When the restaurant is brimming with 30 people of an evening, you’ll find Fabian Fuchs in the kitchen with only one other chef and the dishwasher, while his partner Julia Besel and one other waiter or waitress look after the guests. ‘Good things come in small packages’ is not just a nice sentiment here, it’s part of everyday, culinary life.
At the heart of the “Equi-Table” concept is that only organic, fair-trade products and ingredients – sourced as regionally as possible – are cooked here. Right now, the 31-year-old Fuchs is tinkering with a cruelty-free duck liver dish. The solution he found, which eventually rendered the optimum flavour, was to use unpasteurised butter. Together with port and Sauternes, the ethically sound, poultry liver from the Appenzell region is vacuum-packed, steam cooked and then mixed. “The result is similar to a classic foie gras, except you needn’t have a guilty conscience while you eat”, says Fuchs.
In his small kitchen, Fabian Fuchs has learned to perfect preparation and organisation. Someone who wants to deliver such high quality in such a small space has to work methodically and decisively. 16 Gault Millau points and 1 Michelin star are the reward for Fuchs’ efforts. The chef wears jeans and Converse, and has a tattoo of a large knife on his right forearm. A compass is also visible on his left elbow. “From time to time I’ve lost my direction on my journey as a chef; I haven’t always recognised the value of this career path”, Fuchs explains. But thanks to head chefs like Nenad Mlinarevic, he has rediscovered his professional pride.
Fuchs stirs a pure spelt risotto, then combines it with herb oil, pickled wild garlic capers from last summer and Belper Knolle cheese. Calmly and methodically, he then serves it onto the plate. His dishes appear natural, organic and accessible; the effort behind a complex taste experience is often not noticeable at first glance, but it can certainly be tasted instantly. In any case, Fuchs is not a loud man; he is softly spoken and thinks before he opens his mouth. He’s actually at his loudest when his favourite team, the Zurich Grasshoppers, are playing.