Defying gravity. The dome of delights.
- Words by Lydia Itoi
- Photos by Helge Kirchberger
THE HOST WITH THE MOST
I can’t decide whether to envy or pity Roland Trettl. He has the most incredible and the most impossible job in chefdom. It is certainly not for the faint of heart or huge of ego. Trettl is executive chef of Restaurant Ikarus, located in a private aviation terminal called Hangar 7 at the Salzburg airport. Every month, Ikarus presents a menu by a different international guest chef. Call him the David Letterman of the culinary world. Nobody else hosts more A-listers, and nobody is better placed to take the pulse of global cuisine.
Forget clichés about airport food. Guest cheffing may be trendy, but Ikarus is the world’s only permanent popup haute cuisine restaurant. Even for today’s frequent flyer chefs, Ikarus is operating at a whole new level. We are not talking about a oneoff where a celebrity chef swans in for a night’s marquee event. For a full month, Ikarus will transform itself into a South American hotspot or a cool Rus- sian extravaganza. In the quest for authenticity, no expense is spared—even if that means installing a tandoori oven, restructuring the kitchen, or procuring rare ingredients from a specific producer halfway around the world. Imagine a theater company who puts on a Broadway show followed by French play, a Bollywood production, and an avantgarde Kabuki theater piece under a different award winning director every month, and you can begin to understand the pressure…