The Wizard of Entlebuch – “I’ve cooked a car”

Stefan Wiesner
Rössli ★, Echolzmatt / Switzerland

Cooking is an art, says Stefan Wiesner – and in art, anything is allowed. Thus, Wiesner well and truly challenges the classic art of cooking with his avant-garde natural cuisine or “Avantgardistischen Naturküche” (a name which he has copyrighted). As he roams over the moors and mountains with his druidic knife, searching for unusual ingredients for his extravagant creations, he is more reminiscent of a shaman than a cook. In his dishes, he combines the knowledge of a chef with that of a herbalist, archaeologist, geologist, biologist and perfumer. His dishes are alchemical, unexpected, experimental and emotional. Raw peat with chocolate and sea salt, eel smoked with tree fungi and spruce, served with spruce sprouts, pine nuts and spruce cambium. He “cooks” entire cars or building sites. Meanwhile, as a guest, you discover that buffalo-milk rice pudding with iron rust tastes really good. Wiesner processes anything and everything; stone, horn, wood, snow and rust, or simmers things in hot tar – all of which has earned him the nickname “the Wizard of Entlebuch”.
What is Wiesner’s aim? “Our dishes combine enjoyment with an awareness that is based on a conscious philosophy,” explains this university lecturer in the culinary art, “Cooking is ethics, ecology, culture, architecture, aesthetics and art – but above all, knowledge and skill.”