Restaurateur Kurt Gutenbrunner of KG-NY Group - Biography

New York, NY

July 2012

Executive chef and founder of the KG-NY Group, Kurt Gutenbrunner is the proprietor of an impressive and ever growing portfolio of top-rated New York City restaurants. Gutenbrunner grew up in the small village of Wallsé located 80 miles outside of Vienna. At the age of 14, he recognized his passion in life, and enrolled in a professional culinary program. During his training, he spent summers in the Wachau Valley learning about the winemaking process. It was there that Gutenbrunner truly grasped the importance of the interplay between food and wine, developing a great appreciation for the wine of the region.

Throughout his career, Gutenbrunner has worked at several prominent restaurants across Europe including the Michelin-starred Tantris in Munich, Rotisserie Prinz Eugen in Vienna, and Mangostin in Munich. He moved to New York City in 1998, when he was recruited to work at Windows on the World’s Cellar in the Sky. After one year on the team, Gutenbrunner returned to Munich to become chef de cuisine at Bistro Terrine, a French bistro that was purchased, dismantled and reassembled in Germany by Tantris Owner Fritz Eichbasuer. Three years later, eager to expand his knowledge of exotic cuisine, Gutenbrunner found an opportunity at Munich’s Mangostin, a contemporary Asian-influenced restaurant, where he supervised a staff of 25 Thai and Vietnamese cooks and became an expert in the ingredients and techniques of Eastern cuisine.

In 2000, Gutenbrunner ventured out on his own and opened his first restaurant, Wallsé, in Manhattan’s West Village, where he serves a menu of authentic, Michelin-starred Viennese cuisine with a contemporary touch. In 2001, Ronald Lauder, co-founder of the Neue Galerie New York, hired Gutenbrunner to create Café Sabarsky, a traditional Viennese café housed in the museum named after art dealer and museum co-founder Serge Sabarsky. In 2005, Gutenbrunner opened Blaue Gans (“Blue Goose”) in homage to the traditional Wirtshaus he enjoyed visiting during his childhood in Austria. And in 2009, he opened The Upholstery Store, a small jewel box of a wine bar, located in the West Village just around the corner from Wallsé.

In 2010 Gutenbrunner began his career in consulting, working with the Standard Hotel Group for the popular Biergartens in both New York and Los Angeles.

Gutenbrunner’s first cookbook, Neue Cuisine, was published in 2011, with over 100 of the chef’s favorite traditional and contemporary Austrian recipes, such as apple strudel and Wiener Schnitzel, and features works from the Neue Galerie, New York’s museum of early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design. On September 23rd, 2011, Gutenbrunner was awarded the “Decoration of Merit in Gold of the Republic of Austria” by the Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at the residence of the Austrian Consul General, Dr. Ernst-Peter Brezovszky. Gutenbrunner currently looks forward to the re-launch of his restaurant Café Kristall, located in the SOHO Swarovski Crystallized store. Passion for art and food have made him a true culinary icon in New York as well as in the international community.