Are you a barbecue and fresh air enthusiast, too? Then you are bound to have sizzled something delicious on the grill in winter before. Yes, that works perfectly fine, too, and has long ceased to be just a "trend" for the intrepid!
Winter barbecue party with Johann Lafer
On 26 March 2017, celebrity chef Johann Lafer and Planai Hochwurzen Bahnen and Weber Grill hosted the largest, highest-altitude winter grill party in Austria. Some 240 grill enthusiasts answered the invitation and set the charcoal alight at Schafalm.
Of course we couldn't miss this event, taking place for the second time on our next-door mountain in the Planai area! So we found ourselves rising up rapidly to Schafalm in our gondola at 10:30 am. At an altitude of approx. 1,800 metres, the sunny weather and a fantastic mountain panorama welcomed us.
Following a lovely appetiser and a brief introduction to the procedure, it was already time to man the barbecues, with an on your marks, get set, go! There were 8 to a team, industriously chopping, stirring, grilling, and seasoning the 1st course of "Styrian chicken with barbecued mango and Styrian apple juice." Since there were 31 barbecues and teams, celebrity chef Johann Lafer could not supervise all of them at the same time, and he was assisted by 10 grill masters from Weber's Grill Academy. With their helping hands and expert eye, it didn't take long before we were able to relish the 1st course of our Styrian menu - divine!
The breather after the substantial 1st course was short-lived and we soon began work on the second: "Saddle of veal in mushroom cream sauce and pretzel dumpling casserole." The main dish required much more skill and team work on our part. It quickly became clear that a grill can be used for much more than just grilling! The ingredients were prepared speedily according to Johann Lafer's exacting instructions. And he personally inspected the activities of each individual grill team. In next to no time, the 2nd course was ready for us to enjoy. What can we say, we loved it!
The final course to our meal provided yet more evidence of just how versatile a grill can be. There was chocolate cake in Schafalm mugs that we mixed ourselves, baked on the grill (whipping the eggs with sugar had some of us breaking into a sweat). This was served with ginger chocolate sauce that we mixed ourselves and vanilla ice cream. Even those among us on a Lent fast couldn't resist the temptation of a dessert as scrumptious as this.
Our conclusion: A barbecue is fun in all seasons – but even more so in nice and cheerful company! If you'd like to join in the largest winter grill party in Austria, it will be taking place again in 2018, Johann Lafer says. :)