Greetings from the kitchen – In conversation with Miroslav Matejkin, head chef at the Falkensteiner Spa Resort Marienbad

Sarah Parzer
Sarah Parzer
Kommunikation ist ihre Leidenschaft und ihr Beruf. Hört man ihre Stimme mal nicht durch das Büro schallen, ist sie vermutlich auf Reisen mit ihrem Campervan-Oldtimer Louis. Als Sternzeichen Krebs zieht es sie dazu so oft es geht ans Meer. Als Snackspertin ist es ihre Mission, die besten Pommes der Welt zu identifizieren – eine Aufgabe, die sie sehr ernst nimmt.

The picturesque spa town of Mariánské Lázně lies in the middle of the Slaykovsky Les (Imperial Forest) nature reserve with its dense forests. A place where emperors and kings have resided. Emperor Franz Joseph had a railway line built from Vienna to Marienbad – it is rumored that this was so that he could meet the English King Edward VII, who visited Marienbad regularly.

One of the architectural highlights of the town is the Falkensteiner Spa Resort Marienbad. Originally built in 1898 in the Art Nouveau style, the spa hotel – at that time Hotel Casino – is distinguished not only by its innovative health programs but also by its exceptional cuisine. In the hotel’s restaurant, chef Miroslav Matejkin shows how delicious healthy can be with his balanced vitality cuisine. The chef combines regionality and naturalness with high-quality standards and gentle cooking methods.

Miroslav Matejkin, Küchenchef im Falkensteiner Spa Resort Marienbad

From portobello mushroom burgers to Argentinian beef picanha, everything is on offer here – always with a healthy twist. Miroslav has cooked in many kitchens and even helped create some of them. In an interview, he tells us why he chose this career.

  • Like all young people, you had to decide at some point what you wanted to become. Why did you decide to become a chef?

Cooking has always fascinated me. When I was about 10 years old, I started cooking simple meals for myself. Of course, it started quite unspectacularly with tea, pudding, and egg dishes and slowly developed into soups and also goulash. I spent every holiday at my aunt’s, grandma’s, and grandpa’s until I was 14. The food there tasted the best, so I always watched very closely how they prepared the dishes. When I finally had to decide what profession I wanted to take up, it was clear to me that I wanted to go into gastronomy.

  • Your cuisine consists of regional ingredients and combines a variety of flavors. What inspires the dishes you prepare in the Balance Vital kitchen in Mariánské Lázně?

I cook very much by feel. Over the years I have read a lot of specialist literature and also tried out for myself which foods are good for digestion, in what quantities, and in what combination. When I create a new menu, I always imagine how it would taste to me and think a lot about which ingredients, herbs, and spices I could use and how I can create everything as digestible as possible. It sounds a bit confusing, but it works for me without having to cook the dish more than once.

  • Your experience in other kitchens also flows into your creations at the Falkensteiner Spa Resort Marienbad. What were your previous professional stations?

After my first beginnings in Slovakia, I joined the popular Immenhof restaurant in Trippstadt-Kaiserslautern in 2000. After that, my travels took me to Bavaria to the restaurant sev7en days. Here I was able to develop a restaurant concept for the first time, design the kitchen equipment and open the restaurant. After that, I worked for a while at the Othello restaurant in Aichach and at the Markt in Indersdorf. I was also briefly in Switzerland and South Tyrol. But for the last eight years, before I came to Marienbad, I worked in the Tyrolean Alps in a restaurant in Pertisau and in the hotels Hintertuxerhof and Alpenhof. Along the way, I’ve had the opportunity to cook with great chefs like Martin Sieberer or Heinz Winkler and I’ve also had a few internships in Michelin restaurants. With the Balance Vital Kitchen in Marienbad, I have taken on a new challenge that I face every day with a lot of fun and motivation.

For those who are not coming to Mariánské Lázn? soon to try Miroslav’s cuisine, he has shared two of his favorite recipes with us – one vegan and one with meat:

Vegan: Buckwheat tartlet with walnut pesto


  • Cook 200g buckwheat
  • 50g Cooked carrots cut into small cubes
  • Peel 50g celery and cut it into small cubes
  • 50g Cut mushrooms into small cubes
  • 50g Boiled potatoes cut into small cubes
  • 50g Granvegano/vegan cheese/
  • Small onions and a clove of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons soaked flax seeds
  • Cut the courgette into thin slices

Vegan béchamel:

  • 100g olive oil
  • 100g plain flour
  • 500ml almond drink
  • 500ml coconut milk

For the pesto:

Blanch the walnuts twice and, when cool, coarsely blend with walnut oil, Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, and honey.

How to make it:

Mix the cooked buckwheat with the roasted vegetables, bechamel, cheese, and soaked flax seeds, and season with salt and pepper.

Line a baking dish with a diameter of 7 cm and a height of 5 cm with thinly sliced courgettes so that it overhangs the rim. Pour in the mixture and bake in a bain-marie at 180°C for 20 minutes.

Meat: Veal cheeks with lemon polenta

For the veal cheeks:

  • 1 kg veal cheeks
  • zest half a lemon
  • Thyme
  • salt
  • sugar
  • 1l red wine
  • Black pepper
  • Caraway seeds
  • Veal stock
  • Rosemary
  • Juniper
  • Oil
  • Root vegetables
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste

Sear the veal cheeks in the oil. Remove the meat and fry the root vegetables and onions in the stock. Add the tomato paste, fry until dark, then add the cheeks. Fry briefly together. Mix the red wine, black pepper, juniper, caraway seeds, salt, sugar, garlic, and lemon zest and deglaze the meat with it. Add the thyme and let it steam. In the meantime, keep deglazing with veal stock until the cheeks are soft. When the meat is soft, take it out again and add the rosemary, bringing it to a boil briefly. Then strain the sauce through a sieve. Return the meat to the strained sauce and season with salt and pepper.

For the lemon polenta:

  • 75 g polenta
  • 0,5l milk
  • 75g butter
  • 100g lemon grass
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Cut the lemongrass into small pieces and fry in the butter. Deglaze with milk and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Then drain and mix the polenta into the lemon milk. Cook the polenta until soft. Then season to taste with salt, pepper and Parmesan.

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