Zizi Hattab is one of the most promising female chefs and a fantastic part of the Zürich food scene. Zizi is a woman with grit and passion who wishes to have an impact on the culinary scene and the world.
Originally working as a software engineer, Zizi switched to her passion, gastronomy, starting in 2014 as an intern at 1 Michelin star Nerua in Bilbao, Spain. She worked with some of the best chefs in the world: Andreas Caminada at Schloss Schauenstein, Massimo Bottura at Osteria Francescana, Dan Barber at Blue Hill in New York and as executive chef at Cosme in NY. She created KLE, a plant-based restaurant in Zürich in 2019. Spanish with Moroccan origins, she brings her talent and inspirations to the culinary food scene, working her magic on flavours and sauces to make her vegetable-driven dishes shine. She was recently awarded with a Michelin Green Star focusing on gastronomy and sustainability.
We discussed her inspirations and thoughts on travel as well as her favourite spots.
Introduce yourself in a few words
My name is Zizi and I am the chefowner of Restaurant KLE. I grew up in Spain but my heritage is Moroccan and I spent the past few years working in Europe and New York. Before that I worked 3 years with Caminada in Graubünden and I started with Massimo Bottura in Modena. Our food is seasonal, localy sourced and plant based. Our cultural background has a big influence in our menus and beverage program.
Which is your favourite country for a holiday and why?
The Caribbean and the nordic countries. The caribbean because of the weather, scuba diving and laid back vibe. The food there is simple, down to earth but the climate allows any fruit or veggie to grow into it’s maximal potential.
I love the Scandinavian countries during spring and summer because of the long bright days, the restaurant scene and nordic design. The bakeries and pastry culture there is almost like a cult which bring amazing cinnamon buns as a result. I love walking around small streets discovering small pottery shops, independent clothing stores and vintage decoration spots.
What’s your best hotel tip? The kind that you’d keep for yourself…
Since my job is quite demanding I usually use hotels to relax and disconnect. The Cambrian is an exception since it is my favorite place to go and work during a long weekend. They have a beautiful glass window lounge where you can enjoy some drinks and french fries while being on zoom calls or working on a presentation. The vegan options at the restaurant are great and the pool opens early.
The most beautiful trip you have done?
I went on a backpacking road trip from south to north vietnam. What an amazing experience.
With the pandemic crisis, what do you think of the future of travel?
I think the world will slow down a bit but we are naturally migrant animals so traveling will never stop.
What’s your dream hotel?
My husband and I love wildlife watching, our biggest hobby is scuba diving and we are dying to visit French Polynesia, The preservation work for the coral reefs and the natural habitat they do sets and incredible example for the rest of the world. We can’t wait to go visit the coral gardens and the spotted eagle rays.