Kurt Gutenbrunner, chef/co-owner of New York City’s Wallsé, Cafe Sabarsky, Blaue Gans, and The Upholstery Store has earned abundant praise for his modern interpretation of Austrian cuisine and his seamless integration of food and art.
Wallsé, Kurt's first restaurant in New York, mixes an early 20th century Austrian minimalist aesthetic with works by contemporary international artists, such as Julian Schnabel and Albert Oehlen. Gutenbrunner's innovative menu, which showcases modern takes on traditional Viennese cuisine, has earned a two-star rating from the New York Times and a coveted Michelin star rating.
In 2001, Kurt was approached by Ronald Lauder, co-founder of the Neue Galerie New York, and Renée Price, director of the museum, to develop Cafe Sabarsky, the traditional Viennese cafe housed in New York’s Upper East Side. While Gutenbrunner 's culinary expertise compliments the museum's collection, his passion for art strongly influenced the museum to make him an integral part of the institution. Cafe Sabarsky's décor is adorned with lighting fixtures and furniture by Austrian architects Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos and upholstered chairs with fabric designed by Otto Wagner.
Blaue Gans, Kurt's Tribeca location, pays homage to the traditional wholesome “wirtshaus” he enjoyed visiting during his childhood in Austria. Chef Gutenbrunner wanted a relaxed place where people could “just sit with friends and have a bite to eat and a glass of wine”. With Blaue Gans, Kurt has managed to fulfill this desire and create a local neighborhood favorite, where families come together in a casual atmosphere for spectacular cuisine. In contrast to the paintings and more formal artwork of Wallsé and Cafe Sabarsky, the museum and gallery posters adorning every inch of the restaurant's walls reflect the casual, relaxed atmosphere of Blaue Gans.