How long have you been living in Zurich?
I grew up in St. Gallen but my parents moved to Richterswil (a small town by Lake Zurich) when I was 18 and I also studied at the University of Zurich for a while, so I would spend a lot of time in Zurich. After many years abroad, I have recently returned to Zurich.
What do you love most about Zurich?
Zurich has it all: It has become truly cosmopolitan over the last years, while still keeping its unique charm. I just love Lake Zurich… no matter how often and from which angle I look at it, it is always stunning. Want to party? We have great bars and clubs. Looking for peace and quiet? Drive 15-30 minutes, and you will find it. Do you like Art? Shopping? Museums? Food? We have it. I especially love all the open-air events in summer, the open-air movies on the lake are a must.
What do you do?
I’m a serial entrepreneur, trained chef and a professional culinary explorer/eater. When I’m not busy eating around the world, I also teach entrepreneurship, scout promising start-ups, consult, write and dance.
How do you feel about the food scene in Zurich?
CNN Travel is right in saying that Zurich will be the next food hotspot in Europe! There is so much going on at the moment: Almost every week, I discover a new cool restaurant or food start-up somewhere. It is a truly exciting time to be in Zurich – join us on one of our tours, and we will show you what we mean.
Name your top 3 restaurants in Zurich.
Very difficult to choose only 3! I like Restaurant Opéra: It is usually more quiet than other restaurants in the area, the food is always delicious and the service very warm. I especially like how Chef … foraging. I also like Rosi for Bavarian dishes with a twist paired with perfect hospitality. As for fine dining, I would have to say The Restaurant. Heiko Niederer was voted “Chef of the Year” last year by Gault Millau, and rightfully so. Not only is his presentation beautiful but the food always tastes phenomenal too! I have definitely eaten some of my best meals in Switzerland here.
Where would you take a date?
Depends on the date… I would probably prepare a nice picnic basket with home-made treats and take him somewhere quiet by the lake. If it was a very special date, I would take him to The Restaurant.
Which Swiss dishes would you encourage travelers to try?
One dish I always order in restaurants in Switzerland is “Zürcher Gschnetzeltes” (sliced veal with mushroom cream sauce, usually served with Rösti – a potato cake similar to hashbrowns), I just love it. Coming from St. Gallen, I also love a proper Bratwurst. When I travel abroad, I often bring Bündnertorte (walnut cake) as everybody enjoys it, and it cannot easily be found outside of Switzerland. When you have the chance, try crème double from Gruyère. One of my favorite desserts is called “vacherin” and consists of fresh strawberries, meringues as well as crème double. When I have guests, I like to make an exotic version with passionfruit sorbet, coconut ice cream, fresh mango pieces, toasted coconut, meringue and crème double.