"With an offer to work at a three-star restaurant in Paris on the table, I chose instead to return to the Wachau. And to follow my heart."
"The pandemic has increased our appreciation for the fine products available right on our own doorstep. Because all the creativity in the world is ultimately pointless if your ingredients aren’t up to scratch."
"My grandfather lived in Rossatz for 15 years. And whenever my step uncle picked us up from the train station in St. Pölten for our vacation, as we drove past here he would say, "Look, that's where the famous Lisl Wagner-Bacher cooks." From that point on, of course, the restaurant was on my radar."
Back to Wachau
In 2002, he returned to Landhaus Bacher for good. "In fact, I already had a commitment in Paris at that time. I could have accepted a position in a three-star restaurant, which was actually what I had always wanted. But I decided to follow my heart instead." As a brand-new son-in-law, Thomas continued in the role of sous chef to his former boss Lisl Wagner-Bacher for a few more years, although he increasingly began to develop his own style. "My mother-in-law always gave me the space I needed when I needed it." And he also mastered the balancing act between work, relationship and family. "Even as a young guy, you have to know where you stand, even if things get a little crazy now and then. That takes a lot of time and patience." Two qualities that have certainly paid off. In 2009, Thomas Dorfer was named Chef of the Year by Gault Millau, and he has held the position of head chef at Landhaus Bacher since 2010. His wife Susanne, who now runs the restaurant while also acting as a young 21st-century sommelier, is always at his side and is, of course, one of the key contributors to his success. She is the one who pairs her husband's dishes with the most suitable wines. In the Wachau, of course, she can choose from an abundance of vintages, but the award-winning house cellar also boasts superb wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Germany, and Italy. Christina Kopriva, the second daughter of the house, attends with great finesse to the pleasant ambiance of the restaurant. And the grande dame of Austrian cuisine has not yet fully retired: Lending a hand where needed and helping out in the kitchen during the summer season – that's what a family business is all about. And so, she quite effortlessly prepares jams, sauces and stocks, as well as liqueurs and schnapps, which can be purchased at Lisl´s Genuss Manufaktur.
About Landhaus Bacher
Thomas Dorfer at Landhaus Bacher
Countless awards, such as the 2009 Gault Millau Chef of the Year, or first place in the Falstaff restaurant guide alongside Steirereck Wien and Restaurant Obauer, have made Landhaus Bacher the top culinary destination in the country. And for those who prefer to stay on after a fine dinner, Landhaus Bacher also has stylish guest rooms, treating their house guests to a lavish breakfast of fine ham, Wachauer rolls and of course homemade apricot jam.