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On top of the world

By: Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Up on the High Alpine Road in Hochgurgl, Austria, Basilius Praxmarer runs Top Mountain Crosspoint, a combination restaurant, toll station, motorcycle museum, and alpine train station. He and his team feed over 1,000 customers per day.

Wood, glass, and steel, garnished with a view of the Ötztal Alps: Top Mountain Crosspoint is a multifunctional, architecturally sophisticated building at 7,086 feet above sea level. Sweeping futuristically across the Ötztal alpine landscape, this 65,000-square-foot passageway between North and South Tyrol includes a first-rate restaurant with seating for 390, plus a wonderful 400-seat terrace with a spectacular view of the snow-covered peaks.

Europe’s highest motorcycle museum

combi oven production restaurant

Stylish restaurant with a view of the Ötztal Alpine landscape / Image: Alexander Maria Lohmann und Top Hotel Hochgurgl Betriebe GmbH

The heart and soul of the structure is the highest-elevation motorcycle museum in Europe, a 26,000-square-foot space featuring 270 vintage bikes by more than 100 manufacturers – enough to impress even non-motorcycle fans. Top Mountain Crosspoint also houses the bottom station of the Kirchenkarbahn gondola lift, as well as the new Timmelsjoch toll station. The Top Mountain Crosspoint restaurant serves straightforward, authentic Austrian and Italian food, as well as seasonal specialties from North and South Tyrol. Kleine Jause, Tiroler Marend, wood-fired oven pizza, organic steaks from the Ötztal butcher shop of Kuprian – it’s all homemade, handmade, and prepared with love using top-quality regional products.

Restaurant manager Basilius Praxmarer worked as a chef for years, and he knows what’s important in ski and alpine restaurants: “In winter, I have 7,000 potential customers out on the slopes, and they don’t have much time.” Even so, he and his 27 employees strive to offer the best-possible sit-down service as quickly as possible.

combi oven production restaurant

Praxmarer knows what’s important in ski and alpine restaurants.  / Image: Alexander Maria Lohmann und Top Hotel Hochgurgl Betriebe GmbH

“We do most of our business within a two-hour period,”

he explains. That’s one reason his kitchen crew uses Rational SelfCookingCenter units, which offer the option of overnight cooking for up to 1,000 customers. “We have two VarioCookingCenters and three  SelfCookingCenters,” Praxmarer says. And they need every bit of that cooking capacity: each day, up to 1,400 meals go across the pass, and not one of them is carry-out. “We use them for everything, from sous-vide to pasteurizing eggs. Rational equipment offers a huge advantage, because it’s extremely user-friendly, offers precise programs, and is certified to run overnight,” the restaurant manager says when asked about their reasons for purchasing.

At Top Mountain Crosspoint Restaurant, they’re on 24/7. They often start soups and different types of meat the evening before, leaving them to cook at low temperatures overnight until they reach the perfect degree of doneness. “For safety reasons, certified overnight cooking is absolutely essential when nobody’s around,” Praxmarer explains. That guarantee and Rational’s user-friendly technology help kitchen operations run smoothly, he says.

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