The Forest Chef, the Kitchen Alchemist, and the Sorcerer are just a few nicknames given to Swiss Chef Stefan Wiesner. At his Michelin Star restaurant, Gasthaus Rössli, located in the beautiful town of Escholzmatt, he is serving up Swiss nature on plates. Most of his dishes are composed of 100% natural ingredients. Chef Wiesner truly knows the essence of each plant by heart when he searches the forests for ingredients. According to him, the products that grow right in his own backyard are just as exotic as those that grow somewhere in the tropics.
Watch this video below and you’ll see how he has fun using very non traditional ingredients in order to bring out the most extraordinary flavors. The most fascinating process, in my opinion, is when he leaves pieces of pumpkin lying on ant piles for a few days. There is a method to his madness, however, as he believes the ants give the pumpkin an added flavor. “Ants have a wonderful citrus taste because of all the formic acid they produce. Better than lemons!”
He also cooks with almost all the trees that grow in Switzerland since most of them are edible. The trees aroma will be captured in the dishes he creates. Chef Wiesner works his magic in an old barn where he stores his ingredients. Amazingly, he uses pine that dates back to the Stone Age (14,000 years old!) which was found in a prehistoric forest, buried in loam. This is used to smoke ingredients. He also finds use for rusty nails, horseshoes, and even stones. This inventive chef turns them into flour!
A visit to his award winning restaurant will certainly be a memorable one. You can choose between multiple course set menus that are always seasonal, along with vegetarian and vegan dishes. He’s quite the showman, for example, he will prepare bone marrow in full view of the guests who literally (and figuratively) eat it up!
Along with magnificent meals served on tree bark and moss patches, indoors and outdoors, there are plenty of more reasons to visit Gasthaus Rössli. He offers various cooking classes for eager guests looking to learn from his unique expertise. He has a legendary sausage workshop, along with a natural alchemical kitchen class. However, if you’re very serious about training under him, you can take part in either his daily, weekly, or four-week internships!
Be sure to subscribe to the DW Euromaxx Youtube Channel to discover more exciting foodie and travel related videos. And if you find yourself in Switzerland, be sure to visit Chef Stefan Wiesner’s spectacular restaurant and enjoy tasting his one-of-a-kind biosphere dishes!