For Elmar Prambs, being hands-on is key to his role as Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. “The hustle-and-bustle of the kitchen really gets my juices flowing. I like to be connected and to have my hand in every aspect of what we’re doing – from sourcing and buying ingredients to preparing and serving each dish.”
Elmar grew up in the heartland of Bavaria, where according to him all of his family’s meals were home-cooked, period. “From the age of 10, I was my mother’s assistant at the stove,” he recalls. “I can remember going out to the garden and picking tomatoes – still warm from the afternoon sun – right off the vine.” With such a strong farm-to-table upbringing, Elmar's enthusiasm for fresh and local cuisine has only grown stronger over the years, a passion that’s evident in his menus.
Apprenticed to a German master chef at the age of 15, Prambs joined Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver as a grill cook in 1977. He went on to work in Four Seasons kitchens in Edmonton and Dallas before moving to Texas in 1986 to lead the pre-opening team for Four Seasons Hotel Austin.
Since coming to Austin, Prambs’ dishes have touched the palates of many distinguished diners including Queen Elizabeth and President George W. Bush. But to him, no matter who’s at the table, his guiding philosophy always stems from his earliest experiences in the kitchen. “My mother’s cooking is still a huge influence on me. Just like her, I present menu items that are well-balanced and full of natural flavor. That way, the seasonings enhance rather than overpower the basic ingredients of the dish.”
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