At the chef’s table – Patrick Hetz at the Waldhaus

A firm favourite with Powder Byrne clients, the Waldhaus Flims Alpine Grand Hotel & Spa is a historic 5-star hotel located in the highly popular resort of Flims. Cloaked in graceful woodland in Alpine Switzerland, the Waldhaus underwent a lavish £32million renovation in 2016 resulting in a high-end Belle Époque-style and an aesthetic of historic class. Offering 150 luxurious rooms and suites and an outstanding spa, the Waldhaus is also renowned for its incredible gastronomy. The man behind the success of their restaurants is head chef, Patrick Hetz. We sat down with Patrick to chat about his career, cuisine and what has influenced him the most.


Where did you train to be a chef?  

I have worked in a variety of high end, luxury hotels under some very experienced and skilled chefs. They have taught me most of what I know and do today. Before working at The Waldhaus I was based in Zurich at the 5-star Dolder Grand. I have also worked at Michelin-starred Colombi Hotel in Germany and the 5-star hotel Gleneagles in Scotland.


How would you describe the style of your cooking? 

My style of cooking is always changing depending on what I am creating, where I am and who I am cooking for. The one thing that always remains the same though is that I always use fresh produce, I think it has the best flavours and therefore, results in the best dishes. I try to maximise the taste of each ingredient, as I think each one should flourish. When they all come together, it really is magic.


What has had the greatest influence over your cooking and your approach to food? 

It is very hard to pinpoint one thing that has influenced my cooking but if I had to I would say travel. I think one of the beauties of cooking and one of the most important things to me as a chef is to always be finding and discovering new ingredients by travelling the world. Often when you find a new product, the locals have a specific way of preparing the food thanks to their culture and tradition. When I travel I always love discovering their methods of cooking – finding out different ways to prepare particular foods to bring out their own individual taste. I bring these back with me and they are then incorporated into my cooking and dishes.


Do you have a signature dish or one that you most enjoy cooking?

It’s really tricky to narrow it down to one signature dish that I enjoy cooking the most. It’s always changing and what I love cooking at the time completely depends on the season. In springtime I love cooking with white asparagus, in the summer it’s local mushrooms and in the autumn and winter, root vegetables and deer are what I like cooking with best.

What is your favourite dish to cook at home for your family?

It’s funny you should ask this as my son is currently 5 months old and is only eating vegetable mash. So right now my favourite dish to cook at home for my family is mashed vegetables! 

Why do you love being a chef in Flims?

I love being a chef in Flims mainly because I love working at the Waldhaus. This hotel has so much soul and flair which gives me endless opportunities to expand my knowledge and potential. I have worked here before and am very happy to back, creating new dishes and working to help support the growth of this beautiful hotel. 


Which food cultures do you feel particularly drawn to or excited about?

As I mentioned, travel is really important to me and my cooking. I wouldn’t be able to choose one particular culture that I feel especially drawn to as I think there is so much to explore around the world. Different food cultures really excite me and I am always looking forward to making new discoveries – whatever country/culture that might be in.


Do you have a career highlight moment you can tell us about?

I think the highlight of my career so far has to be receiving the Gault Millau Hotel of the Year award when I was working at The Dolder Grand. It was a really proud moment for my team and me, to have our efforts recognised and honoured was very special.

If this has whet your appetite to enjoy some world-class cuisine, please contact our travel consultants via the in-app message board and they will provide their expert advice on where to head to for amazing gastronomic experiences.