Story

Silvio Germann and his passion for detail

Spending time with friends. Enjoying. Thriving.

For four years now, the friendly Lucerne native has been creating extraordinary works of culinary art, dazzling his guests at his restaurant in the Sarganserland region. Although Bad Ragaz has become his second home, Silvio Germann considers it essential to return to his roots from time to time. He tries to return to Lucerne once a month to visit his friends and family. Since it’s important to him, he always finds the time.

Germann goes to visit some of his close friends in their homes. These are friends he has known since primary school, friends he played football with and who grew up together. One of the friends is now a pilot, another has founded a start-up, and Germann himself is becoming one of the most sought-after top chefs in the business. Their daily lives are hectic and they all have to travel a lot – yet they always find their way back to Lucerne to meet up, reminisce about old times and catch up on the latest news. Once a year, Germann goes all out to treat his friends, cooking up a veritable feast.

The Lucerne-born chef really enjoys these special moments spent together, since they help him to recharge his batteries. And the roots that he has planted in eastern Switzerland are equally important to him. “In this region, we all know each other, support one another and help each other out”, says Germann, describing the friendly community. He first got to know Oliver Friedrich, owner of the Alter Torkel restaurant and holder of the title “Sommelier of the Year” for 2017, while Germann was working under Andreas Caminada at Schloss Schauenstein. They worked together for a long time, then became friends and now support each other in their projects. Francesco Benvenuto, manager of the restaurant IGNIV, values Germann not just as an excellent sommelier, but also as a good friend.

These moments spent with friends are priceless: spending time together, enjoying a glass of good wine, munching on some nibbles and talking – about industry expertise, regional bakers, a brand-new dish, anything and everything. “I really value these conversations and the time spent together in a laid-back setting. It gives me the strength and inspiration I need for my working day, and nurtures my friendships”, says Germann.

And when he just needs to get away from it all, he retreats to the golf course. “You need to make time for yourself too, just as you would for a good friend”, says Germann with a smile. But it’s not always that easy. It takes a certain amount of investment and a good deal of patience.

Talking of patience – the young chef remarks that he finds it easy to be patient with others, but more difficult to be patient with himself. Which begs the question: where does he find the diligence required to elaborate his culinary creations? From the initial idea right through to the dish on the plate, every detail is of vital importance. Everything must work in harmony, from the individual ingredients to the overall composition.

The finishing touches in particular require plenty of patience, as each ingredient is placed on the plate with the utmost precision. When watching a top chef carry out this painstaking process, you will see that a certain sensitivity and a creative streak are also essential qualities alongside their cooking skills. In the same way that an artist conveys his thoughts and feelings on canvas, a top chef expresses his creativity on the plate.

He always has a precise idea in mind – but transferring this idea to the plate is the main challenge. For a top chef, this is the highlight of their work – the moment when everything comes together and the attention to detail pays off: “We spend so long preparing each dish, investing a great deal of time and commitment. This should be reflected on the plate, and also on the tastebuds”, says Germann.

IGNIV’s culinary concept is also a great source of strength for Germann: it’s all about the joy of spending time together – whether it’s in his personal life with his friends, or in the Grand Resort’s kitchen with his unrivalled team, who the ambitious chef also considers as his friends.

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