A tale of two meals: Wiesner Der Hexer

Chef Stefan Wiesner: A funny fellow with a curiosity for science in the kitchen His restaurant, Wiesner Der Hexer sits in a small town in Switzerland and demands locals to stop, smell and taste some great home cooking in the comfort of not stepping into the kitchen. Lunch is a simple fare. Upon my recent visit, I had bikers around me and a bunch of women in vintage cars. The food was interesting and I settled on a degustation lunch that highlighted the produce of the region of a man that clearly likes to ‘play with his food’. The food during lunch is simple, some dishes were completely rough and messy. I’m not sure how 2 chunks of meat, roasted tomatoes, pasta and also pearl risotto works on a giant platter or how many people it should feed but it was mess on a plate! Otherwise other dishes were really quite good and it leaves you wanting to come for dinner. The lunch options are cheap and hearty. I would return if messy plates were taken off. The homemade bread – YUM! Otherwise, dinner must always be booked in advance. A private menu when people can not choose what they want The Chef loves food and loves to dictate how people eat it, so don’t come in with allergies or requests… so sit down, enjoy and take in the Swiss scenery. What the B*Critic says: Come with an open mind: expect unusual pairings and uses of ingredients in the kitchen: Iron anyone? Rusted nails for dessert? Don’t be surprised! Details: http://www.stefanwiesner.ch/e/index.html An inside scoop: Stefan Wiesner is on a trip very much his own: He literally finds and uses gold in some of his dishes: a goldrush of one man who is a culinary alchemist, uses spagyrics to disassemble molecules and put them together again, an artist in his own right whose research for ever new recipes and the necessary ingredients takes him to extraordinary heights. His cuisine may be called poetic, Paracelsian, true to the environment he knows so well since his childhood. A crazy kind of creativity leads him on to search for truly natural ingredients, even if nobody has ever used them before him. His inquisitive mind finds inspiration in the neighbourhood where he lives and works. The Röss li „little horse“ restaurant is to be found in Escholzmatt, canton of Lucerne, Switzerland in the Entlebuch, a valley that was designated as the first UNESCO –biosphere in Switzerland. The Entlebuch people who are known as great hosts live in an authentic genuine natural environment: moors, pre-alpine pastures, harsh limestone and a unique fauna and flora which create an incomparable atmosphere for the visitor. Guests sometimes travel quite a bit to visit the Rössli. They trust its chef to provide them with a unique experience. His reputation is growing steadily. The restaurant is a gourmet temple, but also a homely country cuisine restaurant and a pub-style village tavern. The avant-garde gourmet cuisine has been attributed 17 Gault Millau points and 1 Michelin star. The authentic countrystyle cuisine is mentioned in the Michelin BIB Gourmand. Both styles live side by side, each of them is an achievement in its own right. Stefan Wiesner took over from his father in 1989 and his wife is his partner in business. His experimental gastronomic cuisine is appreciated by many, but not always fully understood. He uses local products rather than exotic or luxury ingredients. It takes even a gourmet a while to get used to the idea that an ice cream based on buffalo milk containing the flavour of currugated nails can be delicious. Wiesner creates four different unique 6-course meals per year. And everything is naturally homemade. His naturalistic cuisine is cutting edge and avant-garde and is expression of his holistic thinking. There are affinities with antroposophy, spagyrics and other sciences. Chemists, magicians, foresters, perfumers, archeologists, foodhunters and composers have influenced his very personal approach to cooking. A combination of ancient philosophy, pertinacity and craftsmanship lead him on to finding ever new creations and inventions and turn them into gastonomical delights. Wiesner often rambles through natural habitats of animals and studies their feeding habits, thus learning about the possible concoction of natural products in his gastronomy. The German gastro-critic Jürgen Dollase calls it „Nova Regio Cuisine“, a fusion of regional and avantgardistic trends.

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