Top chef Stefanie Bauer reinterprets traditional Bavarian cuisine. We paid her a visit in her Oberammergau restaurant “Mundart”
Stefanie Bauer from "Mundart"
The door of the restaurant stands open. Even before you enter the building a seductive aroma of caramel and nuts tempts you in – welcome to the “Mundart” in Oberammergau.
Owner and head chef Stefanie Bauer and her team have been pampering guests since the middle of 2014. Here gourmet diners can experience Bavarian specialities made of regional ingredients. And they keep encountering culinary surprises – on the menu and on the tongue.
Bavarian cuisine with a difference
For Stefanie Bauer offers her guests a young Bavarian cuisine with flavours that are unusually bold and unexpectedly modern. She has moved away from typical roast dishes with dumplings towards lighter, more refined dishes.
“I want to demonstrate that you can use the typical regional products to prepare dishes other than the usual ones most people are used to.
Cooking has a lot to do with art: I don’t want to cook the same thing every day and just see people getting full – with me there should always be an element of experience involved,” explains the chef.
"Bavarian cuisine has a lot more to offer than knuckle & co."
And she has been successful: every other month she changes the dishes on the menu, always using seasonal ingredients and a large portion of love for her art. And guests in the restaurant “Mundart” can taste that passion.
Regional cuisine: if it says Bavaria, then it is Bavarian
Almost as soon as the guests have sat down in one of the 30 seats then a glance at the menu shows them what kind of establishment they are in: “Wos Kloans” (something small) followed by “Wos G’scheits” (something proper) – the restaurant “Mundart” brings Bavaria to life on the menu, in the kitchen and also in the dialect spoken by the staff.
It has even been given an award for this by the Association for the Promotion of the Bavarian Language and Dialect.
However, Bavaria is not all the same for Stefanie Bauer: The state is known for its pork knuckle, roast pork and dumplings, but not for the dishes prepared by her. “Bavarian cuisine has so much more to offer,” insists the chef.
She therefore produces delicious noodles made from walnuts and turns damsons into exquisite chutney served with select cheeses. “We can transform our regional products into incredibly good, high quality and exclusive dishes,” says an enthusiastic Stefanie Bauer.
Restaurant “Mundart”: from the local region to the table
For this particular head chef it is always crucial that as many ingredients as possible come from the local area. Growing up on a farm, she learned at an early age to appreciate the local agriculture.
It makes no sense to her to ship products halfway round the world just so that she can use them all the year round: “I cook according to the seasons, so that means no strawberries in winter. I want to raise the awareness of our guests for regional produce”.
To that end, the young chef even invites guests to take a look into the kitchen – or she tells them stories about the ingredients of individual dishes while they eat. These are very special moments: at all other times the guests are happy to entertain each other but in these instances they suddenly fall totally silent. They listen in fascination to the words of Stefanie Bauer – tales of Bavarian treasures, reinterpreted on their plates.
More info on Stefanie's restaurant at restaurant-mundart.de (only in German)
... from Stefanie
Hike to the Kofel
Only one kilometre as the crow flies from the "Mundart", the summit of the Kofel rises into the sky like a lonely spike. Because of its striking shape, the locals also call their local mountain the Oberammergau Matterhorn. The one-hour hike up the panoramic mountain starts at the cemetery and leads across the former Roman battlefield Döttenbichl to a large clearing. The signposted path winds through the mountain forest and past rock faces.
On the Kofelsattel lies the key section of the tour, which requires a head for heights and surefootedness: a short via ferrata, with a wire rope on the rock face. Then it's ten minutes on an easy path around the rock before reaching the 1,342-metre-high summit. The view from the summit cross is simply magnificent, you can see the Ammertal, the Graswangtal and from Oberammergau to Ettal.
A cool swim in the Eibsee
I love being at the Eibsee below the Zugspitze, we used to swim there when we were kids.
eibsee.de (only in German)
Passion Theatre Oberammergau
I recommend a visit to the Passion Theatre. Guided tours are offered there and you will learn about the history of the place. Everyone who comes to our region should have seen the theatre once.
passionstheater.de (only in German)