Swiss chef, Andreas Caminada is the youngest three-star chef in Europe. And his restaurant Schloss Schauenstein, which lies in the valley Domleschg, Switzerland, in a 12th century castle is a Mecca for high-end-foodies. Alongside the wonderful backdrop, Schloss Schauenstein offers a unique culinary experience, which revolves around a respectful approach to fresh ingredients, clean flavours and vibrant colours. Andreas aims to intrigue and stimulate every sense, honing each element on the plate on a specific role, as a homage to the palate
Chef Caminada learnt his trade at the Hotel Signina in Laax, followed notably by Michelin-starred restaurants like Hotel Walserhof in Klosters (Beat Bolliger), the Bareiss Restaurant in Baiersbronn (Germany), and Wiesengrund Inn in Uetikon-on-the-Lake. His invaluable experience working under some of the world’s best chefs and his unbreakable determination reaped tremendous rewards when he moved to Schloss Schauenstein.
With a succession of three Michelin stars since 2004 and 19 Gault Millau Points, Andreas is highly acclaimed and his restaurant is now ranked 42 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Caminada is one the youngest three-star chefs in Europe, tales of his inventive and adventurous food have brought the world’s attention to Schloss Schauenstein and have turned this once “best-kept secret” into a hot spot for fine food lovers.
Indulging in the food is just part of the experience. It starts when you take the train (and bus) through Alpine forests and rising mountains into the enchanting Domleschg valley, or more precisely Fürstenau, in the canton of Graubünden. Captivating scenery takes your breath away as you pass beautiful towns.
It is no wonder that he was enthralled by the castle when he first saw it in 2003, standing proud against a breathtaking mountainous backdrop he immediately knew this was where he wanted to be, and began renovating the old castle into a restaurant and hotel.
Carefully restoring the 12th century palace was no easy task – Caminada wanted to keep the tradition of the castle alive while mixing in a more modern setting for the conscientious diner. His food complements this unique mix and using the seasonal produce he develops hearty cuisine, with a delicate and refined twist.
The whole experience ensures people return time and time again, and it is clear to see why Schloss Schauenstein was awarded its third Michelin Star, making Caminada, along with Philippe Rochat, one of the most decorated chefs in Switzerland as well as one of the youngest 3-star-chefs worldwide.
A passion for cooking burned inside him from a young age; as soon as he was able he started on his path by working at Hotel Walserhof in Klosters. From there he hastily sought out a catering apprenticeship and ventured to Germany to learn his trade under the famed three-starred German chef Claus-Peter Lumpp at Restaurant Bareiss in Baiersbronn (the Black Forest), before moving on to Wiesengrund Inn in Uetikon-on-the-Lake.
Opening his own restaurant in 2003 was the only next logical step. It wasn’t long until his infatuation with cooking and experimenting got him noticed by the culinary world. In 2005, he was awarded the “Discovery of the Year” Award by Gault Millau.
From then on there was no stopping him, critics and food magazines alike were scrambling over themselves to taste his food and to heap praise on him. He was presented with the “Rising Star of the Year 2007” Award quickly followed by the “Chef of the Year” award in 2008.
Never resting on his laurels Caminada is constantly creating innovative dishes. Hunting for stimulating taste combinations or ingredients sees him spending his free time scouring the market place or bent over ingredients.
Each course is a celebration “the crucial difference is perhaps the variety in my meals. That is what people find most interesting. I enjoy the versatility in cooking, and that hasn’t gone, it remains a passion.”
Andreas plates are masterpieces in themselves, they are awash with colour, craft and not to mention taste. His refined style could be compared to any post-modern artist.
Following the seasons he can take a simple ingredient and transform it, mixing sweet with savoury, hot with cold, mild and bitter; giving his dinners an opportunity to get the most from a dish. His philosophy is that food should be a sensory journey that leaves a lasting impression.
He is always evolving dishes, transforming and sculpting them to get the most from the products. “We are pleased when guests are enthusiastic about the food and the castle. All gourmet creations exude an aura of perfection.”
As with any inventor there have been times where he has taken risks which haven’t ended in the required result but his enthusiasm remains - what else would you expect from a young passionate chef. As he has grown so have his skills to ensure all his creations come out harmonious and delicious.
His enthusiasm is contagious; the whole team at Schloss Schauenstein are a buzz with the same motivation and excitement that ensures the mood of the restaurant is as much a part of the experience as the food.
- 3 Michelin Stars
- Gault Millau Cook of the Year Switzerland, Germany and Austria
- 19 Gault Millau Points
- Andreas Caminada's recipes from FOUR Germany 2 / 2012
- Andreas Caminada's recipes from FOUR Germany 2 / 2014
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Images © Schauenstein