Ivo Adam is unstoppable. Not just in the kitchen but in every other part of his professional life the award-winning top chef wants to keep trying new things. In his youth the forty year old was the youngest member of the Swiss national team of chefs and as such became both world and food Olympics champion. He has published various cooking and culinary books, presents his own cookery programme and opened several restaurants for the Seven Group in Ascona in Ticino, which have earned him an array of Gault Millau points and Michelin stars. One of his current projects is the After Seven restaurant at the Backstage Hotel in Zermatt which he has been working on with hotelier Heinz Julen.

After Seven is the only pop-up restaurant in the world to have been awarded two Michelin stars. Diners here can experience Ivo Adam's signature style during the winter months from December to Easter, cleverly fused with that of chef de cuisine Florian Neubauer, one of Europe's youngest Michelin-starred chefs. In the spring, Ivo Adam returned to Berne as CEO of the venerable Kultur Casino.

The Kultur Casino is the gateway to Berne's old town.
Keeping up traditions: The Kultur Casino is the gateway to Berne's old town.

A vision is becoming reality

The Kultur Casino in Berne is an important meeting place for the civic community and the Berne Symphony Orchestra holds most of its concerts there. In the summer of 2017 the casino was temporarily closed and is currently undergoing a CHF 74 million facelift. In the autumn of 2019 it will re-open once again for culture, events and gastronomy. For the first time in the casino's history, everything it offers will be managed by a single team of up to 70 employees headed up by CEO Ivo Adam. According to Adam, this challenge is perfect for him.

"I'm really excited about taking over an institution that has over a hundred years of history behind it and setting it on a new course for the next one hundred years. The objective is to combine creative cuisine, culture and events in a concept unique to Switzerland, while at the same time remaining economically viable," says Adam. He says he will be drawing on his long years of experience in gastronomy: "We will be cherry-picking highlights from my previous projects and adapting them for the Kultur Casino."

This requires a team that can work together with great discipline and great passion. Adam will be focusing on three categories when he puts together his kitchen team: the first will be outstanding staff who he already knows and who will take on the top positions, then he will look for new talents who share his vision, and last but not least, young employees who are willing to learn and be trained in his methods. In his kitchen he not only wants to produce high-end cuisine, but also to train and support talented young people.

It's madness to use fillet steak for a tartare.

Ivo Adam

Taste and sustainability

Adam already has plenty of new ideas for his menu. In the Casino there will be room for both exclusive cuisine and quick snacks at the bar, but they will be of an equally high standard. "We will offer an exciting menu that will hold its own on Berne's innovative gastro scene while at the same time not alienating our regulars." For example, beef tartare is a classic at the Casino. The dish will still be on the menu under Ivo Adam, but with a modern and sustainable twist. "It's madness to use fillet steak for a tartare," says Adam. "Tasty and only slightly less tender cuts, for example from the rump, are far better suited."

Ivo's interpretation of beef tartare – with dukkah, avocado and lime.
Ivo's interpretation of beef tartare – with dukkah, avocado and lime.

Adam believes in the nose to tail approach of using all the meat from the animal. So guests will not only find prime cuts such as fillet and entrecôte steak on the menu, but also a variety of creative and sustainable dishes. As CEO he wants to create an atmosphere for his kitchen team that challenges and inspires them. He will not prescribe how his chefs should cook, but what ingredients they should use: "The region, the season and the products available to us will determine what we cook, and not the global market or the creativity of the chefs."

Keeping up traditions

Switzerland sets great store by tradition and artisanship, and its high standards apply to gastronomy, too. Adam fully intends to honour these. He personally attaches great importance to what he calls "culinary culture". He says that the complete gastronomic experience requires not just the know-how of the chefs, but also the skill of the staff: servers should be able to carve and portion poultry and mix a tartare at the table while a sommelier who can recommend the perfect wine is indispensible. These skills will be accompanied by gastronomic highlights such as a dessert trolley and cheese directly from the Alp. Guests can expect all of this at the Kultur Casino in Berne – true "real food". There is lots to do before the autumn of 2019, but the culinary concept looks extremely promising. We can't wait!

Links to more information on Ivo Adam:

Fine Food

Top ingredients are essential for Ivo Adam. That is why he is also an ambassador for the Coop Fine Food label, which offers high-quality products for everyday use.

http://www.coop.ch/de/labels/fine-food/ivo-adam.html

Information on the renovation of the Kultur Casino:

www.kulturcasino.ch

Ivo Adam
Ivo Adam
A culinary multi-talent – with big plans

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