Points of View

Chef Rudi Obauer Jr.: ''My Philosophy? Get Out Of The Comfort Zone''

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Chef Rudi Obauer Jr.: ''My Philosophy? Get Out Of The Comfort Zone''

Finally, the 13th annual S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup is underway in the historic port city of Venice. Legendary for its sailing and fine dining, the city is playing host to a regatta for foodies today and tomorrow.

The exquisite event features a 12-mile race between Il Lido in Venice and San Giorgio Island. As sailors brave the sea, 10 chefs will be onboard cooking their best dishes for the judges of the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Award. It's an exciting time for enjoying food, drinks and fun at several events through the city.

To further get in the festive mood, we'd like to introduce you to Rudi Obauer Jr., one of the participating chefs. Only 24 years old, Obauer Jr. was named Best Austrian Chef in the 2013 edition of the Kulinarische Auslese.

Here's what he revealed about himself:

Formerly you were...
Not interested in gastronomy at all until turning 18 years.

You decided to become a chef because…
 I am enthusiastic about the great teamwork of the whole crew all working for a common goal: To have a great result of fine quality and please the guests by exceeding their expectations.

Your food philosophy is... 
To be open and get out of your comfort zone, because this is where magic happens. At the same time always stick to your roots. For example I was never interested in molecular cuisine until now.

For your career your dream is...
I haven’t defined it yet. However, isn’t reality what happens when you’re busy planning the future.

For your personal life your dream is…. 
Having a wonderful family, being healthy and happy.

Was there an experience or a person that contributed to your decision to become a chef?
It’s no surprise. It’s of course my dad.

What is your favourite dish? And why?
I have no favourite dish. I love the variety. Conviviality and having a good time together is the most important aspect of food and coming to the table for me.

What would you like the judges to know about you?
I’ll try my very best at the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup to convince them.

Did you meet any difficulty/obstacle to get where you are today?
Naturally. In Austria there is a saying: ‘Lehrjahre sind keine Herrenjahre’ – it means that training years are by nature tough at times and that it’s that effort you need to make to become a great and good at something.

What does Italy or Italian mean to you?
Good food, conviviality and beautiful women: La Dolce Vita.

What do you think of the Italian cuisine?
I am most impressed by the many small trattorie which are very good at what they do. Nothing fancy, but everything one expects when thinking of Italy.

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