Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner is the proprietor of an impressive portfolio of top-rated New York City restaurants including Wallsé, Café Sabarsky, and Upholstery: Food & Wine.
Chef Gutenbrunner grew up in the small village of Wallsee on the Danube River, located 80 miles outside of Vienna. Growing up with garden and fresh cooking, he recognized his passion for food and cooking at a young age and enrolled in a professional culinary program. At age 16, he apprenticed at the Relais et Chateau Richard Löwenherz in the Wachau region, where he learned about the wine making process and truly grasped the importance of the interplay between food & wine and developed a great appreciation for the wine of the region. These wines are still featured in his restaurants today.
Chef Gutenbrunner has worked at several prominent restaurants across Europe and New York City including the Michelin-starred Tantris in Munich, Rotisserie Prinz Eugen in Vienna, Mangostin in Munich, Windows on the World’s Cellar in the Sky. He was the culinary director of David Bouley’s expanding enterprise, then executive chef at Monkey Bar where he became known for his inspired seafood dishes before venturing out on his own and opening his first restaurant Wallsé in 2000. Wallsé serves authentic Viennese classics with Chef Gutenbrunner’s contemporary touch and fun twist. Wallsé has held a coveted Michelin star for 15 consecutive years.
In 2001, Chef Gutenbrunner opened Café Sabarsky - the traditional Viennese cafe housed inside Neue Galerie New York and a crucial factor in the success of the museum, making it a favorite spot for New Yorkers, a proud upholder of the Viennese café tradition, and an inseparable part of the Neue Galerie.
In 2009, Chef Gutenbrunner opened The Upholstery Store - a small jewel box of a wine bar in a former furniture store located in the West Village just around the corner from Wallsé that is now expanded into a full-service restaurant Upholstery: Food & Wine offering a quaint and intimate alternative gathering place and is beloved by West Village locals.
Chef Gutenbrunner’s first cookbook was released through Rizzoli Books and Random House in October 2011. The book includes over 100 of Chef Gutenbrunner’s favorite traditional and contemporary Austrian recipes, such as apple strudel and Wiener Schnitzel and features works from the Neue Galerie, New York’s museum of early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design.
On September 23rd, 2011, Chef Gutenbrunner was awarded the “Decoration of Merit in Gold of the Republic of Austria” by the Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister, Michael Spindelegger, at the residence of the Austrian Consul General, Dr. Ernst-Peter Brezovszky.
Chef Gutenbrunner continues to be devoted to maintaining the superior quality of his restaurants through his attention to detail. His well-respected passion for food, art, and culture has made him a culinary icon in New York, the United States, and the broader international community.