Strada Micurà De Ru, 20
Badia BZ Italy
Now back to the Dolomites...We stayed in San Cassiano which is one of the six ski villages in Alta Badia. It has 700 permanent residents, one of whom has earned two Michelin stars! Among his various mentors, Norbert Niederkofler was trained under David Bouley in New York and helped him to open restaurants in Bouley's NY empire. Since 1996 he has been operating in this little town in Hotel Rosa Alpina, a five star hotel. We wandered in for an aperitif and rather than sitting in the dining room, we were offered a table in the kitchen. The artistry, precision and motion of the chefs and servers was incredible to watch. The food was incredible, but what made the experience unique was spending time with Chef Niederkofler in his kitchen, eating his creations. How often can you spend time with a chef of this caliber? He is an amazing guy, has a real fondness for New York (he comes often), and produces amazing food. Written on the arm of Chef Norbert's double breasted jacket, is Cook the Mountains, which is his mission to bring the mountain (Alpine and Ladin) flavor into his cuisine creating a unique regional identity. This is a Find I (and my taste buddies) will never forget.