When they took to the stove

An object of culinary enjoyment, pleasure and style.

How Lifestyle by V-ZUG transformed a premium household appliance into an object of culinary enjoyment, pleasure and style – the success story of a marketing idea.

Text by David Schnapp, Foodjournalist and founder of

It all began with Andreas Caminada, as a broader public slowly became aware that – somewhere in Domleschg in the canton of Graubünden – a young and attractive chef was destined for great things. Caminada was first named “Chef of the Year” in 2009, was awarded 18 points and two stars and was taken on by V-ZUG as a brand ambassador in a shrewd and forward-looking move.

He soon appeared in an advertising campaign promoting the new Combi-Steam SL, telling viewers: “At home I have one all to myself.” It was the first step on the road to transforming a rock-solid, high-quality household appliance into a lifestyle object, as the steamer became part of a conscious lifestyle focusing on culinary enjoyment, pleasure and style.

Other well-known personalities from the world of haute cuisine, such as Tanja Grandits, Philippe Rochat and Walter Klose, have represented V-ZUG as part of the Lifestyle team. This team has taken on an international flavour over the years, with Ryan Clifft from Singapore and Anton Schmaus from Regensburg in Germany helping to expand the reach of the Lifestyle by V-ZUG label.

“Lifestyle by V-ZUG has literally given the brand a face, or rather a series of faces,” says Jasmin Riesen, who continues to drive this concept today as Head of Marketing Services. “Our collaboration with these chefs has enabled us to create an emotional bond with V-ZUG, and breathe new life into the brand.” There have also been some purely practical benefits: at the summer event in the ZUGORAMA a few years ago, Andreas Caminada and Tanja Grandits spent an evening working with V-ZUG steamers and ovens, giving 200 invited customers and VIPs the chance to see these appliances in action under the harshest conditions. The event helped to transform the products of a traditional brand into an experience with a host of lasting memories.

This approach has enabled Lifestyle by V-ZUG to build a bridge between the world of haute cuisine and the home. Menus that work well in a 3-star restaurant like Schloss Schauenstein or Hôtel de Ville in Crissier can also be enjoyed at home. “The next stage will be to transfer the recipes from our ambassadors directly to appliances via the V-ZUG app, providing step-by-step instructions for preparation. This will enable us to create a seamless connection between haute cuisine and the home,” explains Jasmin Riesen.

Anyone who has children is well aware of the special culinary challenges this entails, and “Kids Cooking”, another idea from Jasmin Riesen and her team, is the response to this challenge: “It was important for us to show that it’s not all about haute cuisine, but also about catering for everyday life,” says Riesen. Another aim is to appeal to the customers of the next generation and the one after that; however, the top priority of “Lifestyle” is to convey the pleasure of cooking and eating.

Along with its new image, V-ZUG has also changed – or we could even say revolutionized – the way we cook. Back in 2009 the sous-vide technique was an exotic way to prepare food, one more reminiscent of the laboratory than the home. With the help of a selection of top chefs, the Vacuisine “label” became an industry standard. “Taking on board the input from our chefs, our engineers devised a new approach to gentle, flavourful cooking with our combi-steam cookers,” says Jasmin Riesen.

Vacuisine is used to steam meat, fish, vegetables and fruit in a vacuum at precise temperatures, a technique that allows for the creation of completely new taste experiences and textures. The database currently contains 842 recipes from the 10 V-ZUG brand ambassadors, many of which were developed and written specifically for the new cooking technique. This collection has made it possible to show customers, in a sustainable way, what a combi-steam cooker can actually do.

10 years of Lifestyle by V-ZUG, 10 chefs and 10 recipes to mark the 2019 anniversary year. The Lifestyle team currently comprises the two Swiss 3-star and 19-point chefs Andreas Caminada and Franck Giovannini, the popular favourites Tanja Grandits and Walter Klose, the up-and-coming talents Fabian Fuchs, Marcel Arnold, Silvio Germann and Marcel Skibba, and the two international stars Anton Schmaus and Ryan Clifft. Each of the chefs has written a recipe that forms part of a 10-course anniversary menu.

Short films will also be produced to mark the anniversary, with all 10 brand ambassadors demonstrating how they use the various V-ZUG appliances and explaining what inspires them in their work. The occasion will also be accompanied by online and social media activities, as well as real-life campaigns. The V-ZUG food truck will stop at five different locations in Switzerland throughout 2019, with two chefs cooking each time for a range of different audiences: Andreas Caminada and Franck Giovannini in Crissier, Silvio Germann and Fabian Fuchs at the gourmet market at Schloss Schauenstein, Tanja Grandits and Marcel Arnold in Bern, Walter Klose and Anton Schmaus at the Gasthaus zum Gupf and Marcel Skibba and Fabian Fuchs in Zurich.

The food truck is the latest milestone in the 10-year history of Lifestyle by V-ZUG. Months were spent transforming an original US Airstream Type 27 trailer – truly the Porsche 911 among trailers – into a unique, gleaming kitchen on wheels, equipped with everything V-ZUG can offer to make cooking the greatest pleasure it can be. The food truck brings the concept of Lifestyle by V-ZUG to the public in an attractive and accessible approach that plays on emotions and conveys the joy of life, eating and cooking.

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