Austrian Chefs Cook Imperial, Rustic Cuisine at Apples to Zucchini Cooking School | Good for Santa Barbara

Posted on June 27, 2022
| 3:17 p.m.

Two Austrian-born chefs, Nancy Martz and Anna-Katharina Preidl, will bring Sommerfest to Santa Barbara at Apples to Zucchini Cooking School (AtoZ), where they hope to share flavors and techniques that celebrate the imperial and rustic history of L ‘Austria.

“I spent my summers in Austria, where my Opa made me Wienerschnitzel in his little traditional kitchen,” said Martz, executive director, whose mother is Austrian. “He was a professional chef, but at home he fixed all my favorites for me.

“His wife made these wonderful crescent-shaped almond cookies – vanillakipferl. We’d be covered in powdered sugar after eating them.”

Martz remembers his favorite dishes, including apricot dumplings (marillenknoedl). “In summer, all the stalls are full of apricots, and they are featured on all the menus, in dumplings, sorbets, cakes, salads. This is apricot heaven.

Preidl, the cookery school’s summer intern, spent her teenage years in Austria. She is studying materials science and engineering at Stanford.

Martz and Preidl met when the Martz family lived in Austria for two years; Martz and Preidl’s children attended the same school. Preidl has been a professional pastry chef since high school and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris during her gap year.

“Being in the kitchen allows for the most authentic expression of myself,” Preidl said. “This is where creativity meets analysis, and I can experiment with flavor, texture, and design in a way that engages both my curiosity and my senses. I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to share my enthusiasm with AtoZ students.”

Apples to Zucchini Cooking School will offer classes for adults and teens featuring Wienerschnitzel (traditional breaded cutlet), Rinderroulade (pickle-stuffed beef rolls), apple strudel and sweet dumplings. Course descriptions and registration are available at

A non-profit organization, Apples to Zucchini Cooking School was founded in 2016 with the vision of teaching all children and teens in Santa Barbara County how to cook. It has since added classes for adults, including classes on food as medicine. Students cook together, eat together, and clean together.

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