Instead of Schnitzel and cold meats, the menu of the Hündeleskopfhütte offers vegan cheese spätzle and zucchini lasagne. Silvia Beyer is the first cabin manager in the Alps to take meat off the menu. What many may see as a contradiction in terms seems to be working well for her: The new concept is attracting many guests to the Allgäu.
The Allgäu in all its splendourWalkers and mountain bikers who make their way through the wood and up to the Hündeleskopfhütte find themselves richly rewarded for their efforts: They are met by breathtaking views over the Allgäu Alps and the mighty Zugspitze. The cabin itself is as pretty as a postcard. The undulating East Allgäu glacier landscape stretches away at its feet. The striking tower of Pfronten parish church rises up into the sky. When the sun shines it lights up the moorland and makes the lakes glitter.
The Hündeleskopfhütte looks like a traditional mountain tavern of the kind that have always been present in the Allgäu. But appearances can be deceptive! Cabin manager Silvia Beyer has gone down a different route. At the end of May 2015, Beyer - who was born in Nesselwang and is a member of the German Vegetarian Association - took on the lease of the ancient cabin at 1,180 m and turned her dream into a reality: She opened the first vegetarian mountain cabin in the Alps. “The time is right for it – even in the Allgäu”, she says with conviction.
Culinary experiments meet traditional home cookingThe concept of a vegetarian mountain cabin and traditional Bavarian cuisine are not mutually exclusive - quite the reverse, in fact: In fact, many of the typical Allgäu dishes contain no meat – from Krautkrapfen (cabbage rolls) to the classic “Kaasspatzn”, or cheese spätzle. Even the locals are convinced. Many regulars have started to meet here.
Today the menu of the day features zucchini lasagne baked with almond cream and Krautkrapfen. The domestic science graduate is never happier than when she is cooking dishes from her childhood and refining these with her modern recipes. Her grandmother and mother were both vegetarian: Oma Buck ran a guesthouse and even in those days only served her guests dishes that contained no meat, fish, sugar or white flour. “The famous pilot and entrepreneur Beate Uhse was one of her guests”, remembers Silvia Beyer.
The cabin manager herself chose to stop eating meat when she was twelve. However, she is not out to convert her guests: “Everyone should be free to eat and live in the way they think is right”, she says.