Martin Luthi - Chef's Biography
Diversity of cuisine and international clientele mark the numerous restaurants of distinction in The Fairmont Banff Springs. Executive Chef Martin Luthi orchestrates culinary feats including superb banquets served in luxurious surroundings with undeniable panache. The Hotel caters to an immense variety of tastes as it caters to international clients from around the world.
Born in the small town of Brugg (Canton de Aargau), Switzerland, Chef Luthi started as an apprentice cook at the age of 17. Through dedication, hard work, and with vision, he pursued a career in the culinary arts. His experiences have spanned over 37 years. His apprenticeship took place in a small lakeside resort. He went on to learn the traditional cooking of French and Swiss cuisines at restaurant "Le Dezaley" in Bern Switzerland, then joined the Bellevue Palace of the famous Swiss chain of Palace Hotels as a Chef de Partie. His career began to take off and he was employed by the Hotel Intercontinental, Geneva, where he worked as a Chef Rotisseur and Chef Gardemanger. After a craving for travel took hold Chef Luthi cruised the world as Chef de Partie with Holland-America Line. He returned to Switzerland to assist a friend in a traditional hotel for a period of seven months.
In 1974, his taste for travel took over again and The Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada had the pleasure of hiring this young and very experienced Swiss Chef. He moved quickly through the ranks at the hotel and in 1978 he became Executive Chef at the sister hotel, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. In 1980, Chef Luthi returned to his first Canadian love, the stately "Castle of the Rockies", as Executive Chef. Since that time "the Chef", as he is called by all, has trained and developed many young apprentices. He supervises a staff of 132 chefs and a kitchen crew of 104. For 16 years, Chef Luthi has led The Fairmont Banff Springs’ culinary apprenticeship program. This three year program has 15 participants and receives applicants from around the world.
"It is essential in this fast-paced environment to be surrounded by a professional, dedicated team" states Luthi. "I am fortunate here to be surrounded by people who share a genuine love of the kitchen."
At The Fairmont Banff Springs there are 10 kitchens and 17 food and beverage outlets which prepare meals for one to 1,200 people in the 770 room hotel. This adds up to a mind-boggling 4,000 - 6,000 meals per day or 1.3 million meals per year. "I have an undying passion for food, cooking and my job here at The Fairmont Banff Springs”, says Luthi. "I am continually motivated by the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and strive to translate that into the art of cuisine."