Story: Dining with two Michelin stars

Purist aroma cuisine

Surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, at the Ecco restaurant in the Giardino Ascona hotel, Rolf Fliegauf delights palates with an explosion of flavours.

A the age of just 26 he achieved his first Michelin star and at 29 he became the youngest European two-star chef. Rolf Fliegauf, now executive chef at the award-winning Ecco restaurant in the Hotel Giardino Ascona, loved to play in the kitchen of his parents' restaurant even as a young boy.


Rolf Fliegauf, Executive Chef of Ecco restaurant

Rolf Fliegauf, Executive Chef of Ecco restaurant
Award-winning cuisine means thinking outside the box.

2 Michelin stars, 18 Gault&Millau and 9.5 Guide Bleu points. The Ecco restaurant in the Hotel Giardino Ascona is the most highly decorated in Ticino. The award-winning kitchen aromatic cuisine preserves original flavours, focuses on local and unusual products and transforms them into an explosion of deliciousness. In the eyes of the star chef, farina bóna from the Onsernone Valley is not only steeped in tradition, but is also a uniquely amazing product with an unparalleled flavour.

No vegetable is unsuitable for haute cuisine. As long as it’s local and of the highest quality, all you need is inspiration! Try cooking carrots sous-vide or pickling, grilling or turning them into a crumble rather than simply boiling them.  

Rice grown in the fields around the corner, herbs and vegetables from tiny farms, curiously shaped and often grown exclusively for Ecco.

Terreni della Maggia
Ricetta yogurt di pecora

Even a head chef sometimes picks his own wild ingredients to use later in the kitchen: juicy blackberries from hidden corners of the Verzasca Valley and wild herbs and sorrel from meadows in the Maggia Valley.  

Sorrel can be transformed into a stunning dessert. When iced and combined with local sheep’s yoghurt and green apples.

No vegetable is unsuitable for haute cuisine.

The vast experience of the chef, once the youngest two-star chef in Europe, allows him to recognise the organic vegetables from his trusted suppliers with his eyes closed and at the first taste.

Rolf Fliegauf has therefore had to think outside the box to take his purist aromatic cuisine, which retains the original flavours and transforms them into an explosion of tastes, to the stars.

“Ever seen the grotto staple of rabbit with polenta on a spoon before?!”

Pro tip
Ascona is Switzerland's lowest town at 196 m above sea level on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore. The old town centre and lakeside promenade, with its Mediterranean flair and open-air cafés, are worth a visit.
The agricultural estate "Terreni alla Maggia SA" covers around 150 hectares of integrated and ecological agriculture. At the farm there are crop fields, vineyards and orchards. It is the first and only farm to produce 100% Swiss rice.
A little golf? The mild, sunny climate means you can play all year round. Practice your swing at the Golf Club of Ascona: 18 holes for a course of the highest level, in absolute balance between tradition and innovation.