The 34-year-old is one of the youngest chefs ever in the history of the guide to receive this important award in Swiss gastronomy.
The GaultMillau guide honors the best chefs in Switzerland annually, with a list of recent winners including those with an international reputation such as , Benoît Violier, or Peter Knogl.
But for the first time ever a chef was chosen who exclusively works with Swiss products. Since spring 2015, restaurant focus (18 Gault Millau points and 2 Michelin stars) is basing its avant-garde cuisine on regional and local products. For example, Mlinarevic combines smoked goat’s milk ricotta from Stans with fennel and saffron from Aargau. Or he transforms a salmon trout from Brügglie in Sattel with celery and tomatoes from Hämikon and coriander from his own garden to make for an extraordinary dining experience.
Urs Heller, head of GaultMillau Switzerland, says about the choice of Mlinarevic as Chef of the Year: “Chef Nenad has found his own handwriting these past few months. Focusing on Swiss products is a big challenge for him. But now he knows where he wants to go. Therefore we want to award him with 18 points and the title Chef of the Year.”
has introduced the concept of restaurants focus well before its opening, and further developed it continuously after its launch in Park Hotel Vitznau in spring 2013. Finally he decided to serve only Swiss products, making focus the first restaurant at this level in all of Switzerland to apply a consistent Swiss philosophy.
“I wanted to follow my own path,” says Mlinarevic.“What some may call a restriction – not using sea food, for example – I see as a tremendous opportunity. It inspires my imagination and creativity. Also, I discover almost daily fantastic products from Switzerland – cheese, oils, vegetables, fish or meat. The variety and quality of food is exceptional and inspires us every day afresh,” he says about his culinary art. “Our dishes should harmoniously speak about this location. If you dine in our restaurant you are overlooking the most beautiful lake in Switzerland and a breath-taking scenery and you should eat something that is from here and that will be memorable.”
Mlinarevic and his team are using old techniques like fermentation, canning or drying, on the on hand, but also modern appliances and cooking techniques to get the best flavours out of the products.
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