Green Pearls® Restaurants setting standards in sustainability: Die Forelle, Weißensee


 Import self-sufficiency, Generation Conscience, Slow Food, Natural Kitchen – all of these terms characterize the cuisine of the Restaurant Die Forelle at the Weißenssee in Carinthia. Chef Hannes Müller and his team focus on sustainability, regionality and seasonality.

One of the star chef’s ambitious goals is called “import self-sufficiency”. But what does this mean? Around ten years ago, Hannes Müller decided to, step by step, do without the import of goods. That was the birth of the “Generation Conscience” project. Today, the evening menu is 99% free of imported goods, which means that only what is regionally and seasonally available is cooked – no fresh fruit in winter, but instead, a variety of root vegetables. The season determines what is put on the table. The philosophy behind this is based on the belief that in times when everything is always and at all times available, the refocus and simplification are a very special thing.

Berg.See.Küche (Mountain.Lake.Cuisine)​

“The sophisticated nose of Hannes Müller wants to know the exact origin of every ingredient”.

The restaurant, which belongs to the Genießerhotel Die Forelle, is located on Lake Weissensee at the foot of the Gailtal Alps. The cuisine uses the traditional and regional ingredients that the alpine lake high valley has to offer. The seasonal high-quality products come exclusively from Austrian agriculture, and the same goes for the wild herbs and wild plants used in the kitchen.

Whenever possible, Hannes Müller and his team buy from farmers in the immediate vicinity at fair prices and without middlemen, because this is how the added value reaches the farmers. This is not so much about organic certification as it is about transparent information on the way animals are kept and fed for meat products. The close cooperation with fruit, vegetable and cereal farmers is also based on transparent and comprehensive information on cultivation and harvesting conditions. By focusing exclusively on regional and seasonal products, Hannes Müller avoids international luxury products and relies instead on the demonstrably fairly produced products of the Alps-Adriatic region, such as olive oil or balsamic vinegar. 100% of all food is used, and new uses are found for waste and unused products.

The majority of the kitchen is powered by means of the in-house PV plant, however, the wood stove and/or wood bread oven has a special value in the production of the individual dishes and products.

Slow Travel

Under the slogan “Join in and Discover”, guests are invited to experience sustainable cuisine first hand in the Lesach-Gail and Gitsch valleys as well as at Lake Weissensee and have the opportunity to transform from pure consumers to co-producers. Anyone who has ever stirred butter, kneaded dough and rolled Carinthian noodles themselves, enjoys their meal more consciously and with all their senses. In addition to the products, you will take a wealth of experience and new knowledge back home.

Austria’s Elite Young Top Chefs

Hannes Müller is a member of the Jeunes Restaurateur Europe (JRE), an association of talented top chefs from twelve countries who are among the formative trendsetters of European culinary culture. It’s all about tradition and pioneering ideas, with a twist of sustainable and regional products of the best quality. In addition, Hannes and his team were again awarded four Gault Millau toques in 2019.