The story of how Kurt Gutenbrunner learned to cook is the story of a boy who was afraid of heights. Growing up in the Austrian village of Wallsee on the Danube, young Kurt shied away from joining his junior brother in assisting their father, a construction worker. “They were running around on roofs as if they were on the ground,” he recalls. “I just couldn’t get up there, so I ended up in the kitchen with my mom, who made food for the real men.” It was there that Gutenbrunner learned the basics of Austrian cuisine: tender Wiener schnitzel, spicy goulash, crisp potato rösti, unctuous apricot dumplings...