Story: A summer breeze at the table

From Ticino to the Olympus of fine dining

The authenticity, lightness and innovation of a cuisine inspired by the local setting. Marco Campanella, chef at “La Brezza” restaurant in Ascona, paves the way towards the future of gastronomy.

Originally from Puglia, but born and raised on the German shores of Lake Constance, Marco Campanella always knew what he wanted to do when he grew up. Having come to Ticino for an apprenticeship, he returned to Switzerland’s southernmost canton in 2018 to take over the reins of Ascona’s “La Brezza” restaurant after gaining invaluable experience. The numerous awards that followed were his crowning achievement, received thanks to the simplicity and perfection of his cooking.


Marco Campanella, Head Chef at the Resturant “La Brezza” in Ascona

Marco Campanella, Head Chef at the Resturant “La Brezza” in Ascona
We incorporate the summer breeze in our dishes and in our light, fresh cooking style.

Achieving 2 Michelin stars, 18 Gault&Millau points and being awarded “Rising Star of 2023” at only 29 years of age is no mean feat. Chef Marco Campanella, who had to pit his huge talent against more stimulating challenges every day to reach this milestone, is well aware of this. Chef Campanella’s cuisine is truly unique. An explosive Italian mix with a Hochdeutsch aftertaste and a lot of cosmopolitanism. His training and growth stand out for his collaborations with Switzerland’s top Michelin-starred chefs. At just 25 years of age, Chef Campanella had experience working alongside Andreas Caminada in Fürstenau, in the Schloss Schauenstein restaurant, and with Rolf Fliegauf in the Ecco restaurant in the Hotel Giardino in Ascona. Two figures who have inspired and forged a cuisine that is always mindful of simplicity and perfection, duly discernible in his unmistakable dishes.


How did your passion for cooking come about?
“My parents ran an Italian restaurant for 32 years, I grew up with the smell of pasta and tomato sauce: it still means home to me,” says Chef Campanella proudly. The kitchen was a natural environment for the young Marco: “As a child,” he says, “I used to break into the restaurant kitchen after school and help prepare salads or garnish dishes.”

He first came to Ticino for an apprenticeship at the hotel school. This was followed by 3 key experiences for Chef Campanella’s professional growth: firstly alongside Martin Dalsass in St. Moritz, then Andreas Caminada at the Schloss Schauenstein restaurant and, lastly, with Rolf Fliegauf at the Ristorante Ecco in the Hotel Giardino in Ascona. 

Everything is difficult at the start, including making a place for yourself in a team. However, I have had the opportunity to work in every role and gain all-round experience.

Chef Campanella’s cuisine is the sum of all the lessons learned from his teachers, starting with the use of top-quality local products from the nearby Maggia Valley and Verzasca Valley. At the same time, detailed research into expensive international high-class products helps to make the very most of the flavours on the menu. 

Chef Campanella has thereby created a cuisine all of his own, keeping faith with genuine local ingredients but also open to sophisticated combinations, resulting from his travels all over the world. 

In 2018 he received his first appointment as head chef at the gourmet restaurant “La Brezza” at the Swiss Deluxe Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona. Here Chef Campanella highlighted his philosophy, incorporated in the restaurant’s name: La Brezza is that subtle breeze that the kitchen has to succeed in conveying in the dish. Because of this, every one of his creations has to meet certain characteristics: freshness, creaminess, acidity, crispiness. All this comes together to create a perfect harmony in the mouth without being heavy.   

Chef Campanella’s culinary path had to include pastries. The menu therefore extends to intensely fruity dishes, which conclude the fine dining experience in a whirlwind of sensations. “You have to create an experience that amazes from start to finish, maintaining a constant balance between the savoury and sweet courses,” claims Chef Campanella.

The key to his success? It is not just down to his own performance, but also the support he receives from his large team. Chef Campanella’s credo is very clear: “One band, one sound.”

 “Around every two days I go out to pick aromatic herbs with my sous chef: yarrow, clover or purslane.”

Pro tip
Did you know that the Hotel Eden Roc, home to “La Brezza” restaurant, also offers the chance to organise conferences with cutting-edge technology? From October to April, you can choose up to 3 rooms to customise the perfect event.
There is a place, high above Locarno, where you can admire Switzerland’s lowest and highest points at the same time. Thanks to the Cardada – Cimetta chairlift you can travel up to 1670 m a.s.l. with a 360-degree view over Lake Maggiore and the surrounding valleys.
Are you a keen golfer? With 3 exceptional 18-hole golf courses in Ascona, Losone and Lugano, exceeding a total of 17,300 metres, Ticino is the perfect place for practising your swing all year round. Come and discover the ideal course for you!