A chef focused on bringing seasonal and modern European cuisine to Shanghai
Stefan Stiller tells me that when he got the job offer in Shanghai 6 years ago he had to look at the map to see exactly where in China Shanghai was located. Given Stefan’s integral position in the Shanghai culinary scene, it’s actually hard to imagine a time when Stefan was not in Shanghai. From his start at Club Shanghai to his move to Mimosa Supper Club and now with his namesake restaurant Stiller’s, Stefan has left an indelible mark in Shanghai. But this 6 year stint is only a small part of this experienced chef’s 27 year long career as a chef.
Stefan originates from Germany where his experience was gold standard – working in 1 to 3-starred Michelin restaurants. Stefan always enjoyed cooking and after taking some classes in school, he started to work for some friends of his parents who owned a 1-starred Michelin Relais et Chateaux hotel and restaurant. He was excited about the difference in his life versus his classmates and for the first time thought, maybe this could actually be a career path.
His track record in Germany was sterling from the times he worked in others’ 3-star Michelin restaurants to the period where he owned his own restaurant, Grand Cru which was nominated by Food & Wine magazine as “Best New Restaurant”and received 1-Michelin star only 14 months after opening.
Today, running Stiller’s in Shanghai with his wife Yoshi, Stefan looks to the seasons for his inspiration. The menu changes once a month in order to present the freshest seasonal ingredients. On my most recent visit Stefan was featuring the German seasonal favourite, white asparagus, along with newly available Chanterelle mushrooms. It’s this relentless focus on quality that inspires Stiller’s cult following as well as his professional accolades. In fact, Stefan was recently added as a Star Chef for Lufthansa Airlines, designing a menu for first and business class.
But with that said, Stefan has a balanced view of food and life represented not only by the quote on his menu “gastronomy is the skill of using food in order to create happiness” but also by his actions…prioritizing time with his wife Yoshi and their 9 year old daughter. Despite the demanding life of running not only Stiller’s the restaurant but also Stiller’s cooking school and deli, Stefan and Yoshi were just returning from dropping their daughter off at camp they day I met them.
If you are in Shanghai, we would highly recommend a trip to Stiller’s – in our view a must do when in town! And if you have time take the opportunity to learn from the chef himself – Stefan himself teaches the cooking classes in the on-site cooking school just downstairs from the restaurant.
Stiller’s Restaurant and Cooking School
The Cool Docks, 6-7/F, Bldg 3, 505 Zhongshan Nan Lu,
near Fuxing Dong Lu, Metro Line 4 Nanpu Bridge Station Exit 2
Telephone: + 86 21 6152 6501