St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, Switzerland

St Moritz Gourmet Festival
St Moritz Gourmet Festival

There’s no higher method to get within the temper for the pageant than sipping champagne in SWISS business class on the flight to Zurich. After that, it’s a protracted practice journey up into the mountains and I don’t arrive till it’s getting darkish. I’m greeted in model by the chauffeur from the Carlton who whisks me uphill to this grand resort. They’ve really given me a collection overlooking the lake however there’s simply sufficient time to learn the programme.

For the twenty seventh version of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival the line-up is spectacular. There’s Lanshu Chen from Taichung, Bel Coelho from São Paulo, Carolina Bazán from Santiago de Chile, Renu Homsombat and Bee Satongun from Bangkok, Emma Bengtsson from New York City, Kamilla Seidler from Copenhagen, Cristina Bowerman from Rome, in addition to Asma Khan and Judy Joo from London.

They’ll be taking on the kitchens of the highest resorts in St Moritz, working in partnership with the resident govt cooks, and my dinner tonight can be cooked Italian Cristina Bowerman. She’s initially from Puglia, however skilled in Texas after switching careers from legislation and graphic design. These days her restaurant, Glass Hostaria, in Rome has a Michelin star.

Red prawns tartare
Red prawns tartare

I begin with an amuse-bouche of marinated salmon trout, with avocado mousse and bitter cream, delightfully recent. That’s adopted by uncooked crimson prawns, in a tapioca Thai inexperienced curry, moulded into cake wrapped with skinny slices of beetroot and topped with caviar. It’s a triumph, the tapioca including texture to the delicate style of the shellfish and the caviar including some saltiness. It’s served with a rooster and hazelnut consommé to be drunk earlier than or after.

The fish continues with a grilled scallop in a pistachio sauce, topped with crispy flakes of dashi and white fish caviar with mushrooms sliced on the facet. Fish and pistachio will not be an apparent pairing however it appears to work. Next, a easy risotto of smoked pasta, disguised as pearl barley, surrounded by pungent sea urchin.

Carlton Saddle of deer with berries, carrot, parsnip and chocolate sauce
Carlton Saddle of deer with berries, carrot, parsnip and chocolate sauce

The meat course is a saddle of deer, pleasantly uncommon, with blackberries and raspberries, roast child parsnips and carrots in a chocolate sauce. Christina describes her dishes as “a taste experience through ‘contamination’ between modern and traditional culinary language” and it’s actually evident within the meals I’ve eaten tonight.

Next day dawns vibrant and sunny and I’m shifting to the Nira Alpina in Silvaplana for dinner. Tonight’s chef is Bee Satongun, all the way in which from Thailand, the place her restaurant Past Bangkok has a Michelin star. As a concession to Swiss tastes, her meals received’t be as sizzling as it’s in Thailand – the place she’d usually use ten chillies she’ll solely be utilizing one. She’s excited to be right here and tells me that it’s the first time she’s seen snow.

Nira Alpina Smoked Coconut Noodles
Nira Alpina Smoked Coconut Noodles

Her dinner is served within the Stalla Veglia Restaurant, a comfortable Swiss “Stubli”, and as far faraway from South East Asia as you may get. The entrée is watermelon coated in floor salmon, with fried shallots and roasted galangal powder, a beautiful mixture of recent and fishy. Soup is a tom yam, sizzling and bitter with crispy pork leg cubes, tangy however not too spicy.

Other highlights are langoustine in a Chiang Mai salad with roasted banana chilli and chargrilled tomatoes and a chunk of steamed cod with white turmeric, fennel and lemongrass sauce served with jasmine rice. The dessert is a reasonably image of smoked coconut noodles with palm sugar sabayon, lemon basil seed and dried pineapple. The meal impresses and, by minimising the chilli content material, the flavours actually zing.

The gourmand pageant is not only about large dinners. Also on supply are gourmand safaris, chocolate workshops, afternoon teas, champagne tastings, cheese pairings and, what for me, is likely one of the highlights, the Kitchen Party. It takes place late within the night, deep within the subterranean kitchens of Badrutt’s Palace. There’s a jazz band enjoying, champagne is flowing and people hard-working cooks, recent from serving their gourmand dinners, are cooking once more.

At the tip of the week is the Porsche Gourmet Finale on the elegant Suvretta House. It begins with a champagne reception, the place 5 native cooks supply a choice of scrumptious appetizers, and it’s tough to withstand going again for seconds.  However, there’s now a gala sit down dinner, every course ready by totally different feminine cooks. I get to revisit the meals of Cristina Bowerman and Bee Satongun characteristic but in addition pattern the dishes of Emma Bengtsson, Kamilla Seidler, and Asma Khan.

Highlights are the fish ceviche from Kamilla Seidler, halibut with cauliflower and gruyere from Emma Bengtsson and Asma Khan’s Indian khobani ka meetha dessert. It is likely to be some time earlier than I’m again once more in St. Moritz however the pageant has actually been memorable. Perhaps at some point I’ll get to eat within the eating places of a few of these well-known cooks.

Fact File

The St. Moritz Gourmet Festival is an annual occasion, happening on the finish of January.

The Carlton is a 5* Superior resort proper within the centre of St Moritz.

The Nira Alpina is a 4* Superior resort in Silvaplana with ski-in ski-out services.

Tourism Engadin St. Moritz has data on the area.

My Switzerland has details about the nation.

SWISS and many other airlines offers each day flights from main worldwide airportsto Zurich, Geneva or Sion (seasonal).One manner fares begin from £74 to Zurich and £83 to Geneva if flying from the UK . In First and Business, long-haul passengers departing from Switzerland can benefit from the “SWISS Taste of Switzerland” with menus created by chosen visitor cooks whose eating places have Michelin stars and Gault Millau factors.

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