Chef Name: Heiko Nieder
Title: Chef Fine Dining
2 Michelin stars
19 Gault Millau points
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
Way too young, but not young enough – I started at the age of 17, with my apprenticeship.
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
My grandmother’s goulash.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
Every big chef who has his own style and knows how to cook is a hero for me.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
Quay by Peter Gilmore – fantastic dishes and very inspiring. The cookbook itself is a work of art.
Le Pré Catelan by Frédéric Anton – meticulous. Reading it definitely makes you want to eat there immediately.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Eggs and salt.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
Baked chicken, potato salad, fried-rice, sushi and Lebanese food.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Although he doesn’t have a star, I would definitely visit Peter Gilmore’s Quay.
With Michelin Stars – Frantzén, due to their innovative kitchen, and the French Laundry by Thomas Keller because he is truly a legend.
And who would you take as your guest?
My kids, when they are grown-up.
What do you look for in a good chef?
A neat appearance, a will to work more and taking pleasure in cooking and eating.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Do not pay attention to the hours. Only pay attention to the quality of your work and to your work ethic.
Chef Heiko Nieder is Chef at The Restaurant, at Zurich’s The Dolder Grand hotel.