At Hangar-7, a project was started which no other restaurant in the world had ever dared to attempt: the guest chef concept.
A different top chef each month. It doesn‘t matter which continent or country they come from, whether it‘s the USA, South Africa or Japan. Or whether they serve traditional, fusion or molecular cuisine. What matters most is the variety. And, of course, the high quality of the dishes.
When Restaurant Ikarus opened its doors in 2003, most people couldn‘t imagine that this ambitious plan would actually work in reality. But that was never an issue for the brains behind the concept. They never focused on the “whether”, only on the “how”. It became clear after just a few months that the guest chef concept would be a resounding success. Firstly, because it fills a gap in the field of top cuisine, a gap which no one had ever dared to fill. And secondly, because Hangar-7 is the perfect environment in which to implement the guest chef concept.
Eckart Witzigmann, Chef of the Century and patron of Restaurant Ikarus, implemented the concept successfully from 2003 to 2013, together with Executive Chef Roland Trettl. Since January 2014, the Ikarus Concept has been continued under the patronage of Eckart Witzigmann and the guidance of Martin Klein, who for many years was the partner and Chef de Cuisine of former Executive Chef Roland Trettl.
Unique instead of mainstream, multi-faceted instead of simplistic, bold instead of boring, and cosmopolitan instead of narrow-minded will continue to be the motto under Martin. The result? Satisfied bons vivants who relish fine cuisine.
For the chefs of Restaurant Ikarus, the guest chef concept means adapting to a new menu, a new top chef and a new philosophy each and every month. This demands a high degree of talent, versatility and team spirit.
Likewise, the Service Team, spearheaded by Matthias Berger, must have a precise knowledge of the latest menus in order to provide the guests of Restaurant Ikarus with helpful and courteous service at all times. In line with the challenging job requirements of Matthias Berger, who made an international name for himself as a top sommelier and maître d‘hôtel, the members of the Service Team also know everything there is to know about the exquisite wines on offer at Restaurant Ikarus.
And then there are the guests chefs themselves, who give this unique concept its face. They are granted all the freedom they need to ensure the quality and diversity for which Restaurant Ikarus is known. The top priority, therefore, is to prepare the dishes in accordance with the guest chef‘s exact expectations.
Correspondingly, this means only using ingredients that the guest chef uses in his or her own restaurant, be it in the neighbouring country of Germany or in faraway South-East Asia. For the Ikarus Team, this represents a great logistical challenge – but one which they are always keen to take up in order to ensure the satisfaction of their guests.
After all, the philosophy of Restaurant Ikarus is to unite creativity and courage. Traditional structures of gastronomy are broken down and new avenues are pursued. But the main thing is that the people appreciate the quality that they are served at Restaurant Ikarus. And that they are able to taste it.
With permission: Hangar-7 (all photography)