary twist, using regional ingredients to bridge the gap between old and new, creating a seamless and engaging culinary experience.

Litzlberger Keller