At Nobu he cooked for Tom Cruise and Britney Spears. Now he can be found en route in Bern with his food truck, developing certified organic instant meals.
At the beginning of his culinary career Fabian Zbinden could hardly have envisaged chugging through Bern and surroundings in a Vespa car laden with stews. He completed his apprenticeship in the kitchen at the Grand Hotels Victoria-Jungfrau. And five years ago he was still working in Robert De Niro‘s world class restaurant Nobu, where he cooked for stars such as Madonna, Pink or the Beckhams. However when Qatar’s Crown Prince invited him to his 65-million-dollar villa in Bel Air to work as a private chef, Fabian packed his bags. He had had enough of life in the fast lane in the USA and returned to his home. His instinct told him to set up something new, this marked the start of the stew mobile, which he has now been running for almost four years.
“Only the very best in a pot, cooked fresh every day from local ingredients”, is his short, clear concept. Every day he cooks “Ribollita” – a viscous stew dish with lots of vegetables and beans, served in bread that he has had specially baked. The guests spoon their “Super soup” directly from the open loaf. Fabian considers the term “soup” to be somewhat unsuitable for his Ribollita. Soups are generally regarded as a starter; stews however are a meal in themselves that are enough to fill you up. And his success proves him right: he feeds roughly 60 guests a day with his “La Ribollita”.
“My present life is luxury. I am doing something that is fun, achieving things that have been going round in my head for some time. I do not want to go through life as tense as a number of other people.” Nevertheless, Fabian is extremely ambitious and wants to achieve a lot more in his lifetime, so he is already considering new ventures. He presented his latest highlight at the “Veggie World” in Zurich: a certified organic instant version of his stew dishes. These dishes mark his orientation back to a shelf product. They are prepared using boiling water, all ingredients are fresh, but keep up to one month in the fridge, despite the lack of any type of preservatives and additives. There is a vegan chilli and vegetable stew to choose from. Fabian definitely has a wealth of new ideas. We will certainly hear a lot more from him – wherever his journey leads him.
„I worked as a chef for twelve years – from Interlaken to L.A. – always with lots of passion for fresh products. But I wanted to be independent. I wanted to create something that did not yet exist and I always felt driven to return to simplicity“
Photos Copyrights: Fabian Zbinden