Chef Stefan Heilemann couldn't be happier after being rightly crowned by GaultMillau 2021 Chef of the Year and two Michelin stars at the helm of the Restaurant Widder in Zurich.
Although not a stranged in receiving gastro accolades, these new stars under his belt position him at the frontier of gourmets to watch. Still shy of his forties, Heilemann is ambitious and has found his anchor with The Living Circle - an ethical, nature-inspired curation of four hotels, restaurants, three farms and a vineyard - the touchpoints of living well, souced by nature.
Set within the Widder Hotel's medieval facade on Zurich's famous Rennweg, the restaurant is a perfect pit stop for Heilemann to continue his culinary journey of product-focused French food edged in the methodology and flavours of Asia, his spiritual home. Experimentation and his characteristic hint of 'acidic sharpness' reveal exciting taste combinations and new worlds of flavour, texture and scent. Swiss Architect Tilla Theus designed the restaurant, which marries heritage with the modern, a perfect companion for his food and style.
"For a long time, we have wished for an open kitchen to be closer to our guests, and the combination of classic and contemporary design is in keeping with our spirit."
German-born Heilemann is one of those natural chefs who draws on his passion for cooking, kindled as a child, and his distinctly playful art of creativity. His food has an innate sense of 'rooted' originality.
'Flavours, textures, and cooking methods have always had a compelling draw for me ever since a toddler. This is where I get to be creative".
A modern guru of the traditional kitchen with a global, well-travelled palate, Chef Stefan Heilemann is a master of the subtleness of 'acidity', which he imaginatively applies as if using a spice, a herb or a pickle.
Menus take in trips to Asia, French headliners and Swiss accents, and an excellent vegetarian menu and commendable desserts.
Tongue-tingling sensations in Zurich at the Widder by GaultMillau 2021 Chef of the Year and two Michelin stars under his belt - keep an eye out for Stefan Heilemann.