Switzerland - Franz Faeh

Bailliage of Switzerland
Saanen, February 5, 2024

Conseiller Culinaire since 2022
" Culinary Director of Gstaad Palace "

When appointed as the Bailliage of Switzerland’s Conseiller Culinaire, Franz Faeh, Culinary Director of Gstaad Palace, reiterated his commitment to the values of the Chaîne, namely “to preserve the common spirit of excellence, fine table culture, and the promotion of culinary arts.”

Franz explained, “Being chosen as Conseiller Culinaire to succeed Irma Dütsch known as the ‘Grande Dame de la Haute Cuisine’, fills me with pride and honour. She is one of the greatest chefs in Swiss history. This recognition confirms that I seem to have got some things right in my professional life.”

Besides their shared hometown in the Bernese Oberland, Faeh and his predecessor have another profound connection. Irma has supported him throughout his career, so much so that Franz affectionately refers to her as his “professional mother”.

This valuable mentoring has influenced Franz’s approach as both culinary advisor and talent promoter. His evolution from apprenticeship to Culinary Director of the Gstaad Palace Hotel (a childhood dream) has been an interesting journey in an international career and a deep learning experience.

Franz became enraptured with the culinary profession when, as a youngster, he helped out in the Wasserngrat Mountain Restaurant’s kitchen and immediately knew that this was it! He never regretted the decision. Together with the Gstaad Palace’s Sous Chef Luca Gatti they make a well-coordinated team understanding each other “blindly” given a 15 plus years’ partnership.

Now leading a team of 55 professionals at the Gstaad Palace Franz maintains a deliberately different leadership style. A raised eyebrow is enough from this amiable “King of the Palace Kitchen” who thrives on challenge as he gets bored otherwise, exudes warmth and has a dry sense of humour.

He states that “with young individuals and skilled artisans, who are always kitchen professionals, we must move away from the traditional pyramid chain of command. Instead, we need to encourage creativity, embrace flat hierarchies and enjoy experimenting. The prerequisite is that everyone knows what they are doing and is well-versed in the ABC of fine culinary arts, a guarantee provided by the Chaîne at the forefront.”

Promotion of talent and the inclusion of new professional members is a high priority for Franz as by bringing in young people within the industry the Chaîne’s spirit is enhanced and continuation is ensured, A key principle according to him is that even simple things deserve the utmost care and thought.

About this remarkable man: a linguist fluent in seven languages; he cycles, takes regular exercise; recommends enough sleep; travels widely to pick up inspiring new ideas; his heroes include in the field of gastronomy Norbert Niederkofler and Reto Mathis; Michael Schumacher in sports; AC/DC in music; is a car enthusiast known to be invited to Italy to test drive the occasional Ferrari. Of course, one would expect no less that the King of the Palace kitchen has cooked for royalty.

And top secret is his recipe for foie gras the detail of which only Gstaad’s village pharmacist knows.

All photos: (c) Gstaad Palace

Gstaad Palace
Palacestrasse 28
CH-3780 Gstaad

Tel: +41 33 748 50 00

Bangkok, May 6, 2024

Renowned Chef at Brasserie 9

Shanghai, April 24, 2024

A bridge between France and China

Lisbon, April 18, 2024

Recently recognized with a Michelin star

Search in map