Life as a food scout

Richard Kägi

Alongside Dominik Flammer, Richard “Richi” Kägi is probably Switzerland’s best-known food scout. He has spent 27 years turning what is quite a specialist field into something of a brand. For example, there are the unique get-togethers which Kägi hosts two or three times a month for some 20 guests at his architecturally inspiring home on the Zürichberg. Then there is his work for the Globus delicatessen, and his first cookbook, to be released by the publisher AT-Verlag in October 2020.

Whatever he does, Kägi is passionate about creating real, honest food that is as simple as possible. The food scout likes cooking on an open fire, but also values the versatility of modern kitchen equipment. “The ‘hot air with steaming’ function on the Combi-Steam oven produces beautifully moist chicken,” he says, also noting that a combination of steam cooker and vacuum drawer is perfect for sous-vide cooking with no need for a bain-marie.

“I cook because I like to cook,” says Kägi, who was born in Winterthur and loved to spend time in the kitchen with his mother as a child. Despite that, he first became a machine mechanic, then did an apprenticeship as a waiter before opening a bar. “Life doesn’t always run in straight lines,” says Kägi. One thing hasn’t changed, though: ever since he was a young boy, Richi has known he would always do his own cooking.

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