Norbert Niederkofler of three Michelin-star Restaurant St Hubertus has agreed to represent the Italian apple brand

Apple brand Marlene has appointed top South Tyrolean chef Norbert Niederkofler as its new ‘face of flavour and excellence’.

Niederkofler, who runs the three Michelin-star Restaurant St Hubertus at the Hotel Rosa Alpina in San Cassiano, will work with Marlene brand owner Vog to promote the art of apple cuisine, as a key part of its current four seasons campaign.

Over the past few decades, he has secured a place in the pantheon of great Italian chefs by incorporating tastes and fragrances from the surrounding Dolomite mountains into what Michelin judges describe as unforgettable gastronomic experiences.

The pleasure of fine dining features in the first of marketing initiative. Niederkofler has personally invited four chefs from four different countries to develop a seasonally themed recipe using one Marlene apple variety, while he himself has taken inspiration from South Tyrol to create a recipe that embraces all four seasons.

The celebrity partnership was announced during a gala dinner in the apple orchards around Merano – with dishes that featured the Royal Gala variety.

“This is just the first step in a sequence in which we will be working with chef Niederkofler all year, in a unique fruit promotion project that will raise our apples to a new level,” explains Hannes Tauber, Vog marketing manager.

“Norbert’s image embodies the values of flavour, origin and sustainability intrinsic to the Marlene brand. n his cuisine, the insistence on quality and genuine origin and harmony with seasonality and natural time frames combine with an international vision derived from experience gained across the world.”

Niederkofler sees the fruit itself as the real star of the show. “Marlene is a daughter of the Alps, and I am also their child,” he explains. “This apple is a worldwide ambassador for the flavour, fragrance and aromas of South Tyrol, which are the basis of my cuisine.”

He adds: “Together, we will be running a series of experiences through which we will promote and further raise awareness of our homeland’s splendid products of excellence worldwide.”

Programme of talks

Culture and origin are also central themes. Niederkofler will use Marlene’s social and digital media channels to present a series called Apple Tree Talks. During each season, the chef will visit a Marlene fruit grower to discuss that season’s distinctive features and their role in growing a specific apple variety.

Elsewhere, Marlene apples will feature in a special recipe at AlpiNN in Bruneck, an innovative restaurant created by Norbert Niederkofler and co-founder Paolo Ferretti to promote Alpine cuisine.

And the brand will be part of a set of ethical chef days organised by Care’s in Venice, Bruneck and Salina. There, it will display the winning entries from its recent 25th anniversary art competition.

“The Care’s events, centred on ethical and environmental sustainability, enable us to approach the issue in a natural, positive, hands-on way, with the international outlook common to Marlene and Norbert Niederkofler, with his impressive cultural knowledge and standing,” comments Walter Pardatscher, CEO of the Vog Consortium.

“The partnership, grounded in deeply shared values and objectives, will comprise a large number of initiatives, running throughout the year.”