Love Italian Life: What is your earliest memory of cooking in Italy and what did you make?
Heinrich Schneider: Savarin of goat cheese with wild herbs was one of my first dishes in my career. From there began my great love of wild herbs.
Love Italian Life: Why do you think people are fascinated by Italy, its culture and food?
Heinrich Schneider: I think Italy is one of the richest countries in the world in relation to the history of culture and food. It has a culture for beauty, art, science and even a science in relation to food as well as a love of good quality raw materials and a wealth of high quality products. The profession of being a chef is also of great importance in my country.
“I am very close to my territory, I really like wild herbs and unknown products with real flavours of discovery”.
Love Italian Life: You are very proud of your origins and of Italia. Why is it that so many of your colleagues in Italy go abroad to become chefs outside the country?
Heinrich Schneider: I think that in Italy there is a great concentration of talented passionate chefs. The economic situation in different parts of Italy is not always easy and therefore forces many chefs abroad. On the other hand, Italian chefs also offer great opportunities in several countries where new cuisines are emerging. At the end of the day there are also many chefs who are curious and want to learn from other cultures how to grow their skills.
Love Italian Life: How would you describe your philosophy to Italian food?
Heinrich Schneider: My personal style is perhaps quite peculiar. I am very close to my territory, I really like wild herbs and unknown products with real flavours of discovery. The meat I use is completely organic which comes from my ethical point of view. I am against mass production and am convinced that this will become an important issue for us in the future.
Love Italian Life: What’s the inspiration behind your dishes?
Heinrich Schneider: My inspiration is taken from nature in relation to the true taste of plants and herbs. I search for them during my trips to the local meadows and woods around our house.
“My inspiration is taken from nature in relation to the true taste of plants and herbs”.
Love Italian Life: What is the secret of your success?
Heinrich Schneider: I think it is my great passion to create special dishes with particular products as well as my use of handmade dishes from different artists. After all every dish has its own story.
Love Italian Life: What Italian dish is in your heart and why?
Heinrich Schneider: Spaghetti al pomodoro which was cooked by mamma. It really was my favorite dish originating from my childhood.
Love Italian Life: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of coming into the industry as a chef?
Heinrich Schneider: Learn from the best chefs in the world without taking their influence. Create a style which is personal to you – then work hard with discipline and never lose your way forward.
Love Italian Life: For anyone who hasn’t eaten in Terra before, how would you sum up the dining experience?
Heinrich Schneider: To come to our Terra – The Magic Place you must first climb a long road through the woods and meadows up up to 1620m above sea level. We are the last destination as the road ends here. At this natural modern restaurant you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the peaks from the Dolomites. The menu we offer is 12 courses, a path that reflects nature in its elegance. It is important to take the time to enter the world of herbs, mushrooms with various other products for you to discover. You will bring home an intense memory of tranquility and unique flavours.
Love Italian Life: In your expert opinion, what will the future of Italian cuisine look like?
Heinrich Schneider: Italian cuisine is modernising which is good. Innovation is very important as well as traditional Italian cuisine. The quality will remain strong and excellent because it is part of the Italian identity. I hope that the production of food and dishes is in harmony with the environment. The ethical and ecological aspects will be the challenge of the future.
Love Italian Life: For most of your life you have always cooked for other people, but can you tell our community what the real Heinrich Schneider loves to eat?
Heinrich Schneider: Anything that has been cooked with heart and soul, with genuine high quality products and with origins that protect the environment. For example a pasta with wild herbs pesto, made with fresh wild herbs that come meadows around my house.
Heinrich Schneider is a nominee for the Love Italian Life ‘Best Italian Chef in Europe Awards 2018’. His restaurant ‘Terra – The Magic Place’ is also nominated for the ‘Best Contemporary Italian Restaurant in Trentino-Alto Adige Award 2018’ which is the first regional round of the national ‘Best Contemporary Italian Restaurant in Italy Awards 2018’.
All award finalists and winners will be announced at the official ‘Love Italian Life Awards Ceremony 2018’ on October 11th in Dublin (See HERE for more information).