On my quest for vegetarian/ vegan options in Zurich I stumbled upon Marktkuche in Kreis4, an up and coming neighborhood of Zurich. The restaurant opened its doors just 1 month shy of a year.
Marktküche positions itself as “high-end Vegan” and offers a small but interesting menu accompanied with great wines from around the world.
I had the pleasure of meeting Chef and owner Tobias Hoesli, a 25 year old man with great ambition and vision.
Were you always a Vegan?
No! I watched a movie about Mad Cow disease and it changed my life! I kept envisioning scores of cows being burned in the UK just to prevent the disease from spreading, even if the cows weren’t sick. I began to really think about the industry and started eating less and less meat. Not an easy task as a Chef! Became a Vegetarian then slowly Vegan.
How was it to be Vegan in Zurich? Was it easy to find the proper ingredients, products?
Probably easier for me since I’m a Chef. I’m used to being creative with the food at hand and was always into concocting recipes out of nothing!
Do you eat fake meat?
Sometimes I eat Tofu or other meat substitutes but I rather eat fresh foods like the ones served at Marktkuche. If I go out, I enjoy a nice Veggie burger (Veggie junk food!) but do not make it a habit!
Are you open for lunch and dinner?
Yes. The menu is different. At lunch time, people don’t have the time to sit for hours so to accommodate them we have 4 different menus that are quick and light. But having said that we don’t like to rush and try our best to create an enjoyable experience no matter the time of the day.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I get my inspiration from everything and everyone around me. I have my basic recipes that I use often then the rest comes from my journey into this world! I like to experiment with different ingredients and see how far I can take them. But I Never copy! I get inspired by everything but I never duplicate, except for some desserts which in my opinion can hardly be reinvented.
What’s your favorite dish?
I would have to say my mom’s lasagna!! She used to make it with meat as I was growing up but learned to adapt it as she realized that being Vegan wasn’t just a phase or a rebellious act!
As for here, my favorite would probably be our 5-course menu which is the most colorful and interesting. I like to play with colors, consistency, and textures.
There are so many dishes that I like that I can’t really name one specifically.
What are some of the favorites amongst your clients?
We have 3 dishes which we have kept on our menu since the beginning.
1- The Cheesecake, which has gotten great reviews. Some say that it’s THE best cheesecake in Zurich, even compared to the real one! So needless to say, the Cheesecake is here to stay!
2- The Marktkueche Sushi, which is not a Sushi at all actually! It’s inspired by the look of the sushi with the seaweed wrap but none of the ingredients. We like to play around with the components. You just have to try it!
3- Tarte flambee
We just added a Tartare to menu and it looks like it won’t go anywhere 🙂
Do you accept people who are not Vegan?
Absolutely! I don’t make my lifestyle a dogma and would never try to press it on anyone. Everyone is free to lead the life they want. By trying to convince people, there is always a risk of creating an anti-reaction and the message gets lost.
That’s one of the reasons why you will never see the word ‘Vegan’ in our menu or description. We simply say “no animal products used”. I don’t like to use that word even if it’s trendy nowadays. My focus is on the quality of the product and the experience.
Are your friends nervous to cook for you?
I’m easily pleased as long as it’s edible and smells good! And truthfully I like being cooked for! I tell everyone around me not to worry, but they still get nervous 🙂
How do you market your restaurant?
We are a small and new business with a limited marketing budget. We use Social Media of course. But we rely heavily on word of mouth advertising which in my opinion is the best. The true testament to our success is repeat clientele. As long as they keep coming back, we are happy!
We also try to be creative by implementing new things. For instance, we just launched a monthly cooking show. Check it out!
What are your favorite spots in Zurich?
I have a passion for good wine. Since my time is very limited, I am picky on how I spend it. I love going to a restaurant or bar that offers great wine. For instance, I really like Helvetia, or Cloud.
Most people don’t think of Wine when eating Vegan. I want to break the stereotype by showing that there is a variety of Vegan wines which quality and taste easily compare to known wines. Vegans also enjoy a good wine!
We pride ourselves in our wine pairing and so far we have gotten amazing feedback.
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