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A culinary weekend on a boat: Excellence Gourmet Festival 2019

My personal highlight: My soul feels home on the water, a Gourmet Festival on a boat is THE a foodies happy place!

Welcome to Excellence Gourmet Festival.
A 2-day gourmet trip between Basel and Strasbourg that takes place every autumn. This year from October 18 to November 24, 2019. Booking takes place through the travel agency Mittelthurgau, click here right away, if you like to book a slot. Cost start at 285 CHF to 500 CHF per person (price vary depending on the guest gook). The transfer, overnight on the boat, food and breakfast are included in the price.

What to expect on the gourmet trip?

Excellent top cuisine, 48 Michelin stars and 560 Gault Millau points, a dedicated crew, live music and a breathtaking sunset on the Rhine river. Sounds like pure relaxation for soul and palate, doesn’t it? The concept of the Excellence Gourmet Festival, taking place this year for the 7th time offers an amazing choice of well renewed top Chefs. 39 endowed creative cooks from Switzerland and the world surprise foodies of all ages. Everything is prepared fresh and ad hoc on the boat. The evening program is moderated by different Swiss celebrities as for example Sven Epiney or Christa Rigozzi during my attendance. Their interaction with the Chefs was excellent, they reveal a lot of insights of the Chefs with their interactive dialog between every course. The atmosphere is very relaxed. While dining you don’t even notice how smooth the ship moves to on the river!

A 2-day gourmet trip with sightseeing, culinary and complete relax on the river

The journey starts with the transfer to Strasbourg by a comfy bus. In Strasbourg you get time to stroll through the city either by yourself or with an organized guide. In the early afternoon there is a transfer to get on board of one of the Gourmet boats. In my case it was the Excellence Princess. After the check-in in my Junior Suite with spectacular view over the Rhine river a welcome aperitive with sweets, salty snacks and live music everyone is set to start the gourmet experience. The perfect chance to get to know other foodies on board and discover every cozy corner of the Excellence Princess!
My favorite spot: one of the sofas in the glass covered skylounge. Here is where I slurp happy and full of excitement my aperol spritz!

The Culiniray program – Chef Flynn McGarry from New York (Restaurant Gem)

The dining highlight of my day: Flynn McGarry from the Restaurant gem in New York. Media describe him as the a prodigy of cuisine. Listening to the interview I immediately understood, that he followed very early his idea and passion of cooking. And guess having a family around that understands someones passion is something unique you can ever wish. But still, yes, it’s very impressive that he started at the age of 10 and now with 20 it kind of seems that lot’s of his dreams are already fulfilled! Flynn gives me the impression of a very humble, creative and somehow mature personality with his young age! Obviously he discovered very early what he wants to do in his life and it is motivating, feeling the light and ambitious vibes he has. The interview held by Sven Epiney during the evening revealed a lot of funny insights, too.

The menu comes with a wine pairing. My favorite drop: the Carmelo Rodero Reserva, 2014, Bodegas Rodero, Ribera del Duero/Spain.

The menu at a glance

Starter: Scallop Chips with raw scallops and preserved citrus  – layers of Kohlrabi and pear

1 course: Lightly cooked beet “ceviche” with salted plums and smoked chili

2 course: Grilled cabbage with oyster and grilled kale emulsion

3 course: Layers of squash and rutabaga with gruyere and black pepper

4 course: Celery root schnitzel with truffels and rye

5 course: Smoked and roasted duck breast with radicchio and duck xo sauce, salad on the side stew of druck and grilled cicorino rosso to share

Dessert: Quince granita with sage semifreddo

The combination of flavors, ingredients, spices and herbs used made that mainly focussed plant based menu very surprising but in the same time simple and comforting. The celery root schnitzel with the super crispy layer was fabulous yummy.

My  favorite dish: the pumpkin in a creamy, tasty gruyere sauce, perfectly balanced, a dish that I will try to cook at home! The dessert was a sage semifreddo and a quince granita, very mediterranean and a true delight to end the event in glory!

Accommodation on the maritime lady

The Excellence Princess gives you all comfort you can think of. I would describe it as a modern and elegant Swiss Grand Hotel on water! Find several options where to spend your free time. Choose between the glass covered skylounge, outside on the terrace or the elegant bar in the middle deck. In the mood of sauna or fitness? That’s available, too!

On the boat are 93 cabins with shower/bathroom, air conditioning, Sat-/TV, minibar, hair dryer, french balcony, spacious windows. Find three different categories of cabins: In the upper and middle deck: 16 m2 and a Junior Suite with 20 m2, both with a frz. balcony, double bed or single beds. Under deck: Cabin with 13 m2 single or double bed.
The life on board feels safe due to the very robust construction properties of the boat.

A very warm thank you to all of the staff on board that made my stay memorable and to the agency Pantarhei that invited me to this glamorous mini-holiday on the water.

In the mood of some more travel and food stories? Find inspiration here.

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Mediterranean Food

Belvoir Restaurant & Grill Rüschlikon/Zurich

Restaurant Belvoir Zurich

My personal highlight: 14 Gault Millau points and a majestic view over the Zurich Lake

When it comes to restaurants overlooking Zurich lake and the alps the choice is limited, this is why I highly recommend this secret gem! Visit Belvoir Restaurant & Grill where head Chef Pascal Kleber and the absolute warm and friendly staff spoil their guests in a wonderful relaxed ambience only about 10 min. from Zurich. Its cuisine focuses on local products from the surrounding areas as well as international dishes. The menu is healthy and creative and represents an absolutely high-quality fine dining concept. Be prepared to enjoy colorful plates with a pleasure for eyes and palate.

Our menu at a glance

Starters: St. Pierre Ceviche – Mirabelle – Jasmin rice – Lemon balm & Chicken terrine potatoes – Mango – fresh herbs

First courses: Oranges – Rosmarin tortellini, Cima di rapa – onions – Parmesan &  roastes scallops, carrots – coconut – cauliflower

Second Courses: Mey Selections – Rib Eye from the grill & Black Angus Beef filet from the grill paired with Truffle risotto – mushrooms – Chimichurri

Dessert: Pina Colada 2.0,  spiced pineapple – iced coconut mousse – mint sponge & Fig with berries, fig mousse – oatmeal cookie – raspberry sorbet

Our wine: an excellent red drop from Portugal-Alicante: Carlos reynolds, Bousschet, Aragonez, Alfrocheiro, Tricadeira

Address:

Hotel Belvoir, Säumerstrasse 37, 8803 Zurich/Rüschlikon – Phone: +41 44 723 83 83, INFO@HOTEL-BELVOIR.CH – www.hotel-belvoir.ch

A special thank you goes to Matej that joined my dinner and created the fantastic pictures to best present you an idea of the experience!
Get in touch with Matej Serer @matejerer@gmail.com, if you like to know more about his photography projects!

Find more Lovefoodish recommendations here.

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Zurich Blogging

Secret Dinner in Zurich!

My personal highlight: A secret dinner capturing all senses with passion through a 5 course menu in a coffee roastery !

Welcome to a Secret Dinner! Last month I had the opportunity to experience a 5 course menu in a secret location! The concept of Secret Dinner is very simple: you get a the time and a meeting point via email, you meet there with other participants and you follow a path until you get in front of an extraordinary venue! As a coffee lover the coincidence brought me to a coffee roastery in Zurich!

The industrial ambience gave the special touch to the long tavolata in the middle of the production hall.

The menu was designed to touch all of our senses with every course. And guess what, it really happened!

The secret dinner is the perfect gift for your best friend, a special date or company event. The location and the motto of the event change regularly. It’s a nice way to chat with other guests, too, since everybody sits on one long table.
Get all of the information about the dinner package on their website. Every dinner starts with delicious cocktails or selected wines.

The secret sensual rapture menu at a glance

Course 1: The sense “vision”

Tomato – Mozzarella – Basil
This course was pure deception, the ingredients were prepared in a surprising way! The white slice was not a mozzarella but a crispy crunchy cheese basil cracker!

Course 2: The sense “smell”

Salmon – peperoni – mint
The salmon came in a aluminium can that was smoked just ad hoc. Super rough and intense in the taste!

Course 3: The sense “Touch”

Apple – Fennel – ice steam
A light clear fennel soup served with a fancy iced steam floating in my glass.

Course 4: The sense “Hearing”

Flank steak – coffee – sweet potato – jackfruit
I found this course the highlight of my dinner! The coffee was perfectly balanced in the sauce. The sound of a common coffee roasting day accompanied our dinner!

Course 5: The sense “inebriety”

Espresso – Lime – Pistachio – Chocolate
Only the picture describes best why this course gifted all of us with the final sensory “high”. Guess what the white powder is!?

A wine pairing with every course is available. The dinner price start as of 100 CHF/person excl. drinks and wine pairing.

A special thank you goes to Matej that joined the event and created the perfect pictures to give you an idea of the experience! Get in touch with Matej Serer @matejerer@gmail.com , if you like to know more about his photography projects!

www.secretdinner.ch

 

 

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Restaurant Guide

Coco Grill & Bar, Zurich

My personal highlight: Choose by your own the piece of meet that comes on the charcoal grill and join Manager Dominik to the wine cellar to get the wine of your choice!

What if you get access to the kitchen and have the unique opportunity to taste the menu with the staff before it is officially available for the guests? I said yes and joined the team at Restaurant Coco Grill & Bar on a rainy Monday in Zurich close to Paradeplatz!
What makes this place special is the direct interaction with the staff and the Chef. You choose directly your wine and piece of meat you’d like to have prepared!

The menu changes ever week at Coco’s and is rich of fresh seasonal ingredients and stays a surprise until it is served on your plate!

The ambience at Coco’s reminds me to an ancient idyllic boat, decorated with lovely maritime items all over the restaurant.

Dominik the manager welcomes me to the restaurant with a fresh home made apple aperitivo and introduces me to the staff that is hungry waiting to taste the menu of the week. Chef Patrick Frischknecht (before at Eleven Madison Park, New York) explains me the week’s menu consisting of 5 courses including a Swiss Fish (Belper Quellwasser) or juicy cuts of beef or veal, some seasonal vegetables as for example beetroot or celery hand made “Schupfnudeln” and waffles as a dessert. Coco Grill is famous for its charcoal grill, so watch out for their meat or fish!

The garden outside invites to have a gorgeous tasty plate and a glass of wine for example with home made spreads as humus or grilled veggies and meat!

Say yes if Dominik invites you to discover their wine cellar!

Find different wines from Switzerland, Spain, Italy or France for example that pair well with your menu! Choose it by yourself in the cellar located in the sous-soul of the restaurant. The cellar can be rent for private small events! Get more here.

Visit Coco for your lunch break, business dinner or a friends night! The food is mediterranean with a personal touch from Chef Patrick!

Address: Coco Grill & Bar, Bleicherweg 1A, am Paradeplatz, 8001 Zürich, Telefon: +41 44 211 98 98

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 11.00 – 15.00 and 17.00 – 24.00 Uhr
Saturday 17.30 – 00.30

In the mood of more food inspiration? Get them on my food guide!

http://www.restaurant-coco.ch

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Food

The Butcher Zurich

My personal highlight: Stepping in the kitchen at “The Butcher”, getting introduced to all properties to prepare a real juicy burger

My passion as a foodie is to be there where the magic happens: In the kitchen! A big thank you to all of the staff at The Butcher Badenerstrasse, that made this happen. I can now much better understand the work in a Burgerkitchen! Quite a lot of procedures the cooks follow to prepare the perfect burger.

A large part of the dishes can be ordered as gluten-free variation or low carb without bread!

The base for the perfect burger are high quality and fresh products. The Butcher uses regional Swiss Meat. A paddy has 140g and comes always medium cooked!
A highlight for all Vegan lovers is The Greenmountain Burger that is 100% plant based and produced in Switzerland (Graubünden). It is rich in proteins and fibre made of organic soy, pea and wheat proteins.
Available with a vegan bun. I personally recommend their traditional bun. It is one of the best in town and has a crust that is super tasty due to its beer marinade! At Badenerstrasse you can enjoy your burger in the lovely outdoor terrace!

From the moment of the order at the table it takes only 7 minutes until you get your burger on the plate!

Try the Guest favorite: Bacon & Cheese Burger

Get a variety of burgers from classical beef, Chorizo Beef to Pulled Pork BBQ and Caesar’s Chicken. Absolutely to try the Goat Cheese Burger, too!

My favorite is the classical Bacon & Cheese. The cheese mixture is a secret mix, the cheese doesn’t melt and is mild but aromatic and is places on some flavorful caramelized onions. Every burger comes with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and special sauces! The fries are made of local swiss potatoes. A secret for you: The same potatoes as the legendary Zweifel Chips! Order their home made ice teas as the ideal non-alcoholic refreshment or some regional craft beers.

Burgers vary between 13.30 CHF (simple Butcher Burger) to 18.30 CHF for the Bacon & Cheese to 20.30 CHF for the Chorizo Beef & Cheese.

Address: Enjoy The Butcher offer at several spots in town, also available as outdoor delivery!

Zurich Badenerstrasse (the one I was), Badenerstrasse 101, 8004 Zürich
Zurich Altstetten, Altstetterplatz 11, 8048 Zürich
Zurich Niederdorf, Stüssihofstatt 15, 8001 Zürich
Zurich Heinrichstrasse, Heinrichstrasse 239, 8005 Zürich
Zurich Oerlikon, Hofwiesenstrasse 363, 8050 Zürich
Zug Metalli, Gotthardstrasse 2, 6300 Zug
Bern, Aarbergergasse 36, 3011 Bern

Opening hours: (check them online to be sure for each location) Monday – Wednesday, 11 am to 11 pm, Thursday – Saturday, 11 am to 12 pm,
Sunday: 12 am to 11 pm.

In the mood of more food inspiration? Get them on my food guide!

www.thebutcher.ch

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GUIDESRest of the worldRestaurant Guide

Fork & Bottle Restaurant

Fork & Bottle

My personal highlight: Fingerlick’n crispy chicken wings deep fried in duck fat and fries fried 3 times!

Farm to table in Zurich country setting style

Fork & Bottle is spoiling our city since a while with their menu. It’s located a bit out of the city centre but easy to reach by car or bus. By bus get out at Brunau walk 2 minutes to Allmendstrasse 20.

If you love craft beer, great pieces of meat or a generous brunch you are right here. Choose from over 80 different craft beers, some are local, too. My heart beats for an Italian beer called Tipolis brewed from Birrifcio Italiano.

Meat and dessert lover

Try the 10 Hour House Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs with hand cut fries. Need a sugar love bomb and adrenalin boost? Go for the Chocolate Brownie Sundae. It’s a home made Daim ice cream with chocolate ganache and some exotic pieces of pistachio, on top a marshmallow fluff. Very sophisticated and worth every spoon. Come hungry or just share dishes, portions are American Style!

The food is prepared fresh, ingredients mainly from local farmers and suppliers.

The atmosphere at F&B is cozy, nice light and ambience due to the great space. Its open space invites to stay and have good conversations, it’s never too loud. Their beer garden is the biggest in town I guess, so absolutely inviting during nice summer days. The staff is lovely and happy to explain you the whole menu.

Try it, you will be satisfied.

www.forkandbottle.ch

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GUIDESRest of the worldRestaurant Guide

Grain Craft food & Beer

grain Zurich

My personal highlight: The seasonal craft beer selection and the bieramisu that gives a special note to the dessert

Craft food and craft beer experience in Zurich

Every course is paired expertly with a selected craft beer. That is why it is called the “Grain craft experience”.

At Grain’s you find a great selection of craft beers. Choose the local brewer Bachweg from Zug or an international brand as the Grimbergen Blanche from Belgium. Try some clear fruity craft beers, dark aromatized ones with vanilla or special saisonal ones where you taste roasted pumpkin.

The food is super tasty, Chef Patrick Leuenberger brings you to an other level of food experience. He uses different techniques as sous vides for example to prepare an tender chicken breast. Craft beer is used for food preparation, too, this to give a special note to every course. The team is happy to spoil you with a real craft experience.

Check it out, it’s at Zürichbergstrasse 71, just behind the tram stop Kirche Fluntern. Explore the very cozy and warm ambience in a bar setup. For a more romantic ambience choose the elegant dining area and try a complete menu.

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