Susi, an Austrian who is a certified tourist guide and chef, said she fell in love with Taiwan after coming here with her husband.
Encouraged by her spouse, a technician, she decided to bring the Austrian and Italian cooking that had been passed down to her through the generations to Hsinchu.
Susi, who used to work as a hotel manager, said that during the five years she has spent in Taiwan she has been attracted and moved by the passion and civility of Taiwanese.
Attracted to Hsinchu's living environment, Susi said she decided to abandon the metropolitan lifestyle in Taipei for a new life in Hsinchu.
Now living with her husband in Paoshan Township (寶山), Susi comes from a family that runs a hotel and restaurant in Austria.
After finishing her studies in tourism, she managed the family business and also worked in Germany and Italy before taking up Italian cooking professionally.
She said that after following her husband — who works in the semiconductor industry — to Taiwan, she had problem finding restaurants that offer top Italian fare.
Frustrated, she ended up cooking Italian dishes herself, and later was inspired to open an Italian kitchen called La Bottega to help change and expand the Taiwanese view of Italian food beyond pizza.
La Bottega also provides chef training classes in which Susi demonstrates Austrian and Italian cooking.