Preview Guest Chefs 2024
Top chefs at Restaurant Ikarus
Stefan Heilemann learnt the culinary trade at Traube Tonbach, one of the best fine-dining destinations in Germany. He even stayed beyond his apprenticeship to further refine and perfect his skills. For almost ten years, he worked at both the Köhlerstube and the triple-starred Schwarzwaldstube under the patronage of cooking legend Harald Wohlfahrt, making his way up to Chef Tournant.
In search of new inspiration, he was eventually drawn to Ascona, where he found another mentor in Rolf Fliegauf. Fliegauf’s avant-garde approach would 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, bringing his very own cooking style to the plate. The Michelin Guide responded enthusiastically and awarded two stars to Heilemann’s creations.
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic marked the end of the Atlantis Hotel in Zurich and its on-site Restaurant Ecco. Yet as this door closed, another one opened: the luxury hideaway Widder Hotel hired Stefan Heilemann for its gourmet restaurant – and with him the entire Ecco brigade. The exceptional talent agreed and took over the reins at Widder Restaurant in the heart of Zurich in May 2020. The perfectly attuned team quickly picked up where it left off and was rewarded with a sensational two Michelin stars as early as November of that year. Around the same time, Gault&Millau added to the run of success by naming Stefan Heilemann Swiss Chef of the Year 2021.
Craftsmanship, product quality and a willingness to experiment are the three pillars on which Stefan Heilemann has built his cooking style, combining classic French cuisine with exotic flavours:
Our dishes are based on great products, fine sauces, all in line with the traditions of French cuisine – and at the same time they offer an international twist, with elements from Asia or South America that provide freshness and lightness through acidity or spiciness.
His creations are meant to be fun and don’t adhere to any rules. Respect for the product, whether of animal or plant origin, is paramount. Multi-layered flavours are staged with a passion for perfection and the courage to provoke. The Swiss by choice loves to play with hints of acidity in his dishes – a tightrope act that he effortlessly masters like no other.
Stefan Heilemann’s culinary signature bears the marks of his mentors, but is equally inspired by his numerous travels abroad, especially to Thailand. In July 2023, the Michelin-starred chef will bring some of his highlights from Zurich to Restaurant Ikarus in Salzburg. Amidst all the perfection, however, one thing always takes centre stage: pure indulgence.
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.