The 36-year-old Chef With Six Michelin Stars

German-Swiss Rolf Fliegauf of ECCO restaurants, is the most awarded chef in Switzerland. His passion started by observing his parents running their rustic restaurant.

Considered one of Europe’s top culinary talents, German-born Chef Fliegauf won his first Michelin star at the age of 26, only six months after opening his first restaurant Ecco Ascona in Switzerland. Fliegauf previously worked at Noma in Copenhagen and Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck before establishing ECCO.

Now his three restaurants, Ecco Ascona, Ecco St. Moritz and Ecco Zurich, each holds two Michelin stars, he has been named by Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper “the greatest chef of his generation”. Inspired by the natural surroundings of the picturesque lakeside locale of Ascona, Chef Fliegauf is known for his produce-driven dishes with inventive uses of seasonal ingredients and culinary creations inspired by some of his favourite Asian flavours.

Some of his dishes which exemplify his individuality include his Foie Gras Müsli, an experimental take on the traditional Swiss cereal with marinated, frozen foie gras and blackcurrants. His surprising flavour combinations can be found in dishes such as the Organic Celeriac Gyoza with fragrant black truffle in onion broth, and the Braised Veal Cheek which is intensified by the sweetness of beetroot and earthy aroma of coffee.

Later this month Fliegauf will be in Hong Kong and Macau as a guest chef of this year’s MICHELIN guide Hong Kong Macau Dining Series’ International Chef Showcase. He will be presenting four-course and eight-course tasting menus created exclusively for the Series at restaurant WHISK, at The Mira Hotel Hong Kong on 20 September and Yi Pavilion, Altira Macau on 22 and 23 September. The MICHELIN guide Hong Kong Macau Dining Series runs in collaboration with Official Title Partner Melco Resorts and Entertainment and wine experts Robert Parker Wine Advocate – who curated the wine pairings for each menu.

Fliegauf describes his inspiration.

Where did your passion and talent for cooking come from?

My parents owned a small, rustic restaurant when I was young. I was extremely fascinated by the entire concept of the restaurant and the daily running of it. I soon found myself spending all of my time in the kitchen where I found my passion and talent for cooking.

You became Swiss-Germany’s youngest ever Michelin Starred chef at 26 – how did you achieve this?

When we opened the ECCO restaurant in 2007, we never imagined that we’d win a Michelin star. The idea was to create a unique and very modern restaurant combined with molecular influences. I didn‘t feel under any pressure from food critics, journalists, or anyone else. We did what we loved, and I think that was the most important thing.

How has your style evolved since then?

Like I mentioned before, we started off as a modern restaurant combined with molecular influences. During the last 10 years, I have changed the style of our kitchen completely. Influenced by Japanese cusine, the ECCO restaurant is now a modern kitchen that focuses on light dishes with strong flavours. It’s important that the people visiting our restaurant have fun and taste lots of different flavours and textures. We also want to make sure their experience is as unique as possible.

What would you say are your signature dishes?

Honestly, I don‘t have any particular signature dishes. My team and I are constantly striving to be creative and we don‘t want to recreate dishes from the past and serve them again. That’s how I interpret the word “creative.”

What nation’s food do you enjoy the most?

I love all kinds of ‘good‘ food. I particularly enjoy Italian and Mediterranean because they are so simple yet full of flavour. However, since my first visit to Japan, I fell in love with the Japanese cuisine. I loved all of the different flavours they used and the respect that they had for their ingredients – they create strong flavoured dishes yet still manage to make them light, this really made an impression on me.

You use ingredients that are not always considered ethical like foie gras and veal, is this becoming more of an issue now that diners are more aware of the origins of their food?

We recognise this will be an issue in the future, but when we don‘t have it on the menu our clients always ask for it as they love foie gras.

What will the future of the way we eat look like?

Like you mentioned before, the awareness that people have for food is growing. This is a trend we can see especially in Switzerland. I hope that this will continue to grow.

Prices start from USD 100 net (MOP 800 net) inclusive of wine pairings with tickets available here: https://guide.michelin.com.hk/en/international-ch... (early bird offers from now until 27 August for Macau only).

Recommended For You

Related Articles

ECCO

Chef Rolf Fliegauf of ECCO

Chef Rolf Fliegauf of ECCO

View Less
ECCO

Foie Gras with Cacoa and Mushrooms

Foie Gras with Cacoa and Mushrooms

View Less
ECCO

Deep Water Prawn with Fennel and Citrus

Deep Water Prawn with Fennel and Citrus

View Less
ECCO

Green Apple with Sheepsyogurt and Dill

Green Apple with Sheepsyogurt and Dill

View Less