Kurt Guttenbrunner, Chef, Restaurants, Wallse, Wallsé, Blaue Gans, Cafe Sabarsky, The Upholstery Store, New York, Manhattan, Austrian, West Village, Tribeca, Upper East Side, Recommendations, Beer, Austrian Food, Where to eat in Manhattan, Chef Recommendations, Where to eat Austrian food, Where to eat in Vienna


Chef Gutenbrunner is giving his own modern spin to classic Viennese cooking, from his cozy Michelin starred Wallsé to Blaue Gans, an Austro-German gastropub.

Kurt is currently working on his first cookbook to be released in conjunction with Neue Galerie’s tenth anniversary. The book will be an art-cookbook hybrid, featuring the food of Kurt Gutenbrunner and the artwork of Vienna 1900. His aesthetic has been heavily influenced by many of the artists featured in the Neue Galerie collection (Klimt, Otto Dix, Egon Schiele etc.) and so this book is set to be an elegant coffeetable-esque cookbook.

Q. What would you like Americans to understand more about Austrian cooking?

A. I am always very against nationalizing cuisine too much or branding myself as a strictly 'Austrian' chef. I can only talk about myself and of course, I have an Austrian heritage, but I've spent time in kitchens all over the world which have formed my style of cooking. I think Austrian food has a lot of terrific classics and I like to think of my cuisine as a very contemporary, modern twist on those very classics.

Q. What are the essential elements to making Austrian sausage?

A. Good craftsmanship.

Q. What wine or beer would you suggest to pair with sausage?

A. For smoked sausages maybe a dark wheat beer like the Weihenstephaner.

For the lighter sausages, like a bratwurst or weisswurst, I like a refreshing Pilsner like Bitburger.

Q. In what way do you interpret traditional Austrian cooking on your menus, but add your own twist?

A. The only way I can talk about the food I do at KGNY is that I like to use classic recipes or ideas and play them my way. Kind of like taking Mozart and mixing it with Lou Reed.

Q. Who has been the most influential culinary person in your career?

A. Through my career I've worked with very many exciting Michelin starred restaurants and each and every person has left some sort of mark on me. However, if it wasn't for my mother and the ground rules in the kitchen she set for me when growing up, then I would have never made it. 

Q. What are the least “chefy” and most “chefy” things you like to eat?

A. I love my cereals with yogurt and fruit in the morning, but I don't like food that doesn't have texture.

I’m not a big burger guy, but I love a good bratwurst with a green salad. Sometimes it just depends on the place and the company you are in... a good atmosphere is crucial; it can really make or break the meal. 

Q. Do you have a go to knife, gadget or ingredient that you would advise a home cook to stock?

A. I think that small forks and flat spatulas are very important in the kitchen. With a good spatula, it's  just like the extension of the hand and gives you the control you need. 

Q. Is there a cookbook, new or vintage that is like a bible to you?

A. I've collected lots of old cookbooks over the years, many of them were published before and around 1900. I also think that the first book Heinz Winkler wrote when he was the chef at Tantris, is one of the best books I've ever read. I just love this book, it's maybe not the bible, but I love this book. 

Q. Any exciting projects in your future?

A. There's always something, the wheels are always running. With the huge success of the Standard Beer Garden in New York, we are in talks with cloning that model at the Downtown Standard in LA. That is definitely exciting. We are also in the middle of finishing up our cookbook right now, to be published by Rizzoli publications in October of 2011.

Q. What purveyors inspire your creativity, what products?

A. Over the last 15 years, I established a really close relationship with all the farmers here at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York. Just walking through the stalls makes you want to run back into the kitchen and start playing around with a new dish. 

Q. Are there food markets around the world that you love? 

A. I miss the old Fulton Street fish market and I love the Nashmarkt in Vienna, but there is nothing that beats the markets in Paris - the sights, the smells, just having a cafe croissant and a cafe au lait and traipsing around for hours, there's no place that does it better. 

Q. In New York, are there any restaurants you recommend that won’t break the bank, but have killer food?

A. I like what George Mendes is doing at his restaurant Aldea, he worked with me at Wallse for many years. The price point is right and the food is very interesting.


Q. Off the beaten track places to eat, that you’d be excited to take an adventurous eater?

A. I love places like the Zum Schwarzem Kameel and Weibels in Vienna--These are places where you can have calves lungs or brain with scrambled eggs -- delicious!


Q. Who do you think has an impressive wine list? 

A. I think there are tons of restaurants that have great wine lists, all over the world. Here in New York, Aldo at Le Bernardin is doing a great job and Daniel is, of course, a wine list that you just dream about.

Q. Austrian beers and where are some great places to get them?

A. I rather prefer the German beers, especially Bitburger and Ayinger. You can get them at The Standard Biergarten here in New York City. 

Q. Where do you love to eat on your own dime?

A. I enjoy having dinner with my son Benjamin at Barbuto, whenever he's in town back from College. 

I’m always so impressed with all of the different ethnic varieties that New York offers. New York is really a town where you can close your eyes, spin around, open your eyes and be presented with something completely our of the ordinary and unique... and you will most always love it. 



Coming October 2011, published by Rizzoli


Kurt Gutenbrunner’s recommendations on where to eat and shop in New York and Vienna, Austria.



West Village

Modern Viennese

344 West 11th Street

New York, NY 10014 (view map)

T: 212.352.2300 (make a reservation)




Mon - Sun: 5:30 - 11pm

Sat - Sun: 11am - 2:15pm


Upper East Side


1048 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10028 (view map)

T: 212.288.0665




Mon - Wed: 9am - 6pm

Thu- Sun: 9am - 9pm

Tue: closed



Traditional Austro-German

139 Duane Street

New York, NY 10013 (view map)

T: 212.571.8880 (make a reservation)




Daily 11am to midnight

Bar: until 2 am


West Village

Wine Bar

713 Washington Street

New York, NY 10014 (view map)

T: 212.352.2300




Daily: 5pm - 2am


Kurt Gutenbrunner’s recommendations on where to eat and shop in New York and Vienna, Austria.