The Chefs

Maria Groß

Maria Groß

Menu Europe - Trout’es Heim

Maria Gross has come into the world of gastronomy as a career changer. While studying German and philosophy in Leipzig, Germany, she worked as a chef in a private household for three years, just to earn some money. But what started out as a bread-and-butter job eventually turned into a passion. At age 25, she dropped out of university, and at 34, she was decorated with her first Michelin star. Maria Gross became known nation-wide as a jury member in the ZDF „Küchenschlacht“ and as a chef challenging Tim Mälzer in „Kitchen Impossible“. But soon, being a top chef turned into a curse rather than a blessing; she felt constrained. Today, the 38-year-old Maria Gross runs a Landgasthof, a country inn, together with her husband: the restaurant “Bachstelze” in Erfurt, Germany. As a woman who cherishes her home soil, she stays in Europa for “The Five“, too.

Meta Hiltebrand

Meta Hiltebrand

Menu Australia - Great Barrier Potage

Meta Hiltebrand takes her guests to the far side of the world: The second course has its origin in Australia. The 34-year-old chef who likes to refer to herself as a “freak” and proudly wears her fiery red hair cut short as a symbol for doing things her way was hooked immediately when she first heard about “The Five”. “There was no contemplating – and no No, that was for sure. The only possible answer was a Yes.” The Zurich-bred chef who has had her microphone turned down to the minimum by German national TV because she literally wears her heart on her tongue when it comes to food and got a little over-enthusiastic does not fear competition. “We are all so completely different from each other that it turns into some kind of harmony.”

Jacky Donatz

Jacky Donatz

Menu America - Beef with Donald’s trunk

Jacky Donatz is the grand seigneur of the Zurich gastronomy scene – although his career was never confined by national boundaries. Residents of Zurich know Donatz who has, at least in theory, retired, from his former restaurants “Stapferstube” and “Sonnenberg”. Well, he’s reached retirement age. But still, he can’t seem to keep his hands off the wooden spoons. “Nowadays, I only do what I like doing”, he states in his extremely likeable Grisons dialect. It does not come as a surprise that meat aficionado Donatz has chosen America for his continent of inspiration. For once, he has preferred beef rather than veal – and it’s going to be yummy for sure: Jacky Donatz has 15 Gault-Millau points to his name.

Alfred Prasad

Alfred Prasad

Menu Asia - Deconstruction Lamb

Alfred Prasad comes from India where he finished Hotel Management School and then earned his spurs at the legendary Dakshin restaurant of the Park Sheraton in Chennai, among other renowned places. At 26, he moved to London where only one year later, he received his first Michelin Star at the Tamarind of Mayfair. Prasad combines the traditions of his native country with a modern touch and is known for making each plate coming from his kitchen a true work of art. When Alfred Prasad is not busy with an Asian dish for „The Five“, he is working on two projects both equally dear to his heart: a book, and his own restaurant.

Karim Schumann

Karim Schumann

Menu Africa - Sweet Pyramids

Karim Schumann, son to a German father and a mother from Egypt, was born in Cairo, grew up in Germany and has been a chef in Switzerland for five years now. What he likes about his profession, he states, is that „you can be an artist and a craftsman at the same time – and sometimes a psychologist as well.“ His trademark is the unique way he uses spices – sometimes to build a bridge between his two home countries. During wintertime, the 30-year-old works at the Waldhaus in Davos, and during summer, he’s at the Vitznauer Hof. For „The Five“, he is in charge of the dessert and has let Africa inspire him. Not only for taste, but also for looks.