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St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2020 – Girlspower only!

My personal highlight: Getting inspiration and motivation from Chef Renu Homsombat (Bangkok) reminding that everything done with love and compassion brings more joy in life!

A culinary experience that must be on your agenda every beginning of the year is the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. This year a load of girl power came together in the upper Engadine January 31st to February 8th, 2020. The top chefs from the international fine-dining scene performed together with highly awarded chefs of the partner hotels in St. Moritz to spoil curious food lovers with culinary delights.

The program consists of diverse events to choose from: a Gourmet Dinner with your favorite Chef, the legendary Kitchen Party at Badrutt’s Palace, Gourmet Safaris, a mountain Brunch or Food & Wine Pairing, the variety of food experiences is incredible!

On the one hand, this blog post shall inspire you to find your own favourite event. On the other hand it is a great pleasure to share my experiences with you and make you part of my Festival journey! The festival is attended by local  & international food lovers and offers a unique way to spend a different evening with same mined people.

The Chefs of the 2020 Edition at a glance

Gourmet Dinner Experience with Chef Renu Homsombat from Bangkok at Hotel Giardino Mountain -Restaurant Ecco

I attended the Gourmet Dinner of Chef Renu Homsombat with the curiosity to explore Thai Cuisine on a Gourmet level I never had before. Chef Renu manages 11 Suffron Gourmet Restaurants of the 5 star Hotels Banyan Tree in 8 countries. Beside coaching all the Chefs around the world she is a mother and a wife and lives in a house with a beautiful garden in Bangkok. My culinary highlight included a 6 course menu. A complete seduction of pure, fresh and spicy Thai flavors never experienced before. The green Thai curry is light and perfectly balanced in its sweetness and spiciness. Yes, it was spicy but to balance it out you get rice noodles and a tiny egg in a separate bowl and little veggie surprises as the pickled cauliflower or fried eggplants! The dinner start at 185 CHF (4 courses, excl. drinks) to 240 CHF (6 courses, excl. drinks) per person.

The menu of the Gourmet Dinner at Ecco Restaurant:

  • Kratong-Thong – Fried chicken, cashew nuts, golden cup saffron
  • Ma Hor – Pieneapple, minced pork beef, shrimps, peanut paste
  • Por Pia Puu Sauce Mamuang – Summer spring roll with crab meat, Thai mango sauce, chili peanut dip
  • Pla Muek Laab Thod – Spicy fried baby octopus, Thai chili sauce, crunchy popped young rice
  • Tom Yum Goong – spicy Thai shrimps, mushrooms, Thai ginger, lemon grass
  • Kiew Waan Pla Yang – grilled fish filet, rice noodles, green Thai curry sauce, fried eggplants, pickled cauliflower
  • Nua Toon Lumyai – slow cooked beef ribs, spiced, cucumber salat
  • Khao Niew Mamuang / Ice Cream Bai Toey – Thai Mango sticky rice, Sago Saffron litchi, Pandan coconut ice cream

The menu was paired with wines from France, Italy and Spain.

This culinary safari through Thailand was presented from its most aesthetic way. The combination of ingredients was delicate and at the same time very typical in the taste. The dishes Chef Renu prepares often include peanuts, mint, coriander or galangal combining European and Thai methods she got from different working experiences in Germany and Switzerland.
Chef Renu shared a precious hour with me in a personal interview where I got the opportunity to talk about her life and cooking philosophy.

The energy of this person is pure and beautiful and I felt right away, that this is the first ingredient for the magic, she puts in the preparation of every dish. She explained me, that no matter which request comes from a customer, her wish is to make everyone happy. So for example customers with allergies or special food requests give her the extra challenge to experiment in the kitchen and serve the ideal dish.

Learn from an organic Chef!

Chef Renu describes herself as the “Organic Chef” What exactly do you think this means? Nowadays Chefs strive for organic and healthy cuisine, the selection of the products are of high quality and as fresh as possible. This is why for example in a city as Bangkok Chef Renu has a little garden where she lives and she can grow her own flowers to integrate them in the dishes.
But more than that, an organic Chef according to Chef Renu should bring along a sane ego, understand the need and potential of the staff and bring them to perform with perfection but especially happiness and love in everything they do. The staff is like a family!
This is exactly what I experienced during the interview and the dinner. She also shares with me, that the inner motor that keeps her happy is the love around her she gets from her husband and her family.

“Be every day positive in life, learn from your mistakes and move on – Interview with Chef Renu”

Thank you Renu Homsombat for the unique culinary experience and the precious time shared!

Gourmet Event “Top of Piemonte” by Chef Lanshu Chen from Taiwan & Fabrizio Zanetti at Suvretta House, St. Moritz in cooperation with Poderi Aldo Conterno Wines

What happens at a Gourmet night with the title “Top of Piemonte“?
A Taiwanese female Chef prepares dishes that pair well with Barolo wines from Piemonte and on top you have a chat to connect with same minded foodies.

The surrounding at Suvretta House was the most perfect setup to enjoy a wonderful 4 course dinner. This is what we had:

  • Amuse Bouche: Egg custard with fermented radish and 7 years old aged radish oil
  • Eel: lily bulb, Sichuan peppercorns and scallion
  • Veal sweetbread Angelica
  • Sunchoke, smoked pork lard, wild lime
  • Pigeonneau: gyaura, onion, molle with Taiwnanese Chocolate
  • Dessert Nympheas: 12 different ingredients sweet, sour and flower magic prepared in a clear soup

The Wine Pairing 

Bussiador Chardonnay Langhe DOC/b, Piemonte 2016

Barolo Bussia Colonnello DocG/b, Piemonte 2015 and Barolo Bussia Cicala DOCG/b, Piemonte 2015

Barolo Bussia Romirasco DOCG/b, Piemonte 2015

Grappa di Barolo Cigna Cicala, Piemonte

The cuisine prepared by Chef Lashu is contemporary French, delicate and savory. She conjured a tasteful balance between her Taiwanese culinary roots and classic French cuisine onto the plates. The novelty for me at this dinner: the pigeon! It was cooked with a pink finish, perfectly tender and its tasty was mild and delicate.

About Poderi Aldo Conterno Wines

The Poderi Aldo Conterno have cult status among wine connoisseurs. The selected wines belong to the greatest of the Piedmont region. Franco Conterno, co-owner of the family business presented his winery in collaboration with Ueli Schiess of Caratello Weine, St. Gallen.

Curious to know more about the wine region of Piedmont? Explore it on my blog post here!

I am very happy for the experience made at this year’s St. Moritz Gourmet Festival edition and hope you’ll have the chance in 2021 to experience one of their culinary events, too! A warm thank you to all of the staff for the excellent work and hospitality during my press trip.

 

 

 

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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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Wellness & Contemporary Thai Food overlooking Zurich Lake at Panorama Resort Feusisberg

My personal highlight: Relaxing mind & soul in a secret hideaway – Enjoying Contemporary Thai food with a unique view overlooking Zurichlake in a sea of lights!

Where do you travel to if you are in the mood of a Spa Weekend? Sometimes a short car drive is preferred. The hideway has to be away from the city hustle. Th wellness resort Panorama Resort & SPA in Feusisberg is what you are looking for.

Here fascinating worlds of harmony and balance come together. Its location is fantastic. High above Lake Zurich you will find enjoyment, relaxation and a warm hospitality. The view is magic to admire either from the infinity pool, from the hotel room or by having dinner at the Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah. In their Rooftop bar called Mongomoon Sky Bar for a moment I thought to be in Bangkok. Watch the movie to understand why!

What makes The Panorama Resort & SPA special?

Being countryside makes one immediately feel serene because the pace is slower! No matter if the desire is relaxation of mind & body, excellent food ora a romantic weekend. Feusisberg is a small village about 35 kilometers distant by car from Zurich, easily to reach by train in less than an hour. The place is known for being the ideal conference place, too.

An absolute highlight is the infinity pool. It’s heated up to 30 degrees. I could not stop keeping my eyes away from all of the little bright lights shining over the lake!

The Akari SPA offers all you need when it comes to spoil your body. Find a wellness paradise on over 2000 m2 including outdoor & indoor pools, whirlpools, jet bubblers, seven different saunas and steam baths, foot whirlpools, cozy rest areas, a healthy spa buffet, spacious outdoor area and a professional gym. Absolutely try the offer of massages, too. It’s the cherry on the top after a wellness day.

Find their weekend specials as of 310 CHF/night (Book until Dec. 21, 2018). More details are available here.

Panorama Resort & SPA in a glimpse

  • 102 luxurious rooms & suites
  • Price start as of 200 CHF (classic Single room, incl. breakfast)
  • Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah with a stylish Mangomoon Sky Bar at the top of the resort, as well as the gourmet Restaurant “Collina”
  • 10 plenary rooms & 8 meeting rooms of various sizes, all with magnificent views over the Lake of Zurich
  •  Ideal place for wedding reception or other family celebrations
  • Wellness & Spa on over 2000 m2S
  • a hearty and service oriented staff

Accommodation

The hotel offers 102 modern rooms in different categories. I found the ambience in the Asian Junior Suite very warm decorated and spacious. The interior is equipped with natural materials as wood and fabrics combined with matching light colors.  Find all details for the booking here.

Food & Drinks

Try one of the three different restaurants or get a fancy drink with typical Thai ingredients as ginger, mint, butterfly pea flower or essences of lemon grass at the Mangomoon Sky Bar. For food there is a choice between the Restaurant Collina, the Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah or the Restaurant Körnlisegg, about 15 minutes drive from the hotel.

My experience at Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah

The interior at Loh Fay Restaurant is astonishing. Its design radiates cosmopolitan flair, at the same time it embodies the culture of ThailandLoy Fah Thai Chef Pich Tongurai and his staff spoiled us with a 4 course dinner, a delight for belly and eyes. Get an interpretation of traditional Thai cuisine in a surprising way. Authentic ingredients of the highest quality and freshness are used: Explore exquisite seafood or extravagant vegetarian dishes. No problem if you are more into meat, everybody finds the perfect choice.

4 course dinner to recommend

Appetizer

Tuna Tatar “Laab” – A fresh Tuna tatar with spices from the north-east region Isaan, with crispy fried mushroom & tapioca chips

or

Ceviche salad “Share Nham Pla”- Thai style king fish ceviche (raw) with lemongrass, sea grapes & chili lime dressing

First course

“Tom Kha” Cappuccino – comes with Galangal root and coconut broth, Thai herbs served with a grilled scallop

or

Pomelo Salat Vegi “Yam Som O” – Thai pomelo salad with grilled palm hearts, toasted coconut flakes & Thai basil

Second course

Sea bass “Pla Ob Kamin”  – In baking-paper steamed sea bass “Thai papillote” with Thai vegetables, turmeric & galangal root butter

or

Beef Curry “Massaman Nua” – Braised beef cheek in Mussamun curry, coconut gnocchi, edamame bean salsa & cashew nuts

Dessert

Mango-Stickyrice “Khao Niau Ma Muang” – Comes with a spring roll, flamed mango & black sesame ice cream

or

Thai Sago Pudding “Phuket Style” – The pudding (tapioca) comes with young coconut and mango ice cream

The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 6 – 11 pm. The costs from the menu (set menu or free selection from the menu) are for the 3 course menu 80 CHF and for the 4 course menu 95 CHF.

My personal highlight: the Beef Curry “Massaman Nua”. The beef cheek was extremely tender and the exotic coconut gnocchi combined with a not too intense curry an the ideal contemporary interpretation.

Absolutely try the SPA buffet, too. I loved the fact that plenty of products, including the breakfast buffet are hand made and very genuine in the taste. The scrambled eggs were super creamy, the jams and the “Butterzopf” of excellent softness.

In the mood to get inspired by other travel & food stories? Find more here.

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