Stephan Wasmayer

Saturday in Ottakring



Ottakring – Vienna’s melting pot of different cultures – is home to Stephan Wasmayer. This is where he was born, grew up and has been living "forever". The name of the place hails from Bavarians who settled in the vicinity of the city of Vienna. In 1890, Emperor Francis Joseph II decided that previously independent villages located around Vienna should be incorporated into the municipality of Vienna, which started an integration process that has been repeating itself generation after generation up to the present day.
Hidden away in the lanes of the district is the long-established shop of Rudolf Kriechbaum, one of the few remaining butchers. Here, everything is made on the premises. Anyone looking for pre-packed merchandise would do so in vain. Customers not sure about how to prepare a certain dish or looking for the right cut of meat can always turn to the shop owner for help and advice. A bread roll with excellent Leberkäs enriched with tiny cubes of cheese makes a perfect midmorning snack. No mustard though, please, as this would mask its typical flavour.

Kriechbaum’s butcher shop is an Ottakring institution. When the Kriechbaums take their well-deserved annual holiday in July, those living around Wilhelminenberg go vegetarian for a couple of weeks.
On Saturdays, Stephan is attracted by the temptations of the nearby Yppen market with its diversity of international dishes and smells. Here, a vibrant food scene with little restaurants has developed, helped by the fact that Brunnengasse is now completely closed to motor traffic and stalls are allowed to remain in place overnight. Stephan’s favourite haunt is Yppenplatz and its surroundings, with eateries and market stalls selling specialties he finds hard to resist.
Excellent espresso and culinary delights such as ham and cave-aged cheeses from the Italian and Slovenian Karst region lure him to La Salvia. In warm weather, one can sit outside the shop and watch bustling market life. On weekends, lounging in a sunny corner, Stephan loves to relax and watch market participants while briefly forgetting about stock prices and financial crises. In stark contrast to his everyday office experience with market events unfolding on screens, everything here is genuine real life. Right next to the La Salvia shop is the Jumi cheese stall, another culinary highlight. The Swiss cheese maker specialises in cheeses made from unpasteurised milk. Stephan’s recommendation: listen to the good advice dished out by the stall keepers and you can be sure to leave with a tasty surprise in your shopping bag. For pasta dishes, he recommends Belper Knolle, a Swiss cheese made in the city of Belp. Finely grated, it imparts a delicious aroma to your pasta – dry and hot.
Staud’s is another of Stephan’s preferred shops. The small manufacturer of Viennese delicacies, who has been firmly established in Ottakring for many years, is a genuine market fixture, selling a broad range of sweet and sour delicacies in his signature octagonal jars with the black lids. This is also the place to go for people with a love for aesthetically arranged food and elaborate display, as the shop with its countless jars of pickled delicacies is a lovely sight and offers a varied range of items. Stephan’s favourite product is peppers marinated in oil, notable for their aroma and pleasant acid flavour.
After the hustle and bustle of Vienna’s longest street market, going for a little walk is just the thing to do. His search for peace and quiet often takes Stephan to the Wilhelminenberg recreational park. The abundant greenery and the fresh air make a nice difference to his everyday working life. From the park in front of Wilhelminenberg palace one enjoys a marvellous view of Vienna (which may, however, include barking dogs).

Below the palace, the Leitner Heurige (a traditional vintner’s tavern that serves wine and snacks) is an inviting place for spending some leisurely hours. The specialty of this eatery is, unusually, pork knuckle in a crispy skin. Smaller dishes are also on offer, though, with every taste being catered for – a great combination of local cuisine and a panoramic view of Vienna.
The Steinhof area nearby is known for its unhurried and quiet atmosphere. In spring and summer, the golden dome of the church designed by Otto Wagner glitters in the sun, while in autumn and winter it often looks almost mystical amid the rising mists.

If one is lucky, one may come across a herd of roe deer that are not too shy. They are used to seeing people walking by and allow them to come surprisingly near – provided you are not a hunter. Anyone looking for motifs for close-up pictures will feel in paradise.

Back home, Stephan often prepares a meal using the products bought at the market and immerses himself again in the exotic smells and delights of Ottakring.

Mag. Stephan Wasmayer, member of the executive board of Gutmann Kapitalanlageaktiengesellschaft (KAG), partner,

Father, resident in Vienna, fan of the Rolling Stones, recreational volleyball player, lover of Trieste.

Having enjoyed exercise since his school days, his favourite sport is volleyball. What he values most is the fun of playing in a team – in his private life, his ambition to win is not very strong. He also regularly cycles to the office (weather permitting), but usually only one leg as he does not find the uphill trip from the office back to Ottakring as appealing as the relaxed downhill ride in the morning – an arrangement that is made possible by the well-developed network of city bike stations.

He first joined Gutmann as a working student and spent many years at the bank before moving to KAG as head of risk management and finally being appointed member of the executive board. During the almost 20 years he has spent with Gutmann he has constantly been on the lookout for new ideas and improvements to the asset management approach.

A graduate of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Stephan Wasmayer is also a very active member of VÖIG (the Austrian Association of Investment Fund Management Companies).


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