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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

“Import self-sufficient” in times of abundance: the Genießerhotel “Die Forelle” in Carinthia

In our newest series “pioneers of sustainability” we take you to Austria. At the Genießerhotel “Die Forelle” in Carinthia lives and works the host family Müller with four generations under one roof and contributes together to the success of the sustainable, innovative hotel.

From bed and breakfast to Genießerhotel

The history of the hotel already began 40 years ago, when Erika and Hans Müller, the parents of the today’s host Hannes founded the bed and breakfast “Die Forelle”. With the renovation of the farmhouse in the 80s some holiday apartments were added and in 2002 the guesthouse became the todays Genießerhotel “Die Forelle”. Today four generations work hand in hand providing for a relaxed and unforgettable stay of their guests –in such a way as they themselves fancy a perfect vacation. Since Hannes and his wife Monika have taken over the management of the hotel, they daily work successfully on a greener development. Besides, they are supported by great- grandma Hilde, Hannes parents, Erika and Hans, as well as their three children Hanna, Moritz and Lorenz.

Start of the “Generation Awareness”

One of the most challenging sustainable goals of Haubenkoch Hannes and his whole team is “import self-sufficiency”: Therefore, ten years ago the hotel started to renounce step by step from the import of goods. This was the birth of the project “Generation Awareness”. In the meantime, the evening menu is 99% free from imported goods which implies that only things that are available according to region and season are cooked, for example, no fresh fruit in winter instead a variety of root vegetables. Family Müller believes that in times of abundance and in times where everybody can buy anything at any time, a recollection and reduction on what is available in the alpine region is important.

Start the day “import self-sufficient”

According to the philosophy of the house the breakfast buffet is also “import-self-sufficient”: High-quality products are offered, on a seasonal and regional level like apple and grape juices and a big variety of cheese from the region. The tasty muesli is of course home-made. In winter guests find apples and pears (stock goods) at the buffet and a big choice of homemade stewed fruit. The first fresh fruit is served at the beginning of June with freshly harvested currents or strawberries. The hotel obtains coffee from a regional roasting plant, egg dishes are prepared individually and freshly. Only lemons still have to be purchased as they are essential as a flavor carrier.

Convinced with and from conscious kitchen

However, the initiative “Generation Awareness” goes beyond: The focus is on high-quality products, the family, team and guests are willing to accept a less choice. But it is also about a constant questioning of business processes, as for example the garbage management. The employees are instructed to question “the throw away processes” over and over again and to consider potential applications. Thus, fruit and vegetable peels which before ended up in the organic waste, today find a new use on the breakfast buffet dried and powdered– and the guests love it. On this way also good local producers are of great importance. Genießerhotel Die Forelle convinces with high quality: The restaurant is awarded for its innovative kitchen on a regular basis in top class restaurant guides. Since 2010 “Die Forelle” is also a member of Europe JRE, an association of gifted top cooks from twelve countries and trendsetters of the European culinary culture: They combine traditional dishes with trendsetting ideas and sustainable and mostly regional products.

Lived sustainability

Hannes and Monika Müller work daily at the hotel on implementing more environment-conscious measurements. Since 2018 “Die Forelle” decided against leased linen. In a specially built laundry-dry room, the laundry can air dry. Through the Photovoltaic plant in combination with the minced wood chip heating (wood from own forest), the hotel can save up to 40 tons CO2. Also, the furniture of the hotel is ecologically friendly and was changed within the past years completely against natural materials like linen, felt, loden cloth and wood. The outdoor furniture is bought in respect of renewable raw materials, and at the same time plastic and not local products are avoided whenever possible. The guests are integrated by events like unplugged evenings, table culture-workshops, kitchen- workshops with the topic of season kitchen. So, they can take home suggestions and impulses for their everyday life.

In 2015 “The Forelle” was awarded with the Primus Preis as the most sustainable enterprise in Carinthia.

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