Gasthof Rössli

Stephan Wiesner
Nazionalita: Switzerland
Localita: 6182 Escholzmatt
Indirizzo: Hauftstrasse 111
+(41) 414861241
Chiusura:: Mondays and Tuesdays, three weeks in January and three weeks in June
Menu di degustazione: 135 €

Wiesner, “the Wizard”. This is the nickname this figure earned because of his culinary behaviour. He could also be called “the Woodcutter”, for what he makes with wood and smoke and their essential oils; an original touch he gives to his dishes, most of which have these fragrances. Or “the Perfumer”, as he focuses his cuisine on the criteria in use in this sector. Stefan’s particular style and identity is based on the products he finds in the wood and on his special way of treating raw materials. Sometimes, the guest can’t exactly know what he/she is eating, not because the main ingredients are not neat and immaculate, but because the complements –sauces or garnish– are made of unknown wild products. This is the leitmotiv of his cuisine, absolutely different regarding flavours and smells. Furthermore, the constructions are utterly elaborate and require many efforts due to the infinity of ingredients and transformations they all suppose. A complex and experimental work, definitely. A good example of what has been mentioned before is the warm pea broth with red clover oil, served with a perfectly done chicken breast, tender and juicy, seasoned with a sauce of chopped Swiss chard, celery crisps planted into a creamy essence of the bird, distilled herbs and sprinkled salted roe. Don’t look for references, you won’t find any! In this case, the originality and the diversity of the composition preserve the identity of the main character: a marvellous chicken. The marinated Scottish salmon served with an octopus terrine wrapped into hazel leaves and perfumed with cinnamon is a series of great elements. It is accompanied by caramelized walnuts, elemi tree sauce, fried germinated fenugreek and lovage seeds. Let’s insist: the main ingredients are proposed in all their naturality and the seasonings rime with brand new sensations. Among the novelties we also find the beef hip marinated with fennel and nebbiolo wine and cured for five weeks, served with spiced sausage air –strength plus strength–, over some Yorkshire pudding, with a brushstroke of apricot jam, a hint of clove, beef sauce and basil sauce. The chef plays with different spaces and the guest decides whether he/she tastes them separately or mixing them to obtain a succulent combination. Both options are extremely profound and gourmand, anyway. Wiesner won’t probably run out of ideas, because each proposal is aimed at astonishing the guest; this is a rule of the house. Take the ball of baked potato semolina, for example, perfumed with orange and stuffed with boletus, boiled into milk with a touch of beech which confirms its presence in the accompanying caramelized milk and butter. The whole story ends with a vinegar milk and some generous pieces of truffle. Wood, mountains and landscapes are just excuses for creating. Refined rustic proposals: veal cheek filled with 1-cm cubes of pork marinated in liquid smoke of fir tree and vacuum-cooked, garnished with an infinity of impeccable elements: veal sauce, wild artichokes, salted capers, vaporized chips of pork skin, old cheese pesto, and so many other things. In spite of the copious side of the dish and of the meal in general, our plate was completely empty and we even wanted to enjoy more of the wonders made by this genius of the stoves called Stefan. The yoghurt and green tea ice cream served with a wan or kind of pasty filled with strawberries and fried into coconut oil, crystallized Alpine roses, smoke of flambéed juniper berries and bunch of rosemary, rose sauce and rockrose or raspberry oil is really tremendous. Utterly refreshing, aromatic, fruity, light, ingenious and even chromatic. Then came the cheese board –a whole table, actually– with more than 100 Swiss varieties, all worthy of their fame and of the Swiss excellence, proposed with 40 incredible “jams”: spicy red pepper, salami with mustard, chickpeas, … as well as woods and smokes, obviously! And to reconfirm the talents of the poet, taste the maple ice cream or the one made of yoghurt and rusty nails, just to say goodbye in an essential way. Not only the experience opened our minds and gave us great pleasures, but it also allowed us to leave the place full of vegetarian feelings. Incredible, but true.