Kurt's passion for food has been a constant throughout his life. While growing up with garden-fresh cooking in a small village on the Danube River, he decided, at age 15, that he wanted to become a chef. He promptly enrolled in a professional hotel and restaurant school and obtained a degree in culinary arts two years later. At the age of 16, he apprenticed at the Relais et Chateau Richard Löwenherz in the Wachau region, where he developed an appreciation for the wine of that region. These wines are still featured in his restaurants today. Kurt then journeyed to Switzerland to work at Crans Montan in the Wallis Valley before heading to Vienna to work with Chef Werner Matt at the Rotisserie Prinz Eugen. Under Chef Matt, who is frequently credited with developing modern Austrian cuisine, he helped earn the restaurant its first Michelin star.