The gourmet formula of the Sonnleiten

A culinary journey into the world of the Aurina Valley and beyond

Shredding, slicing, cutting, marinating, stewing, steaming, frying, roasting, caramelising, spicing, seasoning, mincing, decorating: he has a magical touch for it all. He is a true artist who supervises the cast iron pans, handles the pots with dexterity and, thanks to his surprising sensitivity and creative vein, delights the eyes and palates of all guests.

It is therefore no wonder that some people come to the Sonnleiten or the Stochas family restaurant precisely to sample Manuel’s delicious dishes.

Full tummies and
empty plates

Ingredients from nature

Manuel Hofer:
the artist of the kitchen

A love for cooking runs in his veins: his great-grandmother worked as a chef in Brunico in the 1930s and his mother for 30 years in the kitchen at the Sonnleiten.

Their motto? Bring dishes prepared with love and passion to the table. While the other children dreamed of becoming firefighters or pilots, Manuel was much more interested in the many pots on the stove and the fresh herbs and spices that filled the air with their multiplicity of scents.

If I want to become a good cook,
I have to get out of my valley and travel the world.

At the age of 15 he moved to Obereggen/Bolzano, where he completed his training with a young chef. While there, he not only learned the basics of culinary art in detail, but also how to train his eye and shape his own style of cooking. In the following years he cooked in various places in South Tyrol, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, passing from simple inns to starred restaurants.

Herbs Typical dish - Schlutzkrapfen Soup Fish Culinary delights - detail of wooden bowls with dishes & decoration - Hotel Sonnleiten

Back to the Roots, back into the valley.
A culinary journey into the world of the Valle Aurina and beyond.

At the age of 24, he returned to his homeland and together with his mother took over the business. Having his own kitchen felt almost surreal after sharing one with 25 other cooks during the years of his apprenticeship. But his decision soon began to bear fruit. At last, he had all the space he needed to unleash his creative spirit and hone his style.

Cooking is detail work

The philosophy of each chef is reflected in the dish and in the glass. We are what we eat and cook.

It’s not his style to promise lavish feasts. But he does like to keep certain promises, such as the use of local products, personal contact with his producers, and respect for the taste of each ingredient.

His way of cooking can be described in two words: natural and regional. He loves to think outside the box and take inspiration from the culinary art of countries all over the world.

With Manuel you can experience the genuine taste of the Valle Aurina, from your first bite to your last sip.