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Markus Glocker on Consistency and Having a Commitment to Excellence

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About this episode

Chef Markus Glocker started honing his skills and passion for cooking at his family’s hotel in Austria. After pursuing his culinary education, Markus spent several years working for renowned chefs Eckart Witzigmann, Gordon Ramsey, and Charlie Trotter in Vienna, Berlin, London and the U.S. Markus most recently opened Koloman, which brilliantly fuses Austrian cuisine with French elegance, creating a truly unique and unforgettable dining experience.

During this episode, Markus discusses the challenge of crafting a menu that appeals to a diverse audience while still showcasing the distinct flavors and techniques of his culinary philosophy on consistency. Chef Markus shares his perspective on balancing innovation with profitability, recounting iconic dishes with high food costs and the decisions involved in introducing new creations while keeping beloved signature dishes intact.

The episode also delves into the intricacies of restaurant management. Chef Markus highlights the significance of service in complementing the culinary experience, emphasizing the need for a well-functioning front-of-house team to enhance the overall guest experience. Plus, the challenges of finding and retaining talented cooks in the competitive culinary landscape

Where to find Markus Glocker: 

Where to find host Josh Sharkey:

What We Cover

(2:19) Markus’ background

(5:18) The vision behind Koloman

(12:06) How Markus develops menus

(15:16) Building a culture of consistency

(19:31) Finding the right people

(22:11) Why opportunities means to Markus

(28:05) How often does Markus reevaluate dishes?

(31:22) How important is an iconic dish?

(35:10) Collaborating with your team

(38:19) What will never be on Markus’ menu?

(40:06) Pumpkin seed oil and vinegars

(41:55) The story of tafelspitz

(43:0) How have Markus’ mentors influenced his cooking?

(45:49) Markus’ music mentality

(49:03) Why is Markus a chef?


Josh Sharkey [00:00:00]: 

Welcome to The meez Podcast. I'm your host, Josh Sharkey, the founder and CEO of meez, the culinary operating system for food professionals. On the show, I'll be interviewing world-class entrepreneurs in the food space that are shifting the paradigm of how we innovate and operate in our industry. Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the show. 


My guest today is Austrian born chef Markus Glocker. Markus has one of the most incredible pedigrees as a chef you could imagine. From a young age, he worked in the hotel his family ran near the Danube in Austria in his aunt's kitchen, and he knew pretty much right away working there that he was going to dedicate the rest of his life to the craft of cooking.


He left for culinary school and then spent some time cooking for some pretty incredible chefs like Eckart Witzigmann in Berlin. Then back to Vienna before heading to the US to work for chefs Charlie Trotter and then Gordon Ramsey at the London Hotel, where they received two Michelin stars during his time as a chef there.


Markus then went to partner with Drew Nieporent in New York City to open Bâtard in Tribeca, where he earned a James Beard for best new restaurant in America. He recently opened up Koloman in the Ace Hotel in New York. It's opened to rave reviews. I've been there. It's really delicious and it's been packed ever since.


Markus has a commitment to excellence that always reminds me of the late Chef Gray Kuntz whenever I eat his food. It's so pristine and beautiful and it's freaking delicious too. He and I have become friends over the years and had a lot of fun cooking together. But what many people might not know is that in addition to being a really talented chef, he's also a pretty incredible musician.


The first time I heard him jam out on electric piano one night. He didn't say anything before he started and the whole room was just like, what just happened? And I think it just goes to show that you know, anything that he does, he does really well. And I think music has influenced a lot of how he cooks as well. So we had a great conversation. We talked about the state of kitchens involving your team and innovation, how experience working at hotels can shape you as a chef and a lot more. So I hope you enjoy.


Markus, welcome to the podcast, my friend.

Markus Glocker [00:02:21]: 

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

Josh Sharkey [00:02:23]: 

It's been a while since I've seen you in person. I don't know when the last time it was, but I miss eating your food outside of the restaurants as well as in the restaurants. 

Markus Glocker [00:02:30]:

It's been a while. Yeah. But we are all so busy, huh?

Josh Sharkey [00:02:33]:

Yeah, I know, man. Well, you were just in Austria, right? 

Markus Glocker [00:02:35]:

Yeah, I was in Austria for about 10 days. A little bit of family time, as well as exploring some dining destinations in Munich and Austria in general, Saltzburg and Vienna. It was quite fantastic. 

Josh Sharkey [00:02:46]:

What were some of the highlights? 

Markus Glocker [00:02:46]:

What I always do when I go to Europe, fly into Munich.I used to work there. It's just really great to fly into Munich. Buy some sausage in the morning, a little beer with some friends and ease in. I normally rent a car, then I drive down to Austria. This time I was visiting one of my old chefs, Eckart Witzigmann. We used to be back in time, the first three star shop ever in Germany as an Austrian. So he is now 86 or 87 years old. He lives at a Lake called Tegernsee. You know, I just visited him. I brought him a bottle of champagne and we chatted and it was quite nice to see him, but he's getting old. He still the guest chef for Hangar-7. I don't know if you're familiar with that, from Red Bull. 

Josh Sharkey [00:03:31]: 

We did some work with them with Kunz back in the day. 

Markus Glocker [00:03:34]: 

So he's still doing that, but besides that, he’s more or less doing cookbooks and little consulting. But he's, you know, he wants to enjoy his life now.

Josh Sharkey [00:03:45]: 

I bet. Yeah. I mean, 80 some other things are still going strong. That's pretty awesome. 

Markus Glocker [00:03:50]: 

Yeah, for sure. Well, so I was at the lake there. We went to the local fishermen there. I had some smoked fish and some drinks, and then we drove down. I saw my family and started the culinary journey. When I first landed in Munich, I actually went to a place called, Jan Hartwig 


Jan is an incredible chef. He got three stars at a place two years ago, and then he sort of left and opened his own restaurant. Yesterday, Michelin came out in Germany and with the new place, he got three stars right out of the gate. Pretty impressive. 

Josh Sharkey [00:04:18]: 

Wow. That's nuts. 

Markus Glocker [00:04:20]: 

I had his food. I mean, it was three stars all the way. There is no arrow that is rarely eaten like this in my life where we say it was so well thought out. It was so well seasoned and so well prepared that everything was right. You know, it's pretty hard to do. 

Josh Sharkey [00:04:34]: 

Well also, like right out the gate, I mean, getting three stars. Yeah. The minute you open it  is nuts.

Markus Glocker [00:04:44]: 

I went there with two chefs, two chef friends, and everybody said the same thing. You know. That's pretty incredible. 

Josh Sharkey [00:04:48]: 

How long were you there for in Austria? 

Markus Glocker [00:04:52]: 

I was there for 10 days. My father wasn't so well, so the trip was mainly for family, but you know, I had to see some friends as well that put everything together in one trip.

Josh Sharkey [00:05:02]:

Wow. I'm sorry to hear, man. Is he feeling better?

Markus Glocker [00:05:05]:

Nothing major.It’s all good. It's just now I'm always in the US as well. Now, really, home life happened. So I try to spend a little bit more time home with my family as much as possible. 

Josh Sharkey [00:05:18]: 

It sounds like you get home about as often as I do and my family's in Virginia. I think your background is pretty well known, so I want to sort of jump into Koloman and your vision behind it, why you opened it. I remember hearing you talk about your vision for sort of a Viennese cafe, and of course then applying Markus Glocker's pristine touch to it. But what's the vision behind it and why'd you open it? 

Markus Glocker [00:05:37]: 

I envision the restaurant that she's not just going for three stars and like doing what I did before in my career, which I love, don't get me wrong. The fine dining aspect of all of that. But what I missed in a lot of ways was like the liveliness of a restaurant while still doing excellent food and wine and had as a story as well and the connection with it, you know, the connection was with me, obviously through Austria, the food I love, but the food itself was always a little bit too casual for me.


So I wanted to put that into context with a well thought out wine list. The design, which features, you know, sort of an Austrian feel as well. And then obviously the food, which has my fingerprint on it, but not as a chef. Hey, look at me. You know, this is all the food that I can put on the plate, and it's really elaborate, difficult to understand.

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