Heiko Nieder (The Dolder Grand) : modern light kitchen!
By Jérôme Bloch in Zurich.
« Trends go around » says Chef Heiko Nieder. Rather than following their dictat, he prefers to focus on developing his own style, hoping to surprise and delights his guests in Zurich.
I propose to start with a game. I give you a word and you answer with a word.
Mentor: all the chefs with a unique art of cooking.
Can you name three of them? Martin Berasategui, Pierre Gagnaire, Joachim Wissler
Michelin: Knight maker
Zurich: my place
The Epicure: my baby
“Epicureans around the world share the same ambition, to sit at a table and enjoy the moment.”
Can you define your style in a few words?
I love to cook and eat. I love the experience to taste and try everything. I cook modern light kitchen with unusual combination of taste. When I write a menu, I want to discover new things for myself and I want to offer new experiences to my guests. I want them to forget for a moment their normal life in order to truly appreciate a one of a kind food and wine. In another life, I would have been an architect, a designer or a butcher. I was very inspired by the chefs I worked with in Hamburg, Berlin and Bonn before arriving here in 2008.
What are the expectations of guests visiting restaurants like yours?
I can only talk about my restaurant, as I have spent the last 10 years here. People come here to live a true experience, and they are willing to pay a little more if you are able to meet their expectation, which helps my job. There are many trends, but they come and go, so I try not to limit myself. I source the best ingredients that my inspiration requires, all over the world. Or course, Swiss product have a special place in my menu, but I do not want this aspect to be a restriction in any way. This said, it is important to remember that Dolder Grand is an independent hotel, so we work here as we would in our own restaurant, by maintaining a healthy cost control.
Tell us about the event that you created: the epicure
In September 2018, - from the 12th to the 16th – we will celebrate the fifth anniversary of this event. I have created a very straightforward concept: each day, a famous chef is preparing a menu for 60 guests, and on Sunday, they all come together to please 400 people. This is the perfect event for a spectacular venue like the Dolder Grand. I have very little time to travel between my work and my two small kids, so inviting international chefs is a way to share new techniques, old techniques, ideas, and products. You can work local products, but cooking today is global. At the end of the day, epicureans around the world share the same ambition, to sit at a table and enjoy the moment.