My personal highlight: A delicate dish called “Pacman” made with a layer of corn catches all of my attention

We waited for so long and couldn’t be more excited to finally attend the 28th edition of St. Moritz Gourmet Festival in the upper Engadine! This year’s festival was dedicated to Swiss Chefs with the aim to specifically support the country’s top gastronomy and the producers as well as suppliers of fantastic regional products.

At the center of the program with different events as gourmet dinners and tastings were celebrity guest chefs, such as Tanja Grandits and top chefs Markus Arnold, Mitja Birlo, Stéphane Décotterd, Tobias Funke, Dominik Hartmann, Stefan Heilemann, Patrick Mahler, Heiko Nieder and Mattias Roock. Lovefoodish had the pleasure to attend the Gourmet Dinner of Chef Tobias Funke (Restaurant Incantare, Heiden)  and Chef Markus Arnold (Restaurant Steinhalle, Bern).

Gourmet Dinner Experience with Chef Tobias Funke -Restaurant Incantare (2 Michelin starred), Heiden at Saratz Hotel, Giodi Vegetarian and Co., Pontresina

Chef Tobias Funke -Executive Chef and Managing Director of Gasthaus zur Fernsicht Heiden and his staff took over the kitchen of the renewed vegetarian Restaurant Giodi located in the Hotel Saratz, Pontresina for a week to spoil all Festival guests with his culinary and complex cuisine. Funke’s passion consists in constantly creating new compositions using international, specifically selected or cultivated products with mainly local ingredients following a nose-to-tail philosophy. He likes cooking with cuts of meats that are not so well-known, this makes his signature dish is the “Challans Duck breast: A sandwich of heart with an onion stick. According to Funke the biggest challenge at the Festival was to adapt to a different kitchen setup – they brought all of their ingredients from their Restaurant in Heiden.
The menu represented a real piece of fresh and delicate art discovered bite by bite. Every dish came accompanied by beautiful illustration cards created by his friend Massimo Milano, The illustrations explain the ingredients used in every dish. What a great idea getting mentally prepared to read the story of each dish before the cutlery guides the bite into my mouth!

A dish inspired by a video game – and a plate to lick!

My first culinary highlight was the amuse-bouche representing broccoli in 4 different ways and the text: Läck Mii (lick me) that according to Tobias Funke should bring us back to the time as a kid when we used to lick up the plate when we liked something a lot. And yes, that’s the way I ate the amuse-bouche of course.

The second highlight was the “Pacman” dish – also this reminded me of my childhood and the videogames! I was impressed by how thin and elastic the shape of the Pacman, the taste was a little sweet and delicate. Tobias Funke used a corn base for the Pacman, the sides were bulgur and eggplant.

The dessert called “The Stone” was an absolute joy, too. Little tiny cut cubes of granny-smith apple with a base of roasted rye, yogurt, and parsley ice cream made me fly to heaven! The bit sour and sweet taste was a delight.

All dishes were served in beautiful hand-made pottery that is created exclusively for the restaurant by a local artist. The menu was accompanied by wines of course. Another very special experience was the paired non-alcoholic drink offer, which was put together by the sommelier of the Hotel Saratz! Absolutely fantastic idea to enjoy an elegant wild quince Juice or a Green Dragon Lung Ching Green Tea with the dishes.

The vision of a Swiss Chef and entrepreneur

Talking to Tobias Funke made me understand, that he is a full-time entrepreneur and Chef. He takes care of the social media accounts himself, has a webshop where you can buy several products, leads Cooking classes for team buildings at his restaurant, and always has ideas ready as a pop-up hotel or the cozy gondola village for an incomparable fondue experience  (open only in winter) at his Restaurant Fernsicht. We also talked about the image of Swiss Cuisine in the world and I can only support his view, that Switzerland has much more to offer than Chocolate and Cheese. There are many high-level gastronomes (as we could experience during the whole St. Moritz Gourmetfestival) that develop innovative, sophisticated, and holistic food concepts. Maybe we just need some more acknowledgment from national media to bring this Swiss culinary message out to the world.

About the complex Zur Fernsicht in Heiden:

Heiden is a village in the region of Appenzell. The Gasthaus zur Fernsicht lies at the Constance Lake. Find two restaurants in the old factory owner’s villa: the Incantare (two Michelin stars, 17 Gault Millau points) and the Swiss Alpine (Bib Gourmand). Tobias Funke is one of the first chefs to receive a green star, by the way, the restaurant Guide Michelin gives this green star to particularly sustainable restaurants.

Thank you St.Moritz Gourmetfestival, Tobias Funke, and the staff at Hotel Saratz for this unforgettable dinner!

Read here more about the experience at Nira Alpina Hotel/Silvaplana with Chef Markus Arnold (Steinhalle Bern), my second Gourmet Dinner night at St. Moritz Gourmetfestival 2022.

Presstrip – St. Moirtz Gourmetfestival

Tags : HeidenMichelin StarNose to tailPacman foodSt. Moritz Groumet Festivalswiss foodTobias FunkeZur Fernsicht
Marina Lovefoodish

The author Marina Lovefoodish

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