I am Hubert Zanier, and I am the managing director and one of the owners of www.kipferl.co.uk
It was a coincidence that got me in touch with cooking and the secrets of Austrian food. Both my parents were working in our busy little shop in Tirol and our nanny/housekeeper was in charge of our lunches. She was an expert in Austrian food and made the most amazing Wiener Schnitzel, Knödel, Gulasch and Tiroler Gröstel. Her Sachertorte was famous with all our family and friends, and whenever we celebrated a birthday, anniversary or had special guests her cakes were the culinary highlight.
When I was 12 years old, our chef had an accident with her bicycle and a big cast on her arm made it impossible for her to cook for us, and as I was home for the summer holiday I suddenly was in charge of preparing our meals, always under the supervision of our experienced and expert housekeeper. I always loved food, but now I also discovered how to prepare the typical Austrian dishes I usually only had the pleasure to enjoy when they were served at the table.
After 8 weeks of “training”, I had enough basic knowledge to cook by myself and my love and passion for cooking local dishes was fully uncovered.
A career in finance brought me all over Europe and I finally landed in London in 2005. I always dreamed of having my own restaurant and patisserie, but I did not have the courage to completely change careers and fully immerse myself in the challenging world of hospitality.
Since its inception, Kipferl in Islington has always been a refuge for Austrians and lovers of Austrian food and cakes, and like so many of my fellow countrymen, I was a regular there, enjoying a Schnitzel, a glass of Grüner Veltliner and a Sachertorte mit Schlag (the obligatory whipped cream).
And when we had the opportunity to take over Kipferl from the founder in spring 2019 it was a dream come true for myself and my Austrian business partners.
Little did we know about the challenges the world would throw at us, but after completely reorganising all aspects of Kipferl we were ready to grow and make Kipferl have the success it always deserved.
CoVid19 and the lockdowns were a massive setback and a real threat, but the popular food, cosy atmosphere and unique brand of Kipferl helped us to quickly bounce back. In addition to the ever-busy dine-in experience at Kipferl, we also had the time to completely overhaul our online shop. Customers all over the UK, from London to Scotland, from Wales to Northern Island quickly discovered our unique hand made Austrian cakes, carefully selected Austrian Wines, and Kipferl is now the most successful culinary ambassador for Austria in the United Kingdom.
Whether you are looking for a cosy dining location for a full Austrian meal, want to meet a friend for a chat over coffee and cake, need a birthday cake for a friend or want to surprise a loved one with a special bottle of wine, Kipferl is the place to go.