Kurt Macher General Manager of award winning The Temple House describes his weekend in the city
Kurt is immaculately dressed, with an eye for detail and a flair for the dramatic. He is bringing a new level of style and panache to Chengdu at The Temple House.
Raised by his pastry chef mother in Austria (he longs for her strudel), Kurt has been in a restaurant environment since the age of two and was helping out in the kitchen by five years old. He went on to complete culinary school, before military service in Austria where he was a sharp shooter in his unit – although didn’t care for the army.
Since then he has worked as a hotelier around the world, before arriving in Chengdu 6 months ago. He now lives here with his Husband Noel, his cat Layla and Rocky, his prized Yorkshire terrier (most recently seen wearing a tuxedo at the Temple House Wedding Fair).
Kurt moves around The Temple House with immense excitement and pride, pointing out every detail, an endless stream of ideas for the new year: Movie screenings on the Temple Top, Sunday picnics on the green and a book club in the historic Bitieshi Library. He is clearly a great creative mind and this is how he spends he weekend’s in Chengdu:
This is going to be a busy weekend at The Temple House for Chinese New Year, so I will be working Saturday and Sunday to make sure all the activities planned for the in house guests run smoothly – luckily, I have this Friday off before the madness begins.
I start every day at The Temple House gym and go for a swim. If there is space at our beautiful MI XUN spa, I will have our famous bamboo massage to relax my muscles. Then I’ll go for a walk with Rocky, my Yorkshire terrier. Next is lunch. I like to have wonton soup at Rose Diner in Lan Kwai Fong because it takes me back to my days living in Hong Kong – Rocky usually joins me in my bag, he’s become quite the expert at sneaking into restaurants.
I often visit the Daci Temple and light an incense, it’s incredible to have such a historic building so close to The Temple House. I might drop by Fangsuo Commune Bookstore which I love because it reminds me of big cosmopolitan cities I used to live in like New York or Houston. That being said, I hope that despite all the new stores and developments coming to Chengdu, it never loses the slow relaxed vibe that makes it so special.
In the evening if my husband Noel is in Chengdu (he is a professional photographer so travels a lot for work) we might just chill at home (watching Real Housewives is my guilty pleasure) – or maybe head to Revolucion for some cocktails.
My Saturday will start at 9am with yoga at The Temple House. I promised myself for my new year’s resolution I wouldn’t miss it. Dani, the instructor is wonderful and this week it will be above the Bitieshi, with a view of the court yard and the hanging lanterns. I’m going to light candles everywhere, the atmosphere will be amazing. Afterwards everyone (classes are usually 10-20 people) will have brunch together in The Temple Café around a big table and chat and get to know each other.
The rest of my day will be spent organising the wonderful array of activities for our guests. We have a calligraphy expert who will be holding classes over the weekend, our chef Paulo at TIVANO will be teaching a pizza making workshop for the children and our in-house sommelier Fei Fei will host wine-tasting classes for the wine-lovers to enjoy.
For both lunch and dinner this Chinese New Year a new fusion menu at The Temple Cafe by our French Chef Jerome will be available. Favourites such as Coq Au Vin will be served with a Chinese twist as well as Foie Gras dumplings and more. It’s a great way of introducing French food to the local palate as well as celebrating the year of the cockerel – Jerome is very talented.
I will spend the morning welcoming guests as we reach nearly full capacity over the weekend. They will be welcomed with complimentary shoulder massages and manicures. I will also drop by the MI XUN our Spa and Vegetarian Teahouse as one of our talented staff members will be playing the zither all weekend, to the special Chinese New Year menu with organic wine pairings
At noon we will have a lion dance to bless the house for the new year and we will feed him red enevelopes to bring us luck. We will need luck as I have ambitious plans for the new year; I would like our art gallery, which currently showcasses work from A Thousand Plateaus, to become a platform for upcoming artists in Chengdu. I also hope we can do more good for the community with charity events with The Rotary Club. There will be lots more surprises from us this year.