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Friday, November 04, 2011
Kurt Gutenbrunner On The Lack Of Café Culture In America

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Kurt Gutenbrunner is chef and co-owner of Wallsé, Blaue Gans, the Upholstery Store, Cafe Kristall and Viennese coffeehouse Café Sabarsky.

He recently did an interview in The Village Voice‘s Fork in the Road blog about his new book, Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna. Fork in the Road asked him about a lack of “café culture” in America.

In the book, you talk a lot about the Austria’s café culture. Why do you think we don’t see that here in America as much?

It’s all about history. We didn’t know about coffee before the Turks came to Vienna in 1600. When the Turks came, we fought them back and then they left us the coffee. And it took time for us to figure out what do with it and so we invented the coffeehouse. In the 1800s and 1900s, all the artists used to work out of the coffeehouses so they became a meeting point for interaction and to hang out and work together. It became this culture of sitting in a café all day long and you have snacks and coffee and cakes. It’s a very Central European mentality that you also see in Budapest and around Eastern Europe.

Read the full interview here.

Kurt Gutenbrunner, Harvey Sachs and the Ensemble for the Romantic Century will all be at 92YTribeca on November 13 for Eat, Drink & Think Like...Beethoven. This will be an in-depth look into Beethoven and his world. Listen and watch as musicians and actors from the Ensemble for the Romantic Century bring his story to life. Learn about Viennese Kaffeehaus culture as you taste historically accurate pastries and drinks.

Like Time Out New York said. ”Non-boring lectures.

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