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head chef

Michele Nardelli, head chef at the restaurant in Avelengo, Merano

Der Küchenchef unseres Restaurants Hafling, Meran

The fine aromas of fresh ingredients, bustling activity around pots and pans, and in the midst of it all, Michele Nardelli. For several years now, he has skilfully led the kitchen in our restaurant in Hafling/Avelengo. He pampers guests with inspiring creations that are based on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, and mindfulness towards nature. Genuine palate delights that combine the best of traditional South Tyrolean cuisine with modern influences.

My passion for cooking was sparked by my grandmother and my father, who is a chef himself. Even as a little kid, I was always fascinated watching my grandmother cook. Her recipes and techniques aroused my curiosity, and it was clear to me from as early as I can remember that I would become a chef someday.

Certainly, my father was the primary influence. But of course, other great chefs I had the opportunity to work with during my training have also played a significant role such as Alfredo Chiocchetti or Armin Mairhofer. They encouraged me to try new things and showed me diverse ways of cooking. This allowed me to develop my own style and discover what truly matters to me. Additionally, I also used and still use renowned chefs like Niederkofler or Marchesi as a source of inspiration.

Primarily, the cuisine of my home country, Italy, serves as the foundation and starting point for my dishes. However, my cooking is also influenced by various other factors. Small things, such as impressions from a restaurant visit or dishes I find on the internet, often spark ideas. Cooking courses I attended throughout my career have also left their mark and serve as a source of inspiration. Sometimes, ideas simply come to me while taking a stroll. I remain open to new input and follow current culinary trends, then I try to merge different ideas and impressions

I believe that as a chef, there isn't just one dish that you hold a special preference for. It's several different dishes or often just individual elements of a dish that fascinate me, and there is always something new to try.
However, I think every dish represents my philosophy: the use of locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and the work behind it all. In my kitchen, everything is handmade. For example, even meat or fish is delivered in one piece and then filleted or cut in-house.

Since locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients are fundamental principles in the restaurant, the menus naturally vary with the seasons. The vegetable supplier comes to my restaurant in Hafling, brings me fresh products, and based on that, I decide what will be on the menu in the evening.
I always look forward to spring, as that's when I get the first asparagus, fresh herbs, and, for example, peas. And green is known to be a symbol of hope, as well as health and freshness.

I would say both. As mentioned earlier, Mediterranean, traditional Italian, and South Tyrolean cuisine are the starting point for many of my creations. But I also draw inspiration from French cuisine and from all around the world. The dishes created here in our restaurant in Avelengo represent a mix of various influences. For me, it is most important to always satisfy the taste preferences of our guests and to excite them with exceptional creations. We don't necessarily invent new dishes; instead, we try to combine existing knowledge and elements. In the preparation, our goal is to bring out the best in the ingredients, perfectly accentuate the unique flavours, and find the perfect combination that our guests will love.

Every day is a new challenge for me: "Da quando metti il piede la sfida inizia," which translates to "When you set foot in the kitchen, the challenge begins." Creating a new dish, but also illnesses in the team, or holidays when the restaurant is particularly busy, take us out of our comfort zone. But I'm not alone in the kitchen; I'm surrounded by a great team. So, we face each challenge together and overcome them as they are presented to us.

Working in the kitchen presents not only physical challenges but also significant mental stress. To cope with this, the entire team must work together. Therefore, I always try to boost the motivation of all employees and foster team spirit. Additionally, we plan ahead to prevent stressful situations. However, if I do notice that someone does not feel good, I simply send him/her outside for some fresh air; it can work wonders, also for myself.

No, not a single experience or a guest, but when a restaurant visitor comes into the kitchen and expresses gratitude or makes compliments, it leaves a lasting impression. This praise means a lot to me.

I want guests to leave satisfied and happy. Ideally, with the feeling of wanting to come back soon. That is the best praise we can receive, because it shows me that our efforts were not in vain, but rather that we have done good work.