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- Wednesday, 25 May 2016 07:17 | Written by Matthias Tesi Baur
1. Tesi: Chef Armin, you are the patron chef of the restaurant GLOW in Switzerland. Can you tell me about your background and the history of the restaurant, including what your restaurant name means?
Chef Armin: After more than 40 years in the business, the dream to have a restaurant of my own was becoming ever stronger. When the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to open "Glow" and to realise a small but special restaurant of my own idea: As a part of the "Escher Raumdesign" – a selected store for interior design – an interesting interior concept combined with a top chef's culinary expertise to create a unique experience. Under the motto "Enjoyment & Design," a modern alpine ambiance sets the stage for the presentation of my culinary facets.
When we were looking for the name of the restaurant, we considered different aspects: We wanted a name that on the one hand represented the location where the restaurant is situated. Davos – the highest town in Europe – is a holiday resort and congress venue with international charisma and is famous for hosting the World Economic Forum. On the other hand, the name should reflect the modern style of cooking, as well as the pure and timeless interior design. And, last but not least, "Glow" stands for the emotion we want to serve our guests: If something is to glow and emanate an aura, it must be kindled with passion and tended with utmost care.
2. Tesi: Some chefs discover their love for food and their gift for preparing outstanding dishes quite late, while for others it is clear in their childhood years that they will become a chef. When did you discover your ability to prepare food that is far beyond the norm?
Chef Armin: Already as a child I wanted to become a chef. I admired my mum's cooking and tried the very next day to figure out how a dish could be prepared in a certain way. So, the desire to find out how something smells and tastes and how I might combine ingredients in a surprising way started when I was a child, and it never left. Today, I stay true to my basic principles, insisting on superb quality and absolute freshness. Despite my love of experimenting and the diversity of my creations, I like my guests to savour the flavor of the individual ingredients. It is not until the final symbiosis that new, unimagined harmonies and wonderful worlds of taste unfold.
3. Tesi: What is your favourite dish and why?
Chef Armin: Beef Stroganoff, which I prepare in my own way. It unites delicious meat with a sauce that gives a flavour to the dish, which adresses so many senses of taste. It's an all-time classic.
4. Tesi: Complete this sentence so that someone who has never visited can imagine the area: Switzerland is...
Chef Armin: ... a beautiful country with four different cultures and languages in one. The city of Davos in Grisons is one of the most renowned holiday destinations in the world and boasts the most comprehensive holiday, sports, and meeting facilities in the mountains. Davos originally became popular because of its rejuvenating climate, which has been celebrated for over 150 years. As early as 1860, the first Davos guest house was opened to welcome spa guests. Nowadays, this long-drawn-out town in the Landwasser Valley is known as a conference center and a major winter and summer sports complex with a huge range of activities.
5. Tesi: What does good food mean to you?
Chef Armin: Good food stands for seasonal, fresh, local products that are prepared with love, passion, and respect. It doesn't matter if the products are simple or "luxury." And it can mean the whole world.
Matthias Tesi Baur
For more information please visit: www.glow-davos.ch
Biography Armin Amrein:
Born in 1955 in Lucerne, Armin Amrein discovered his passion for cooking in a cookery course during his school days. His father was a professional musician and would have liked him to follow in his footsteps, but Armin wanted to prove his talent in the culinary world rather than the world of music. After his apprenticeship and various seasons in Arosa, Davos, Zurich, Lucerne, and Engelberg, his path led him to the 5-star Bürgenstock Resort, where he faithfully plied his craft for 32 years. As chef de cuisine in the Bürgenstock restaurant "Le Club," he was ultimately awarded 17 GaultMillau points and a Michelin star.
From 2007 to 2012, Armin and Corina Amrein were managers of the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Walserhof in Klosters, which counts the British royal family among its illustrious guests. The winter of 2012 saw Armin's debut as chef de cuisine and host in Amrein's Seehofstübli in Davos, where he remained until spring 2015. The star chef now spoils his guests with his exceptional creations at his very own restaurant, "Glow by Armin Amrein."