Marco Campanella, head chef at Eden Roc in Ascona and Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa, has already proven that hard work leads to success. Now the 29-year-old wants all his menus to have a “common thread” running through them.
In 2018, when talented young chef Marco Campanella took over as head chef at Hotel Eden Roc’s gourmet restaurant La Brezza in Ascona, he said his primary objective was to deliver consistently high quality. That was scarcely three years ago, but he has already achieved that goal and much more besides. One of Ticino’s top chefs, Campanella trained under Andreas Caminada and has been awarded 17 GaultMillau points and a Michelin star.
Yet the aspirations of the warm and friendly 29-year-old native German, who has Italian roots but grew up on the northern shores of Lake Constance, go even further than winning such accolades. “I want to have a signature style that runs through my menus like a common thread,” he says. Developing their own culinary style is one of the hardest things for young chefs to do. When you first start out, you tend to replicate what you learnt from your mentors, says Campanella, “but I’m finding now that my own style is emerging more and more.”
Over time he has pared his cuisine down to the true essentials: “the dishes are more refined and the taste is more intense,” he believes. Marco Campanella relies heavily on sauces to pack flavour into his creations, but rather than choosing the traditional options of meat or fish stock as a base, he spends a lot of time making his own vegetarian jus. “We roast vegetables like carrots, celery, celeriac and leeks using the hot air mode on the V-ZUG steam cooker,” says Campanella, who finds that the smaller cooking space roasts the vegetables more evenly than the big commercial oven.