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‘We are cooks. We’ve got to cook’.

Steirereck cooks for crisis workers


Birgit & Heinz Reitbauer have had to close their restaurant in Vienna’s Stadtpark, to help contain infection. But they have not stopped cooking. Together with their employees, they decided without further ado to support crisis workers with a daily meal.

Mutmachen: Steirereck Team 2020
The Steirereck team has launched a great initiative © Birgit Reitbauer

‘We don’t like doing nothing’. This is how Heinz Reitbauer explains the decision of his employees to not fold their hands in their laps after the shutdown in Vienna. Steirereck – worldwide the most famous restaurant in Austria – was transformed into a charity kitchen overnight. Crisis workers from the fire brigade, police and other system-preserving emergency services got a packed lunch from the gourmet kitchen for the first time on Monday. ‘We were able to produce 500 servings today, but our goal is to do 1,000 per day’, beamed Birgit Reitbauer, as the first meals were picked up for delivery, to be distributed via the operations management of the Ministry of the Interior.

Mutmachen: Steirereck 2020
Freshly prepared for crisis workers © Birgit Reitbauer

In the Steirereck, ten cooks are at work each day – voluntarily and carefully observing social distancing – preparing these meals. ‘It is a totally new challenge’, says Birgit Reitbauer. ‘First, we have to learn how to do this’. No Amuse Bouche and no Petits Fours; no elaborate bread cart and no complex compositions. ‘Now it’s not about creative cuisine any more, but just really good food that fills you up’! And because Steirereck likes to acknowledge its own standards in this, it’s not just a single course being delivered, but a small menu, including dessert.

The lovely Steirereck tableware, though, does not come into the picture. Birgit and Heinz Reitbauer are appealing to manufacturers of packaging to support them with cups and boxes – biodegradable if possible – in which meals can be distributed directly to the emergency services.

Please coordinate delivery directly with Birgit Reitbauer:
0676 470 47 15

Restaurant Steirereck in Stadtpark
Am Heumarkt 2a, 1030 Vienna

Mutmachen: Steirereck 2020
The goal: 1,000 meals per day (c) Birgit Reitbauer
Mutmachen: Steirereck 2020
Donation of foodstuffs is needed (c) Birgit Reitbauer

In order to maintain their support for the essential services over the long term, Steirereck is relying on foodstuff sponsorship from producers.

The following are urgently needed:
Rice, pasta, sausages, meat, onions and all sorts of vegetables

Commitments have already been made by:
– REWE (goods with a value of 10,000 €)
– Stekovics (1,000 kg preserved tomatoes)
– LGV donates 350 kg of vegetables per day
– Höllerschmid (300 kg beef)
– Transgourmet (goods with a value of 1,000 €)
– Hotel Sacher (comestibles & Sachertorte)
– Reisetbauer (one pallet of apples)
– Fandler’s Oil Mill (oils)

PICTURES (downloadable)