Growing up, Rolf enjoyed nothing more than spending his time in the kitchen of his parents’ restaurant and so, his future career as a chef became clear at an early age. Today, Rolf is one of Switzerland’s most decorated chefs, with six Michelin stars from the Michelin Guide behind his name.

Initially, Rolf only helmed the kitchen of Ecco Ascona and Ecco St Moritz, located in the Hotel Giardino Ascona and Hotel Giardino Mountain respectively, but with the opening of Atlantis by Giardino, the Swabian chef’s concept grew to include the Ecco Zürich restaurant. Rolf’s decision to place his long-term sous-chef, Stefan Heilemann, at Ecco Zürich’s helm, resulted in the restaurant joining the other two Ecco concepts in being awarded two Michelin stars as well. Stefan brings his personal touch to Ecco Zürich, while maintaining the same level of fine dining excellence that the Ecco concept has become known for.

What sets Rolf’s cuisine apart? The high-quality mix of craftsmanship and sophisticated individuality in each of his creations – together with the fact that, while his food embodies a regional down-to-earth attitude, it is combined with a certain panache that appeals to the diverse palettes of international guests. Rolf Fliegauf resembles a musician at the piano in the way he plays with textures and temperatures. Rolf loves to experiment, yet, despite being an apostle of haute cuisine, he always remains in touch with the principles of popular cuisine – an approach he describes as “purist aroma cuisine”.

“Aroma cuisine means that every ingredient retains its original flavour. By combining the different components, I am able to optimally accentuate all of the flavours.”

Rolf’s success continues apace, with one gourmet critic labelling him “one of the greatest chefs of his generation” in Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Awards
  • 2 Michelin Stars at ECCO Ascona & ECCO St Moritz | The Michelin Guide  2017
  • 9/10 Points (under the 20 best restaurants in Switzerland) for ECCO Ascona & ECCO St Moritz | Guide Bleu
  • 17 Points Gault Millau ECCO Ascona & ECCO St Moritz
  • 5F Der Feinschmecker ( Highest Ranking)
  • No. 148 on La Liste’s Ranking of Best Restaurants in the World | La Liste
  • No. 174 Best Chef in the World | The Best Chef
FOUR questions with Rolf

Describe your culinary philosophy in FOUR words:

Light, intense, flavorful, elegant.

What is your greatest inspiration?

From the work with my team.

What four things would you take to a desert island?

A sharp knife, an exciting book, sunscreen, bottle of good wine.

If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?

Chicago, Alinea by Grant Achatz.

Recipes

Fliegauf’s Smoked Gilardeau Oyster “Black & White“

Ecco Ascona

Hotel Giardino Ascona
Via del Segnale 10
CH-6612 Ascona
+41 (0)91 785 88 88
ecco@giardino-ascona.ch
Restaurant Ecco Ascona
@ecco.finedining

Ecco St Moritz

Hotel Giardino Mountain
Via Maistra 3
CH-7512 Champfèr-St. Moritz
+41 (0)81 836 63 00
ecco@giardino-mountain.ch
Restaurant Ecco St Moritz
@ecco.finedining

 

Images © Tania Quispe