Restaurant Mangold: flavour architect in Vorarlberg
At Restaurant Mangold in Lochau, some things have always been different: such as a differently defined regionality and revolutionary working hours. But one thing has remained the same: a couple and its vision of tickling the taste buds of their guests. It is worth paying a visit to Michael and Andrea Schwarzenbacher when you plan your next holidays in Vorarlberg.
A perfect couple
“Reduction is important,” says Michael Schwarzenbacher. Together with his wife Andrea, he operates Restaurant Mangold in Lochau, on the Austrian shore of Bodensee (Lake Constance). He has run the kitchen for over 25 years, she is in charge of the wine, and both of them see to the well-being of their guests.
Their stage is the tables in the restaurant. To ensure that the products are the stars on the plate, they cannot steal the show from each other. This is why the cook is convinced that omitting everything superfluous makes a dish more defined and exciting: “That is the real art.”
The restaurant’s wine list also reflects the love of the region, without closing its eyes to the rest of the world – after all, from the restaurant’s location, a wine growing area in eastern Austria is no closer than one in Alsace or Burgundy. “Here in the border triangle of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, we have a slightly different definition of regionality,” says Andrea Schwarzenbacher with a smile.
“We leave the national borders out of it and draw our radius from our location, which really makes us closer to Switzerland, Italy, and France than, for example, to Vienna. It is quite exciting to see what is happening in the world. We value this region very much and we consciously buy a great deal right here. But if we like something from farther away, we do not want to withhold it from our guests.”
An artist in the kitchen
“If he hadn’t become a chef, then certainly an architect,” says Andrea Schwarzenbacher about her husband. That this career choice would have been suitable as well is evident to guests from the attractive presentation of the food – but also as soon as they set foot in Restaurant Mangold.
Each room is furnished differently: from the cosy pine-panelled Wälderstuben and the elegantly Mediterranean atmosphere of the Rossini Room to the green, light-flooded Wintergarten and the romantic garden.
The love of the region is visible here as well: The back wall of the Wintergarten is graced with large black-and-white portraits hung there by Michael Schwarzenbacher – not of prominent guests but of a fisherman, a hunter, and two vegetable farmers. A photographic token of appreciation to his most important suppliers.
“The veal from our suppliers is simply much more flavourful,” says Michael Schwarzenbacher enthusiastically. The respectful treatment of the animals and sustainable farming practices can be tasted in the meat. Guests can expect classic Austrian food of the light variety, made with the very best ingredients.
Encountering art while out and about
Art in public spaces is part of life in Vorarlberg. Discover the locals’ special love of art when you are out hiking, cycling, or enjoying delicious food.Art and culture in Vorarlberg
Experience the latest art in museums
One of Michael Schwarzenbacher’s favourite places is the Kunsthaus Bregenz. In this exhibition space for contemporary art, the focus is on the dialogue between art, architecture, and society.Get to know the Kunsthaus
Experience “cultours” outdoors
For families and culture fans: Vorarlberg offers a large number of themed hikes that combine an outing in nature with exciting cultural encounters to create an unforgettable experience.Discover tours
From Salzburg to the Bodensee: work-life balance par excellence
As a native Salzburger, Michael Schwarzenbacher initially had no connection to the region on Lake Constance. But when job and love coincide at one location, it becomes very easy to stay.
Today, the chef is enthralled with the diversity of the region: “There are so many things to do here at the Bodensee! I like to spend time with my kids at or on the lake, which is right on our doorstep. The entire Rhine Valley is a paradise for nature-lovers. When we have a craving for culture, we enjoy going to the Kunsthaus in Bregenz.”
It’s just five minutes to the lake, 30 minutes to the Bregenzerwald, and an hour to the Arlberg. “I love the Mediterranean feeling here in the summer,” says Schwarzenbacher. When the couple needs some time away from work, they head for the local mountain, the Pfänder, or to the Bregenzerwald. But travel is also one of the favourite hobbies of these two Mangoldians when the time allows it.
“In addition to one’s career, one should also enjoy life,” says Schwarzenbacher with conviction. “I am a curious person and open to new things. Not only in the kitchen, but also in my leisure time. This is how I recharge my batteries and then return to the restaurant newly inspired.”