Wiesner’s woodland cuisine.
At Stefan Wiesner’s, there is a chance you’ll find coal and iron on your plate. He cooks what nature provides, creating an exceptional kind of gourmet cuisine. His natural cuisine has earned him the nickname “Hexer aus dem Entlebuch” (the Sorcerer of Entlebuch), a Michelin star and 17 GaultMillau points.
Gasthof Rössli, Escholzmatt
Gasthof Rössli is located in the village of Escholzmatt and is therefore in the heart of the Biosphere Entlebuch.
Entlebuch is home for Stefan Wiesner. He was born here and it is where he still lives today. Wiesner is one of the most unusual chefs in Switzerland and never fails to surprise his guests with his culinary creativity. As curious as his dishes might be, the gourmet chef nonetheless remains down to earth. This is also reflected in his Gasthof Rössli. While the Jägerstübli is sure to delight gourmets, the restaurant is also very popular with the locals.
Main course Snow soup smoked on the fire
On the hunt for ingredients.
Excitedly, Levi jumps out of the car. The truffle dog is Stefan Wiesner’s loyal friend and companion. “All of us at Gasthof Rössli have a specific job to do,” the Michelin-starred chef from Entlebuch explains, “including Levi”. And he fastens his four-legged friend into the sledge harness. Today, they are going to find fresh ingredients in nearby Bühlwald. “We are looking for spruce needles and shoots. We also need some clean snow.” His menu includes snow soup smoked on the fire.
Main course Fiery Simmental beef
A front-seat experience
Business is already underway at Rössli. Wiesner’s kitchen team and serving staff are preparing everything they need for the evening. A table has been laid in a smaller building out the back – the food isn’t cooked and eaten in the guest house itself. Guests are invited to experience the fascinating preparation of the avant-garde natural cuisine live and up close. And where better than in Wiesner’s workshop – his “laboratory”? This is where he meticulously creates new essences and nuanced flavours. It may seem chaotic, but everything in the workshop has its own place: from vials and preserving jars to tools and reading material. Behind the building, a fire blazes away in three large steel rings, created by the artist Andreas Reichlin. “We cook everything on these rings,” explains the master chef. “It may be archaic and easy to control, but it requires a great deal of sensitivity.”
A taste of nature
As the first guests arrive, the outdoor kitchen is already a hive of activity. A pan containing snow is set on the first fire ring. “The snow is smoked for three hours, before being infused with milk foam and chamois stock,” explains sous chef Kevin Wüthrich. Iron ore is being distilled on the next ring. “We use this to make the iron ore ice cream for our Feuerstein (flint stone) dessert,” he continues. While this is going on, a sourdough loaf is baking over beech wood ash inside the ring. The final ring has just been stoked with a few more logs. It will be used later to prepare the cervelat sausage butter. Watching the chefs at work is a real spectacle.
Sorbet Fiery beetroot
An experience for all the senses
Stefan Wiesner greets each guest personally. He also guides them through the evening, explaining each of the exquisite courses. As dusk falls, the snow-covered back garden takes on a mystical air. The star of the show – the sorcerer himself – puts some of his top chef magic to use and throws in some “sorcerer’s powder” to generate an impressive effect in the flames. Stefan Wiesner knows how to set the stage for himself and his cuisine. Each of his recipes is like a painting – a work of art, where the love is in the details. It is not surprising that he cooks in pictures: he sketches the flavours in his head onto paper, and passes the drawings to his team to work with. Wiesner seasons his food to taste himself: “it’s like watching a game of table tennis, going back and forth until you reach perfection.”