After several years traveling the world of haute cuisine—including a few experiences that nearly made the then-25-year-old throw in the towel on his dream job—Lukas finally found a home at Cordobar in Berlin and spent two and a half years letting his head-chef creativity run wild. Mraz is all about food that’s simple yet original, and for him that means experimenting with absolutely everything, even if that means putting blood sausage on pizza… which, believe it or not, has become a hit combo at the ultra-hip Berliner Weinbar.
Lukas Mraz has wanted to be a chef ever since he was a child, and he started his culinary training at the tender age of 14. When Mraz emerged three years later with diploma in hand, Jean-Georges Klein took the teenager under his wing at L’Arnsbourg, which had three Michelin stars at the time. After that, Mraz did stints in Holland (under Jonnie Boer at De Librije), and then at Vendome in the German town of Bergisch Gladbach.
Of course, it’s not exactly surprising that little Lukas grew up with cooking on his mind: he and his brother were simply following in the successful footsteps of their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Now that he’s back home in Vienna, the talented young chef is bringing innovative new ideas to his family restaurant. His 14-course tasting menu (a first at Mraz and Son) showcases cuisine he likes to call “Austrian Without Borders”… and yes, he really does mean it as a political statement.
For now, Lukas Mraz isn’t really interested in chasing down Michelin stars— keeping his feet on the ground is too important to him, and that goes for both his food and his career. Other issues he’s passionate about: respecting the product, sustainability in the kitchen, and the nose-to-tail method. Thanks to the efforts of his father, Markus, who was voted 2017 Chef of the Year, the Mraz family’s current culinary home in Vienna-Brigittenau is one of the top names on the Austrian gourmet circuit. Putting a new spin on Dad’s restaurant with his own creations has helped the younger Mraz rediscover his love of cooking, and now he’s whipping up product combinations and cooking techniques effortlessly, with such a refreshing lack of inhibition that diners can’t help but enjoy themselves. He’s got all the talent of haute cuisine with none of the snobbery—young, unpretentious, notoriously restless. These days, he takes a more forgiving view of that scene, and he’s glad to see the focus shifting from gimmickry to flavor, with a greater emphasis on civility in the kitchen. So what’s the culinary philosophy Mraz wants to teach the next generation? “Work hard, party hard!”
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