Beauty: a product of creative freedom

Excellence meets Tanja Grandits

Switzerland’s top chef is convinced that to have excellent ideas you need the freedom to think of them and the opportunity to develop without being put under pressure.

She’s achieved almost everything you’d usually associate with success on Switzerland’s culinary scene: Tanja Grandits of Basel restaurant “Stucki” has been named Chef of the Year twice, has 19 Gault Millau points and 2 Michelin stars, and writes best-selling cookbooks, yet says none of that is as important as experiencing the joy and gratitude of her guests each day. “For me that’s true happiness,” she says.

Tanja Grandits has been in charge at “Stucki” since 2008, and she’s been a V-ZUG brand ambassador for exactly ten years. Of central importance to her work has always been the freedom to design her own little ecosystem of gastronomic pleasure just the way she likes it. “I want to be able to decide on every flower in the restaurant, the colour of the menu and the order in which dishes are served, so that we end up with exactly the atmosphere I’ve created in my imagination. Because there are many different facets to being a good host. Cooking is one of them, but there’s a whole fleet of other things that I think have to be perfect for the act of going out for a meal to become an experience,” says the chef.

Around 30 colleagues work with Tanja Grandits each day to achieve this objective. “You can’t get amazing results with average input. You need the best people, the best ingredients and the best appliances,” she says, speaking about factors of excellence. For the top chef, freedom doesn’t just mean she can combine flavours that no-one else puts together, but also building an atmosphere that gives her and her colleagues alike room for creative freedom and development.

“By making sure that we approach things in a way that is as relaxed, easy-going and positive as possible, I create the conditions needed for excellent achievements,” says Tanja Grandits. She says she’s never considered pressure as a way of improving performance. “It’s not good for me nor for those around me,” she says earnestly. Instead, at “Stucki” the atmosphere is unique: carefree, happy, creative and fun-filled.

This in no way means that the restaurant isn’t able to meet the highest expectations. On the contrary, it is staffed by an outstanding team skilled in a variety of disciplines, some of whom are among the best at what they do. But their route to excellence is the Tanja Grandits journey of creative freedom.

More impressions in the video

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