Heinz Reitbauer was born in August 1970, the same year his parents opened their restaurant, Steirereck, in Vienna. Exposed to these culinary influences from his early years, Heinz Reitbauer studied at the hospitality school in Altotting, Bavaria, and then a year of apprenticeship at his parents’ Steirereck restaurant. He then went on to complete his training at the restaurant of the Obauer brothers in Werfen. After finishing his apprenticeship, he spent a year in 1989 under Great Chef Alain Chapel in Mionnay near Lyon, France. He continued his international experience in 1990 with a year at Anton Mosimann’s in London and stints at Joel Robuchon’s restaurant, Laurent, in Paris.
In 1992, he and his family aquired a farm and country inn located in Pogusch in northern Styria, and built the Steirereck / Wirtshaus and Restaurant Pogusch, which opened in May of 1996. The Great Chefs television team showed up in May of 1998 to tape both Chef Heinz and his pastry chef Barbara Illmaier, for their Great Chefs of Austria series for Austria’s ORF television network. His efforts were rewarded in 1999 when he was honored with the Trophee Gourmet for the best Austrian Kitchen.
In 2005, his family purchased the old municipal dairy inn, Stadtpark, to relocate Steirereck, and Chef Helmut Osterreicher retired. Chef Heinz and his wife moved back to Vienna to assume the responsibility as Head Chef at the new Steirereck, and his parents took over running of the inn at Pogusch.