People who love to eat are always the best people – Julia Child
“I grew up in and around restaurants and from an early age it was my passion to cook and work in restaurants”, says Dietmar Sawyere, new Executive Chef of The Chedi Andermatt. His father was a Chef too and as a family, they travelled a lot – for holiday and for living. One could say, that to become a Chef was a childhood dream for Dietmar Sawyere. “I guess that wandering spirit stayed with me as I grew up. Luckily cooking is universal and enables you to travel the world quite easily.”
Dietmar started his career in famous hotels in London, followed by New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and finally back to his roots to Switzerland. Despite all his experience and the many awards he won, there are still challenges. “The biggest one, in every restaurant, is maintaining the consistency and quality day in and day out no matter what. The bigger the operation, the harder this is. The world of gastronomy is demanding and at the upper end – the guests – quite rightly are not very forgiving. And keeping the team motivated to give their best is always a challenge.”
For Dietmar Sawyere it is a dream come true to work at The Chedi Andermatt. “I wanted to return to Switzerland for many years and while I enjoyed the past three years back in Zurich I was always looking for the right project in the mountains. I’m most at peace in the mountains and I’m a passionate skier and hiker (not that I have that much time for it). This hotel and the whole project in Andermatt is special and I’m sure that interesting times lay before us.” But there is also another angle that the new Executive Chef attracted to The Chedi Andermatt: “It combines my love for Asia with my love for Switzerland. It’s the best of both worlds.” He already left his mark in the menu of “The Restaurant”. “We focus on using Swiss products. That includes researching and hunting out the local products as well. This takes time but we are off to a good start and it’s exciting to meet these small producers and work with them to give our guests a taste of the Alps.”
Already at a young age Dietmar Sawyere discovered his love for good food. But he doesn’t keep his knowledge to himself. In his cookbook “Table by the River” everyone can seek out new recipes, learn from the Chef. “The book is based around my gourmet restaurant in Australia but it also gives an insight into the philosophies that I work by. I wanted it to be more than just a cookbook and think that the publishers and I succeeded in making a book that obviously has recipes and food but also is enjoyable to look at the photographs or enjoy reading the essays.”
The Chedi Andermatt is definitely worth a culinary trip. And the good news is, that the road between Göschenen und Andermatt (Schöllenen-Gorge) will reopen tomorrow at 4 p.m.
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