Excellence means a thoughtful approach

Excellence meets Daniel Zeindlhofer

Daniel Zeindlhofer is the man who implements the modern idea of sharing food and happiness in a sustainable way and at a high level at the restaurant IGNIV by Andreas Caminada in Zurich.

When asked what makes a kitchen truly excellent, Austrian-born Daniel Zeindlhofer – who is head chef at the sharing restaurant IGNIV by Andreas Caminada in Zurich’s old town – has a surprising answer: “I don’t want to see any food in the bin!”, he says.

For him, a contemporary restaurant which is based on sharing food and providing moments of happiness requires a sustainable way of working – for both environmental and economic reasons. “When I have vegetable scraps, I think about the farmers who cultivated and harvested them. And then it’s only natural that I think about what we can do with them.” The juice can be extracted from kohlrabi trimmings, for example, and this can then be fermented and used as the basis for a vinaigrette. Stale bread is used to make dumplings to go with roast veal, and with leftover goose liver: “I can always make a cream or ice cream”.

Daniel Zeindlhofer also asks his employees for their ideas on matters of sustainability. For him, excellence also means a thoughtful approach. “Around twenty motivated, committed people work for us, so nobody can claim they haven’t got any ideas for how to use raw materials responsibly”, says the chef. This is why he also enjoys using the new Excellence Line appliances from V-ZUG: “It’s amazing what the Excellence Line steam cooker can do, despite its compact size”, he says.

This is a reliable way of producing astonishing results, which is precisely what Zeindlhofer wants to offer his guests: “I want to constantly surprise people. And every plate should be so good that they want to eat more of it”, is how the chef formulates his ambitious goals – with the ultimate aim of “seeing happy guests”, he says with likeable candour. For Zeindlhofer, it is obvious that his dishes should look good, and sometimes it is the smallest details that make a difference – for example, the light inside the oven. He says: “The lighting in the Excellence Line appliances has become so good that every dish cooked in them now looks great.”

When it comes to excellence on the plate, Daniel Zeindlhofer considers his recipe for success to lie in the combination of balance and contrasts. “Salt, acidity and sweetness all need to be well balanced, you need a little crunch here and there, and the temperatures have to be right. Aside from that, I also like to hide another element somewhere so that the overall appearance of a dish is only gradually revealed.”

Creating new courses is a combination of season and instinct for Zeindlhofer. He takes the products of the moment, thinks about what he likes, and adds a touch of spontaneity that often gives rise to dishes with lasting appeal. And with his personal qualities, such as passion, talent and an orderly and organized mind, Daniel Zeindlhofer has matured over recent years into an excellent young chef who is also entrusted with great responsibility.

More impressions in the video

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly: