Andreas Caminada - brand ambassador with a drive for perfection

For two decades, Swiss chef Andreas Caminada has been amongst the brightest stars in the culinary galaxy. His charisma and drive for perfection combined with his down-to-earth nature and sense of tradition are the key to his success.

His restaurant "Schloss Schauenstein" is the best restaurant in Switzerland according to "The World's 50 Best Restaurants" list, and its reputation is legendary. With three Michelin stars, 19 Gault&Millau points and 45 employees, it is the Graubünden star chef's flagship.

The connection with KWC is already a long one, as Andreas Caminada has been working with KWC products for almost two decades. Both at Schloss Schauenstein and at home. The uncompromising quality and intuitive, perfect handling had convinced him early on.

Since January 2023, KWC and Andreas Caminada have been breaking new ground together. The partnership is based on a shared vision and passion and aims to incorporate valuable experience from the professional sector into the development of new products for the catering industry and private kitchens.


“I don’t compromise in my kitchen”

A conversation about origins, demands on a professional kitchen and the haute cuisine of tomorrow.

You received your first Michelin star at the age of 27 and were named “Chef of the Year” by Gault&Millau three years later. What characterises your cuisine and makes it so exceptional?

Andreas Caminada: I think it’s the passion to create something that has its own unique style. As a young chef, it’s as though you’re carrying a huge backpack around with you: You’re carrying your own background and you’re adding in new experiences along the way. But you have to get away from that bit by bit. You have to give your own ideas free rein. My motivation is to inspire our guests again and again. And you have to constantly evolve, and stay dynamic and creative. If you stay true to yourself in the process, you will eventually create your own footprint.

Were there people on your road to success who had a significant influence on you?

Andreas Caminada: Absolutely, because I’ve been part of several great teams that have inspired me. Two
who stand out in particular are Claus-Peter Lumpp at “Restaurant Bareiss” in Baiersbronn and Hans-Peter Hussong at “Wirtschaft zum Wiesengrund” in Uetikon am See in Switzerland. Ultimately, though, it wasn’t any particular
individual that spurred me on, but my own passion. I started with a cooking apprenticeship in Laax – that laid the foundation for everything. The pivotal decision on my journey was the move into self-employment very early on. That was a huge step, and also quite a gamble. But I always wanted – and still want – to keep being easy-going.

Your “Restaurant Schauenstein” is considered the best in Switzerland – its reputation is legendary. What makes it so unique?

Andreas Caminada: With three Michelin stars, 19 Gault&Millau points and 45 employees, it is indeed our flagship. However, we don’t focus on typical award-winning cuisine, but rather on what makes the Grisons unique as a region. All of the ingredients we use are of the highest quality, many coming from our own kitchen garden. The bread comes from our in-house bakery, and we even roast our own espresso beans. These particular elements and our perceptiveness as host make for an overall experience that you can’t find anywhere else – and when it comes to quality, I am entirely uncompromising.

Alongside your Michelin 3-star restaurant “Schloss Schauenstein”, you also run two more.

Andreas Caminada: Yes, and our youngest gastronomic baby is our vegetarian restaurant, “Restaurant Oz”, in the Remisa next to the castle. The concept here is to have twelve guests sitting at a long table around the kitchen. Oz is all about the vegetables, herbs and fruit from our permaculture castle garden, where we already grow over 700 different varieties. Then we have our “Casa Caminada”, a Grisons inn that focuses on classic regional cuisine. As an aside, my mother's recipes also feature on the menu there from time to time. Both restaurants are influenced by the local culture of no-fuss hospitality. We want to take away the fear that some people feel when walking into a 3-star

You were a step ahead when you introduced the “sharing philosophy” at your “IGNIV” restaurant at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz back in 2015 – this trend has now really caught on.

Andreas Caminada: There may be something to this, but the origins of this concept are entirely traditional. It originates from the rural farmhouse kitchen, where dishes would simply be placed in the centre of the table and everyone helped themselves. There was no notion of multiple courses as we would see in classical dining. Instead, the focus is on something else – and it’s in the name itself: IGNIV is Rhaeto-Romanic for “nest”. So it’s about warmth, conviviality, enjoyment and spending time together.

So we could call you the pioneer of this trend?

Andreas Caminada: Of course we’re proud to have introduced this concept – actually an extremely simple concept – to the world of fine dining at an early stage. In fact, we have our finger on the pulse in this regard: Today, there are also “IGNIV” restaurants in Zurich, in the legendary Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz and even in Bangkok.

You said earlier that quality is always at the forefront of your thinking. Does that apply to your standards in general?

Andreas Caminada: Definitely! For example, it applies to the various items of equipment in my kitchen, which are essentially the tools of my trade. I’ve gained a lot of experience over the years and know precisely which are the best products to suit my style of working. There are numerous requirements, such as the fact that the water spout has to be a certain length and it has to swivel. The most important thing is that I can operate all the fittings with just one hand. That gives me flexibility and speed. And for rinsing, I need a water sprayer with a very flexible arm and high water pressure. In every area of our professional kitchen, the requirements are extremely high – and we don’t want to compromise. Otherwise we won’t achieve the right result.

You work with KWC fittings in your kitchens. When did you first come across the products from this traditional company?

Andreas Caminada: That’s rather a long story, because I’ve been working with KWC for almost two decades. Both at Schloss Schauenstein and at home. For many years I was entirely unaware. The brand name was not paramount for me. I was simply interested in the quality and the intuitive, perfect handling. But eventually I became curious about what exactly I was working with. Who is KWC and what makes it special? I wanted to know which of their products I
could use. I was overwhelmed by the range of products, but even more so by the outstanding workmanship: KWC fittings are not only beautifully designed, but also made of high-quality stainless steel.

Why is stainless steel so important for professional kitchens?

Andreas Caminada: Well, it is extremely hygienic, you can clean it very easily. This is important for us, every single day. The look of the stainless steel is excellent, too; it appears very high-quality. And the surfaces are extremely robust and resistant, which, of course, is essential in the day-to-day running of a professional kitchen.

In the meantime, you have been relating to KWC your experiences from the professional kitchen. This is important feedback, but do ambitious amateur chefs actually benefit from your expertise?

Andreas Caminada: This is precisely what I have in common with KWC. KWC’s aim is to continually fine-tune their products, right down to the smallest detail. We therefore share the same vision and passion. Our collaboration has long since become a true partnership; it’s a source of mutual inspiration. Perhaps a comparison can be drawn with Formula 1: The innovations developed for the race track will eventually benefit normal motorists too. From the professional to the layman, so to speak.

Looking to the future: In your opinion, where is haute cuisine heading?

Andreas Caminada: For about ten years it has had a strong tendency towards the regional. The pandemic reinforced this trend. Regionality has become a prerequisite in this. However, we define the term more broadly and we have even been growing exotic ingredients in our garden such as chilli, wasabi, lemongrass or the edible nopal cactus from Mexico. And everything we grow, we use. Because I think the current focus on home-grown products is a trend that will change again. That desire to enjoy dishes from other cultures is back and is staking its claim alongside ever-improving regional cuisine. People always love the unknown, the new, the exotic.

We’d like to ask a personal question, if we may. You have two sons. Have they inherited
your love of cooking?

Andreas Caminada: If they have, it wasn’t necessarily the intention. The older one is nine years old now and
has suddenly started showing a keen interest, which often makes me think, “Wow! That’s a surprise!” But neither of my sons have to become chefs. They need to develop their own passions, I’m not looking to create some kind of dynasty. I’m just very lucky: I’m megahappy with what I do every day. And that’s what I wish for my children too.


Andreas Caminada's Recipes

Andreas Caminada's Trout Kohlrabi Dill Recipe

Fancy a delicious and light summer recipe? Experience haute cuisine at home with the trout recipe from Swiss star chef and KWC brand ambassador Andreas Caminada. Download the recipe now and enjoy your meal.


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ANDREAS CAMINADA Visit KWC ambassador Andreas Caminada online

You can find more information and pictures of KWC brand ambassador Andreas Caminada on his personal website.

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