with Chef Gregor Zimmerman of the Bellevue Palace Hotel
- Bern, Switzerland
Swiss cuisine is elegant,
classic and above all flavoursome
Isis Basnayaka exposes deluxe cuisine with Bellevue Palace
Head Chef Gregor Zimmerman.
invokes images of understated elegance, luxury and
vibrant nature. The same could also be said for
its cuisine. The Bellevue Palace in Bern is one
of 39 unique 5* hotels under the Deluxe Hotels Group.
Head Chef Gregor Zimmermann has cooked for numerous
heads of state and is one of the select few chosen
to make up the ‘Chefs de Chef’ circle.
Zimmerman started his career in 1991 and after teaching
at the School for young chefs in Baden, Zurich,
he joined the Bellevue Palace as Sous-Chef in 2004
and became its Executive Chef in 2007.
long have you been at the Bellevue Palace Hotel?
I have been at the Bellevue Palace Hotel for 6 years now.
Before that I had my own restaurant in Switzerland. I have
also worked all around the world in places such as the United
States and Singapore.
What made you decide to be a Chef in a hotel?
The main delight of working for a hotel is that I get to
make cuisine for the very many different guests there. I
am also able to be completely creative with the menu.
Who is your inspiration?
Anton Mosimonn of course.
How many times do you change the menu?
The menu changes four times a year with each season ensuring
the freshest most natural ingredients.
What would you say epitomises your cuisine?
I strip my menu back to roots. All food sourced are made
from the best possible ingredients and simply, my food is
about really tasting the ingredients. I only use three or
four ingredients per dish, then I add oil and seasoning
to highlight the flavours.
So, you are only one of 25 chefs globally who are
part of the prestigious Chefs de Chef club. How does it
Great of course, it is an honour.
As well as the prestige and the accolade, is there
anything else you get from it?
I am part of a network of like-minded people. Some are friends
and we even cook for one another.
Now that you have joined the chef’s club what
do you feel you need to achieve?
Everyday I feel I need to do my best for myself and my guests.
I like my cuisine to be appreciated and enjoy receiving
applause for it.
Where do you get your ideas for your creations?
My creations come from anywhere, though most of my ideas
come to me whilst playing the Piano. I love to play Jazz
and Blues. I think it is a perfect combination if creativity
and improvisation - music and cuisine go hand in hand.
I also find a lot of my inspiration from the nature around
me. Sometimes I will see something which intrigues me and
I wonder how I can make a dish look like that.
If you could cook for anyone – who would it
ACDC of course! (AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed
in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young)
out Chef Zimmerman’s Barley Soup Grison Style here.
delicacies from Chef Zimmerman
Beef Carpaccio, rocket and parmesan crisp
The deep red beef carpaccio went beautifully with a peppery
hint of rocket, complemented by the parmesan crisp’s
salty crunch. The flavours simple, but packing a punch.
Pikeperch on a bed of caramelized rhubarb with Jerusalem
The dish was beautifully presented. The fish was simply
firm and moist. The caramelized rhubarb provides the sharpness
whilst the artichoke provides the texture making sure the
dish is balanced.
Toblerone chocolate mousse
Switzerland being the home of chocolate and Toblerone the
mousse had high standards to live up to. It was light, rich
and melted in the mouth. The bitter chocolate slice makes
a perfect accompaniment.
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