Interview with Chef David Wagger

Hirsch2 Brioche, Kerbelknolle, Karottenmousseline, Maulbeerenglace Venison2 Brioche, cervil root, carrots mousseline, glaze of mulberry; Hotel Gasthof Post, Familie Moosbrugger, Lech am Arlberg, Österreich

As a lover of fine food one of the greatest pleasures in my life is meeting the masters in the art of culinary. The best dishes, I’ve experienced, have always been those which reflect the personality of the chefs who create them. 

Chef David Wagger, from The Gasthof Post, is the latest to head the kitchens at Hotel Post Lech, Austria. With a younger, innovative approach to cooking and a perfect background in Austrian cuisine it’s an exciting appointment for guests. The five star hotel, with 46 rooms ranging from single rooms to chalets, is a surely an exciting place to make a mark given that the region has the highest density of gourmet restaurants in the world. Post is also part of the select group of hotels which belong to Relais & Châteaux founded in 1952. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Chef Wagger to chew over (ha!) all things culinary for the upcoming season. Read on to find out what we talked about. 

GTW: What do you find most exciting about cooking here in Post at Lech?

Different restaurants and menus we offer at the Post from the ever changing half board menu to the a la carte menu and my two special gourmet menus in the Jägerstube.

GTW: Postblick in particular looks like an incredible setting for your food. How inspired were you by your surroundings when you created the new menu?

DW: The Post is a very traditional Austrian hotel and has the personal touch of the family in management. It was and still is very inspiring to me to create dishes that combine tradition with modernity.

GTW:  Have you been surprised by the positive reaction to your appointment here at Lech as a young chef

DW: The level of culinary is very high in Lech. Lech has the highest density of gourmet restaurants in the world so the competition is very strong. Therefore, it’s a real challenge to raise the standards. The greatest joy is when I receive positive feedback from our guests and also from other chefs in Lech.

GTW: What’s the focus on your menu in terms of flavour? What would you say are the best examples of this on your menu?

DW: As mentioned before I like to combine tradition with new and modern aspects so a lot of my creations combine the Austrian kitchen with the Mediterranean kitchen. I really like the taste of tomato and basil.

GTW: Lech attracts a group of varied international guests so how do people who’ve never experienced Austrian cuisine react to it?

DW: Those not familiar with the Austrian kitchen are surprised by the variety of flavour and just after a few bites they are already fans! Especially the classics like the Wiener
Schnitzel or the Kaiserschmarrn; they are very popular among our guests.

GTW: What do those acquainted with your cookery make of it?

DW: My two gourmet menus are all my personal creations and interpretations. One of my personal highlights is the white tomato soup served with a scallop. They are what I would always bring to a dish.

GTW: What are you most looking forward to showcasing over the coming festive and ski season?

DW: This year I am very much looking forward to our special New Year’s Eve gala dinner. In particular I am very excited to serve the ibex consommé from our own hunt with cranberry ravioli and small curd dumplings.

GTW: That sounds delicious! Finally, where do you stand on the quail versus veal debate? 

DW: I would not put them against each other as they work very well together. You can see in our gourmet restaurant how we combine quail and veal with rosemary polenta soufflé and kohlrabi.


Post Lech opens for winter from 30th November to 22 April 2019 and for summer between 21 June – 30 September 2019. For bookings and more information on gourmet dining at Post visit:


Seven tips you need to know about barbecuing: Chef Tim Love rubs it in

Lonesome Dove

Let’s get something out in the open shall we? We didn’t expect this hot spell in London to last long. A couple of weeks of sunshine, at best, is all that we had pinned our hopes on. Still, here we are, almost the end of July and still basking in glorious, unrelenting, sunshine. The weather has held up for so long that we are forced to reconsider our behaviour. Dare I say it, we may even have to adopt some warm-weather habits such as barbecuing.

With year-round sunshine and cuisine influenced by a diverse Creole, Mexican and Native American heritage, Fort Worth topped my list of places for inspiration. With Britain’s collective failed attempts at barbecuing it seemed the most natural place to  turn for help. The city’s celebrity chef Tim Love of Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters was, to our good fortune, in London recently. I was happy to be able catch up with Chef Tim. With multiple restaurants including Lonesome Dove and Woodshed in his repertoire rest assured that we are in good hands. Here are Chef Tim’s seven top tips you need to know about barbecuing.

Barbecue Vs Grill

In the US we differentiate between barbecue and grilling. The key to barbecuing is slow and low which allows the meat to soak up smoke and the seasoning allowing it to become tender and moist. The purpose of grilling is to char the surface of the meat and seal in the juices by creating a smoky caramelised crust. In America this is done over both charcoal and gas grills.

Woodshed Smokehouse


  • Experiment with different woods when slow cooking. Each burns at a different temperature and will give different flavour notes to your food. You’ll soon figure out your favourite.
  • Start your fire early and let your smoker heat up fully. This should take about an hour and a half.
  • Be adventurous and remember that you can smoke anything from savoury to sweet.
  • Top tip: My favourite thing to smoke is chocolate chips which I use in cookies.


  • First and foremost be patient and make sure you have a very hot grill.
  • Also keep half of the grill hot and the other half cooler. This allows for searing. It also gives you a place to finish your meat off by roasting.
  • Top tip: When grilling vegetables, soak them in ice-cold water first. This is great for searing and also keeps the vegetables crisp after you’ve cooked them.





Lonesome Dove Restaurants are located at 2406 N. Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76164, 419 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas 78701 and 100 N Central Street, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. For more information visit:

Woodshed Smokehouse is located at 3201 Riverfront Dr., Fort Worth, TX. For more information visit:

How London restaurant Ikoyi conquered the final frontier


Taste of London does many things for London and of course, for food in the capital. I discovered two things here this year. One of the things is the wonderful Ikoyi and its introduction of West African fine dining to London. The restaurant was founded by childhood friends Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukal. Since their opening last year the dynamic duo have gained a loyal following of food connoisseurs. I was pleased to catch up with one half of Ikoyi’s innovative team, chef Jeremy Chan, at Taste of London. We talked about how Ikoyi conquered the final frontier:

GTW: What do you find most exciting about African ingredients and how do you use them in your dishes?

JC: I love West African ingredients for their pungency, umami, bold heat and intensity. We use hundreds of different ingredients from around the globe and not only from West Africa. I strip the ingredient of it context and culture then use it in its original setting. I look at it objectively. We think of this as an academic exercise. I’m always asking new questions about old ingredients. Something that’s not been done before. For instance, we use a fermented bush mango seed in a dessert; Ogbono. It’s traditionally eaten with a meat stew in Nigeria. At Ikoyi we use it to create a sour and salty caramel akin to a whey caramel. The results are a combination of the new and the familiar.

GTW: What unusual flavour pairings have you included in your menu and how do you go about sourcing ingredients you need?

JC: That has to be coffee and octopus. The sauce is bitter, sweet, smokey and pairs well with the tender but textured Octopus. With the sourcing side, firstly I read a lot on cooking, cuisine, medicine and history of West Africa. Then I make a list of products to test based on their chemical properties as well as flavour. I then look online and speak to any contact I have in the region to put me in touch with a supplier. Often I get bags of spices brought over in suitcases!


GTW: So, the focus is on bold heat and umami. What would you say are the best examples of this on your menu for those who might need a little help choosing a dish?

JC: All of our dishes are based on concentration of umami and not always in heat. This shines through mostly with the chicken oyster dish which is glazed with fermented locust bean and smoked eel jus.

GTW: Have you been surprised by the positive reaction to Ikoyi and to West African cuisine in general? 

JC: There has been a surge in interest of African cuisine largely because sophisticated diners are always on the lookout for what is new. I think Africa has remained one of the last frontiers in food. However, it seems that the interest in African food comes with expectations and pre-judgments which makes it challenging for new expressions. Yes, of course there is interest but it seems ephemeral. In many cases it doesn’t scratch beneath the surface.

GTW: How do people who have never experienced West African food react to it?

JC: It depends on the guest. I think people who have a global mindset whose taste receptors have experience with a broad range of flavours will find our food delicious. People who have grown up in a singular culture less exposed to spice & intense umami may find our food overpowering.

GTW: What do those acquainted with West African cuisine make of it?

JC: For those acquainted with West African food, it depends if they come to the restaurant expecting West African food or not. Ultimately if you come to Ikoyi without an open mind you’re probably going to be disappointed. Our intention is to demonstrate our passion for cooking and making people feel good.

GTW: What are you most looking forward to showcasing at Taste of London and why was it important for you to be a part of it? 

JC: We wanted to be a part of Taste of London to access a broader range of guests who may have heard of Ikoyi but have yet to walk through our doors. We also liked the idea of interacting with people and talking through our concept to convey the message of Ikoyi outside of the restaurant. We also thought it would be fun for our chefs to cook in a different setting.



Ikoyi is located at: 1 Saint James’s Market, SW1Y 4AH. For more information visit: