|5 Minutes with Chef Ewald Fichthaler|
While we were dining at Nueva Kaskada, we managed to catch five minutes out of EWALD FICHTHALER’s busy schedule to find out more about the chef de cuisine.
Following completion of my studies at The Superb Catering School in Pfuffendorf, Munich, I began working in Schaffhausen before continuing on to London, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Yokohama, before arriving in Marbella where I was offered a job working in Hotel Las Dunas, part of The Leading Hotels of the World. I then decided to move to Tikitano, where I further enhanced my signature style, before taking my place as Culinary Director at Nueva Kaskada. Although we have all been subject to the recession, the way of lifestyle present on the Costa del Sol is what has kept my attention and enabled me to extract inspiration from my surroundings. To ensure we are constantly evolving and in keeping with client’s desires, we have introduced an additional lunch menu, focused around a more casual concept than our traditional fine dining alternative, allowing us to showcase our flexibility and adaptability in relation to customer needs, ultimately maintaining guest happiness and enjoyment.
Q: In Marbella, what local produce are you most excited about?
All! Local markets are such beautiful places, with so much inspiration and stimulation. Fish and seafood are the most interesting, as they are exciting to work with. Also, fresh fruit and vegetables. Currently, strawberries are in abundance as they are in season, so we like to create interesting and though-provoking dishes, as opposed to raspberries that are available all year round.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I would have to say our most recent New Years Eve celebration at Nueva Kaskada; the combination of the food and ambience was a truly emotional moment, especially as everyone was so filled with happiness and gratitude. Some might find my answer surprising considering I have worked for The Royal Family under the supervision of Michelin Star Chef Anton Mosimann, along with inspirational chefs such as Willi Nusser-del Adler in Pfuffendorf and Frank Heppner, who was responsible for the Asian influence apparent throughout my signature style, however, where I am today is my greatest accomplishment.
Q: You refer to your signature style, how would you describe this?
It took me a long time to answer this question myself, I am not fond of the term ‘fusion’ or ‘East meets West’, as it has developed connotations through the media as almost ‘vague dining’, the name given to a mixed menu. It was my prerogative to discover an entirely unique class of cooking and ultimately add my own signature touch, hence the evolution of my signature style. This way, I can experiment with flavours and textures, thus creating original and innovative dishes when and where I desire.
As previously mentioned, my culinary inspiration comes from the motivational and talented chefs I have had the pleasure of working with. However, if I was to pinpoint one person who helped me follow my dream, it would have to be my mother, I remember being nine years old and wanting to surprise her and my grand mother so chose to make a soup for them. Thankfully they adored my Ewald-style bisque, commenting “Son, I am sure you will make something of yourself in this life.” Another character I admire is Director, Monika Viglioglia. The minute I walked through the door, we instantly clicked and the restaurant felt like home. She truly is the soul of Nueva Kaskada. Finally, our creative team cannot be forgotten. Their imagination, personality, motivation, constant smiles and kindness are what makes Nueva Kaskada what it is.