My reward, Rinaldo
Rifugio Peller, Dolomiti di Brenta
“I started managing Rifugio Peller after I retired. Before retiring, I worked as a self-employed electrician for 21 years. It was an unemotional job and you never spoke to anyone. Whereas here, every day you must tackle different problems and, in the end, if you do your duty, you are rewarded by the smiles of the people who leave the hut satisfied. And the most important thing is that they come back and they ask for you. This is because you put your heart and soul into your job and you don’t do it for money. People notice if you do it enthusiastically. It’s not just a matter of serving at tables and making the beds, it also involves entertaining, giving advice, understanding the needs of people who walk through the door. That’s why it is called a ‘rifugio’ (meaning refuge in Italian) and not a hotel or restaurant.
You obviously must serve good things, that’s out of the question. If you use quality products, people notice the difference and I spare no expense for quality. I try to produce as much as possible by myself. In winter, in my home down in Cles, I stock up for the following season: with a small grain grinder I grind flour for the fresh bread I bake every day in summer, I cure speck, bacon and sausages, I bottle grappa and liqueurs, I make jams, I rack wine and I try to make my cuisine more efficient, by continuously experimenting and inventing new things. That’s how I stay young.”
Written by Alessandro Cristofoletti