Stefan Heilemann

Stefan Heilemann learned the culinary trade at one of Germany's best fine-dining addresses: the Traube Tonbach. And he stayed beyond his apprenticeship to further refine and perfect his skills.
For nearly ten years, he worked at both the Köhlerstube and the triple-award-winning Schwarzwaldstube under the aegis of cooking legend Harald Wohlfahrt, cooking his way up to Chef Tournant. In search of new inspiration, he was drawn to Ascona, where he found another mentor in Rolf Fliegauf, whose avant-garde approach was to have a decisive influence on Heilemann's style. After a few years as sous chef at Restaurant Ecco Ascona, the Swabian-born chef was offered the opportunity to head the kitchen at the new sister restaurant Ecco Zurich in 2015, giving him the chance to bring his very own style to the plate. The Michelin Guide was enthusiastic and awarded Heilemann's creations two stars.

With the outbreak of the Corona pandemic came the end for the Hotel Atlantis in Zurich and thus also for the Ecco restaurant located there. While this door closed, another one opened at the same time: The luxurious hideaway Widder Hotel hired Stefan Heilemann for its gourmet restaurant - and with him, the entire Ecco brigade. The star chef agreed and took over the management of the Widder Restaurant in the heart of Zurich in May 2020. The perfectly coordinated team was able to quickly build on old successes and was already pleased with a sensational two Michelin stars in November
of the same year. At the same time, Gault&Millau completed the exceptional talent's run of success by naming him Swiss Chef of the Year 2021.

2 Michelin stars

Stefan Heilemann's cooking style is built on the three pillars of craftsmanship, product quality and experimentation, combining classic French cuisine with exotic flavors: "Our dishes are based on a great product, a good sauce - all in the tradition of French cuisine - and at the same time an international twist, elements from Asia or South America that provide freshness and lightness with acidity or spiciness." His creations are meant to be fun and do not subordinate themselves to any rules. The highest premise is respect for the product, whether of animal or plant origin. of animal or vegetable origin. With a passion for perfection and the courage to provoke, multi-layered flavors are staged. The Swiss-by-choice chef loves to play with acidity in his dishes - a tightrope act that he nevertheless masters with ease like no other.

Stefan Heilemann's culinary signature reflects the high school of classical culinary art that he underwent with his mentors. At the same time, it is inspired by the exoticism of his numerous trips abroad, especially to Thailand. In July 2023, the Michelin-starred chef will bring some of his highlights
from Zurich to the Restaurant Ikarus in Salzburg. But for all the perfection, there is always one thing at the center: carefree enjoyment.