A culinary multi-talent – with big plans
Top chef Ivo Adam was at one time one of the youngest members of the Swiss national culinary team, winning both the Culinary Olympics as well as the Culinary World Cup. He helped the Zermatt restaurant After Seven win two Michelin stars, has written several cookery books and had his own programme on Swiss TV. As part of the FOOBY community, he regularly shares his wide-ranging culinary experience and exciting projects with us.
Ivo is now back in Switzerland and has big plans involving the Kultur Casino Bern. Having undergone a lavish renovation, this venue will – from the autumn of 2019 – offer a perfect symbiosis of cuisine and culture. Under Ivo’s exacting leadership.
What is your first memory of food?
Probably not the first, but one that had real impact: As a small boy, my grandmother gave me a Paul Bocuse cook book. And right from that moment, I wanted to be a cook rather than a teacher.
What was your favourite food as a child?
Veal shank with mashed potatoes. Made by my mother or my grandmother. I wouldn’t have ordered that in a restaurant though. I had much simpler tastes: sausages, chips. That sort of thing.
Do you have a speciality that friends and family particularly ask you for?
Yes, one of my friends always asks for two things: Grilled courgettes with a balsamic-rocket pesto and egg yolk ravioli. For this, you have to freeze the egg yolks and prepare them in such a way that the yolks are runny when you cut into the ravioli. But he’s quite good at doing this himself now.
Is there a food you couldn’t live without?
Cheese. Definitely cheese.
And is there anything you’re not so keen on?
Calves liver and oysters. How can anyone like oysters? I don't get it.
What “new” culinary delights have you recently discovered?
For a while now I’ve been drinking spontaneous fermented wine. It really opens up a whole new world.
Are you more of a sweet or savoury type?
It's roughly fifty-fifty, I’d say, because I love baking and making desserts. But like everyone, I eat a lot more savoury things. Otherwise I'd have to take even more exercise...
How good are your table manners?
Since my son spends half his time eating off the table and floor, I’ve become a lot more relaxed. But I can certainly up my game when needed.
What are the most important herbs and spices in your kitchen (apart from salt and pepper)?
Pepper from the Maggia region, ground chilli, fresh chilli, rosemary and fresh thyme.
How do you rate yourself as a cook?
Product knowledge: 6; Seasoning: 6; Presentation: 6; Technical ability: 5; Stamina: 3-4.
Asking a gastronome or chef for their favourite recipe is like asking a journalist for their favourite letter of the alphabet.
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