Meinrad Neunkirchner was born in 1962 in Vienna, and at age 14 entered Gastgewerbefachschule, Judenplatz in Vienna’s 1st district for three years of culinary training. He apprenticed at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, then to Switzerland’s Alexandra-Palace, and then a short stay in Oslo, Norway at the Grand-Hotel. He began working up the kitchen ladder in Germany, first at the Restaurant Gala in Aachen; then the Waldhorn, the Tantris, and finally, two years at Aubergine in Munich.
He continued as sous chef in French Restaurant’s Dubern/Bordeaux; Troisgrois/Roanne and Café de Paris in Biarritz; then on to Italy’s Due Lampioni in Turin and Marchesi in Mailand. His first restaurant as chef de cuisine back in Vienna was Fuchsenloch, then Restaurant Vincent.
In 1998, Chef Meinrad was the Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Academie when the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape him for Austria’s ORF-TV Network and their Great Chefs of Austria television series, as well as the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the World series.
He stayed with Restaurant Academie for many years, and then in 2004 he moved over to the Buddah Bar, and in 2006 the Spillerner Restaurant. In 2008 Chef Meinrad changed again when he renovated a coaching inn in Gersthof, calling it Freyenstein.
In 2015, he retired from Freyenstein because of bad health, and passed away in May, 2016. The Digitale Welt commented in his obituary that “Chef Neunkirchner was one of the greatest chefs, the world has ever seen in Austria.”