In Goisern, they say ‘Griaß di’ instead of ‘Guten Tag’ and favour the use of the informal ‘du’ (you) over the more proper ‘Sie’ (you). In no way should these informalities be considered disrespectful but instead are signs of the friendly and lovable nature of the Inner Salzkammergut.
With that said, I offer you a hearty ‘Griaß di’! My name is Willi Eberl. I originally come from Eben in the Pongau region of the state of Salzburg. Eben is not exactly a world-renown city but is familiar to many (it lies along the highway to Villach). The use of the informal ‘du’ is widespread in my hometown as well.
The first steps to becoming a ‘foodie’ were not at all difficult. My mother’s exceptional cooking skills received awards and we, the four children of the Maxwirt restaurant were her original fans. I was also her helper and companion and later her emulator and colleague. The exchange of ideas with Mother has never stopped. It continues even today.
The original plan was to become a carpenter. Due to a lack of apprenticeship positions, I ended up pursuing cooking and trained under Johanna Maier in the Hubertushof restaurant in Filzmoos. What should I say about those years? Life’s not easy at the bottom . . . I continued to shape my culinary experience in Switzerland, Italy and France. My ambition constantly pushed me further afield and then eventually brought me back home.
Since 1998, I’ve been back in Austria. Since 2001, I’ve been the father of two amazing children. Since 2009, I’ve been the head of the Goiserer Mühle. I’ve always been fond of experimentation. Although devoted to the new, I’ve never abandoned the old. Nevertheless, I’m still very different, very ‘ungoiserisch’—especially in the eyes of the Goisern natives. This scepticism is something that one has to endure and face with stubborn persistence. Eventually my determination was rewarded with acceptance. Now I’m locally known as the ‘Mühl’wirt’, which is a noble title—at least in Goisern.