Foraging Greatness With Two Michelin Star Chef Sven Wassmer

It’s just before 6am, and two Michelin star chef, Sven Wassmer, and his entire team have gathered to go foraging. The team knows they’re going to have to work long into the night, but the excitement of finding a ripe patch of blueberries or a perfect mushroom is worth waking up this early. Three times every week, the team hikes through the incredible Valley that surrounds 7132 Hotel in Vals, Switzerland, and collects berries, mushrooms, flowers, and even ants to serve at the restaurant.

Today, I’m tagging along to capture footage for a restaurant video I’m producing. As I follow the team, I notice the way that Sven’s excitement spreads to everyone here. Watching the passion that Sven and his entire team have for these foraged ingredients, it’s easy to see why 7132 Silver has two Michelin stars and 18 Gault & Millau points, without even tasting the food.

Also see our article:  What is a Michelin star?

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The menu at 7132 Silver is inspired by this landscape. The ingredients that aren’t foraged are sourced from local farmers and hunters. The colors, flavors, and textures of the dishes reflect the seasons and features of this incredible place. It’s a menu and a philosophy that has earned the restaurant accolades, but it isn’t one that has been changed by those accolades. I have captured food photography with Sven Wassmer since before his first Michelin star and his creativity, his passion, and his talent for innovation are the same.

Open your eyes, look what’s around you, and always buy the best quality.

The food philosophy that drives Sven today has roots in his childhood. Growing up, his family ate fruit and vegetables grown in their own garden. Early on, Sven developed an appreciation for the difference between the groceries found at the supermarket and locally produced fresh produce. Later, while he was working in London, Sven took up foraging, which he continued when he arrived in the abundant Vals Valley in 2014.

Sven calls me over to make sure I capture footage of a mushroom that he’s just spotted. By this point, I’ve been infected with the same excitement that has rippled through his team, even though, to me, the mushroom just looks like a mushroom. As he grins and points out the fungi, I realize that it’s his passion I recognize. I know that grin; it’s the same one I get when I know I’ve got a great photo, and it’s the same grin I’ve seen on artists all over the world.

Later, when I ask Sven if there’s a lesson he would like everyone to learn about food, he tells me, “Open your eyes, look what’s around you, and always buy the best quality.”

See more of our food photography on the portfolio page.

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