The courage to go your own way

Excellence meets Andreas Caminada

Andreas Caminada is one of the internationally best-known Swiss chefs. He achieves excellence by focusing on his strengths.

No other Swiss chef and restaurateur offers their guests such a diverse range of gastronomic options as Andreas Caminada. Yet everything the seasoned V-ZUG ambassador does seems a natural and coherent progression, whether it’s his latest project – the vegetarian restaurant “Oz” in Fürstenau, his world famous “Schloss Schauenstein” with its 19 GaultMillau points and 3 Michelin stars, or the “Igniv” restaurants in Bad Ragaz, Bangkok, St. Moritz and Zurich.

The key prerequisite for achieving the aesthetics, atmosphere and culinary perfection that Andreas Caminada always strives to achieve is, he tells us, “focusing on your own strengths”. You have to have courage and also a certain amount of self-discipline to “go your own way and not be distracted from your goals,” the Graubünden native says. Following your own path makes you unique, gives you a clear identity, and also allows you to develop your “own world of taste”, he continues.  What drives Andreas Caminada is creating things that he believes in.

And for the 44-year-old, twice crowned Swiss “chef of the year” by GaultMillau, perfection is not just about the food on the plate, but also about creating an overall atmosphere which embraces and fulfils all the criteria that the chef and entrepreneur thinks are important: “Restaurants are a team effort, which is why we set great store by the atmosphere in our teams. If that atmosphere is right, then it leads to a subtle elegance, thoughtfulness in dealing with our guests, and exactly the kind of laid-back perfection that I aim to achieve.”

By differentiating himself from the masses, having the courage to be independent and not allowing himself to be diverted from his objectives, Andreas Caminada has secured his place in the uppermost echelons of the culinary scene. He does concede, however, that you need a certain amount of experience before you can break with convention. “Eight years ago I probably wouldn’t have put yoghurt, venison and fennel together in a dish, whereas now I have the self-confidence to try out combinations that are a bit more unusual,” he says. This essentially sums up what, in Caminada’s opinion, is the guiding principle when it comes to taste and the creation of outstanding food: “A good product doesn’t need much to shine. But it does need to be presented in an exciting way.”

For Andreas Caminada, the journey to excellence is by no means over, because constantly striving to improve, not wanting to stagnate and seeing change as a fulfilling opportunity are integral parts of the top chef’s personality.

More impressions in the video

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