New chef of the year touts 'local products'
Nenad Mlinarevic from the Park Hotel Vitznau was on Monday named Switzerland’s chef of the year for 2016 by the GaultMillau guide.
Mlinarevic, 34, is chef of the Focus restaurant at the luxury hotel overlooking Lake Lucerne in the canton of Lucerne.
GaultMillau awarded his restaurant 18 points out of 20, up one point from the previous year, praising in particular his use of regional products.
He uses “neither lobster nor caviar but cabbage and calf’s head,” Urs Heller, editor of the GaultMillau Switzerland guide said.
“He has made regional products his signature and only products from the immediate vicinity have a chance of appearing on his menus.”
The Focus restaurant, awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide for Switzerland, features a nine-course "tasting menu" that will set you back 225 francs ($230), not including wine.
Originally from Zurich, Mlinarevic, worked earlier with Andreas Caminada, the chef of the Schloss Schauenstein Hotel in Fürstenau in the canton of Graubünden.
Caminada retained 19 points from GaultMillau for his restaurant, rated three stars by the Michelin Guide.
Five other chefs retained 19 points in the 2016 guide, including Benoît Violier (Hôtel de Ville in Crissier, Vaud); Bernard Ravet (Ermitage des Ravet, Vufflens-le-Château, Vaud); Philippe Chevrier (Domaine de Chateauvieux, Satigny, Geneva); Didier de Courten (Hôtel Terminus, Sierre, Valais); and Peter Knogl (Restaurant Cheval Blanc, Basel).
André Jaeger, chef of the Fischerzunft, a restaurant rated 19 points in Schaffhausen, was awarded an honorary toque after retiring this year.
The GaultMillau guide also noted the passing of two of Switzerland’s legendary chefs this year, each with top-rated restaurants— Philippe Rochat (Hôtel de Ville, Crissier) and Roland Pierroz (Le Rosalp, Verbier).
For more information about top chefs in Switzerland, including those considered promising up-and comers by GaultMillau, check here.