It all began with fried rice
“At first, my way of cooking was a good remedy for my great longing for Hong Kong and its Asian cuisine.” Master chef André Jaeger made virtue from necessity and developed a cooking style that was still unknown in Switzerland at that time. The cornerstone was laid in his earlier years: After his apprenticeship as a cook, attendance at hotel management school and his training as an officer, André Jaeger found Switzerland and even Europe too small. He applied for jobs in the USA and in Hong Kong, and a short time afterwards began working at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. Through fortunate circumstance, he became food and beverage manager there when he was just 24. Initially, he found the Asian world foreign, and he yearned for fresh trout and mâche. “I remember well the first time I had steamed fish with coriander. To my palate back then it tasted like an old washcloth.” But André Jaeger’s five years in Hong Kong were to influence him more than he thought.
Back in Switzerland, he takes over as host and manager of the “Fischerzunft” restaurant in Schaffhausen from his parents. “It was a difficult time. It was all too restricting for me, and I felt like packing my bags again and leaving. Now I was homesick for Hong Kong.” One night, after a long evening in the restaurant, he nostalgically cooks fried rice for his wife and himself. In retrospect, that was the start of his experimental Asian-inspired cooking style. “That was a new world for the Swiss. There was at best an Asian restaurant in the large cities such as Geneva or Zurich. Some of my friends and colleagues said I was crazy and claimed that I would see no success.” But it turned out differently. André Jaeger moved from the dining room back into the kitchen and pursued his passion. He flew back and forth to Hong Kong time and again to learn new things, which he then incorporated into his cooking.
Success was not long in coming. The “Fischerzunft” became a magnet for interested guests and ambitious employees. In 1988 André Jaeger was first named Chef of the Year by Gault-Millau; other awards followed. “And all just because I did what my heart, and my palate, wanted. To me, fusion of East and West is far more than just a recipe – it’s a philosophy of life. I call it “Cuisine du Bonheur”. André Jaeger’s new cuisine set a precedent. For instance, The Chedi Andermatt also uses this combination of local specialities fused with Asian flair. Until the “Fischerzunft” closed last June, it was one of the best restaurants in Switzerland. André Jaeger remains in demand as an ambassador of this culinary philosophy. That’s why The Chedi Andermatt will be receiving prominent support in a few days: from March 30 to April 2, in the intimate atmosphere of “The Japanese Restaurant”, André Jaeger’s “Cuisine du Bonheur” will blossom again.
If you want to experience the superb culinary creations of the extraordinary chef André Jaeger, reserve your table by calling 041 888 74 77 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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