Gstaad: Franz W. Faeh, Executive Chef at Gstaad Palace and highly experienced international top chef, brings a breath of fresh air to the Palace cuisine. As Culinary Director, he is systematically restructuring Gstaad Palace’s food and restaurant concept. The widely travelled Gstaad local will also be cooking for three days in May at the exclusive Royal Automobile Club RAC in London where top chefs from all over the world are given guest privileges just twice a year. In addition, Franz W. Faeh is striding out in totally new, sustainable directions at the Walig Hütte, Gstaad Palace’s exclusive excursion destination at 1700 metres above sea level: he prepares the finest treats without electricity, just on his solar cooker and open fire.
Franz W. Faeh is an institution on the scene of established Swiss chefs. Born in Gstaad, the connoisseur and expert of upscale gastronomy once completed his apprenticeship at Gstaad Palace. And three years ago he took over as Executive Chef in the Palace kitchen with a team of 55 – “a lifelong dream”, as he always stresses. Before that, he had spent many years refining his skills abroad, cooking for the royal family in Bangkok, among other places. He also captured the tastes of Asian cuisine in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and integrated them into his honest kitchen philosophy, which focuses on true taste experiences.
Now Franz W. Faeh is going one step further: at the request of Palace owner Andrea Scherz, he is systematically restructuring the kitchen and restaurant concept at Gstaad Palace as the new Culinary Director. As in the past, he is approaching the task with great care: to cherish and cultivate the traditional and classic, to dare and celebrate the new – that’s his motto. The first step has already taken place this winter with the remake of the cult “Fromagerie” tavern in the Palace’s former gold bunker. And the new interior design and catering concept is going down well: “The feedback is very positive. And it’s clear: The best that the Saanenland has to offer in cheese, dried meat and other delicacies, arranged wittily and chicly but served with apparent nonchalance – that’s exactly what the Palace resort idea is all about.” Franz W. Faeh is now planning the outdoor area by the large swimming pool and on the sun terrace for summer 2019. Snacks and barbecue become one – snacking is cultivated on the new menu and enriched with elements of street and finger food, one of Faeh’s major disciplines.
A great honour: guest chef privileges at the Royal Automobile Club in London Franz W. Faeh is also taking his favourites to London where he has the rare honour of appearing as guest chef at the Royal Automobile Club RAC. Gstaad’s “stalwart” and his team of four, accompanied by owner Andrea Scherz, will be serving the “Palace kitchen at its best” in the Pall Mall clubhouse from 9 to 11 May 2019: a light four-course meal for regular guests and business people for lunch and a sophisticated five-course meal for dinner. He will of course have the best local delicacies from the Saanenland on board in London, in keeping with the motto “From Gstaad – with love”. With this, the Palace is building a bridge across the Channel to its royal and loyal regular guests from the United Kingdom who are still among the top clientèle at Gstaad’s fairytale palace.
Exclusively on the Walig: cooking with solar power
Franz W. Faeh is then going to rely consistently on natural energy and elements in the summer. He will in fact personally cater for Palace guests with his solar cooker. Several times a season he gets to work at the Walig Hütte, the rustic but elegant hut on the alp above Feutersoey with the same name, with this heirloom from his predecessor Peter Wyss. He had purchased the solar cooker from the parish priest in Lauenen who used it as equipment for an aid project in Africa. He conjures up a three-course meal to be proud of, totally sustainably in the simple wooden cooking box, which converts solar energy into heat using a mirror process. Franz W. Faeh serves Mi-cuits de langoustine, a Burrata with Salade Pastorale and Sauce Agrume as starters, the legendary trout with white wine and chives (aka Filets de Truites Palace) is the main course and for dessert Franz W. Faeh creates freshly baked Meringues du Saanenland, with fresh double cream from the farm next-door of course.