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International Cooking Summit

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Chef Alps 2018 International Cooking Summit Zurich

My personal highlight: Experiencing the Chefs on the stage not only as creative minds but as mentors. Taking home the message of living passionate and be playful.

This year’s edition of Chef Alps – The International Cooking Summit in Zurich – showed once more how strongly Chefs can motivate the gastronomy world by touching the right buttons. It’s not only about creating esthetically perfectly arranged plates, it’s about how to get to a result. Every Chef on the stage in my opinion confirmed on his own way, that no matter if in the kitchen or not, crucial ingredients of a complete recipe are passion combined with fun. If you never attended this gastronomic Swiss highlight you should consider planning it for 2019 right now! On one hand you get inspiration from various cultures for the preparation of  creative plates. On the other hand you get introduced to life philosophies to be used inside and outside a kitchen! Further there is the chance to exchange knowledge with same minded people and explore product novelties from gastronomic companies in a lovely arranged market hall.

My delights from Chef Alps – Day 1

Chef Ryan Clift & Head Bartender Joe Schofield, Restaurant Tippling Club, Singapore – www.tipplingclub.com

Ever heard about a restaurant where cocktails are paired with food and exceptional progressive concepts are created from Food Specialists Physicians, Chemists, Doctors, Psychologist and Parfumer working all together? Welcome to Tippling Club in Singapore. A  place that offers modern, fun and fresh gastronomy.

Here you get gummy bears that are created with flavors and odors related to feelings as love, happiness, success or peace for example. The gummy bears all made with different ingredients incl. alcohol extracts as champagne, gin, whiskey or rum is what we got as a surprise under our chair. These gummy bears paired with sophisticated cocktails fulfills the dream of every guest that seeks the extraordinary.

Did you know how space smells like in theory?

We are all fascinated about the stripes handed over that indicate how space smells! An extract of the odor of a spacesuit. If you sniff the spaceship on your card, you’ll find out what space smells like,” said Clift, adding that he was once commissioned by NASA to take a space-worn astronaut’s suit and put it through a mass spectrometer used to analyze scents for perfumes. That is how he could determine the scent of space. So viral how relaxed and amused Ryan and Joe explain all of these stories to us. I get the point that here much fun is paired with hours of experiments. It is a pleasure to feel the lust and durst for such progressive avant-garde cuisine and equally inventive cocktails.
Mentally I drift away to another sphere. Can’t wait to travel to Singapore and experience more of this! Or maybe we will soon have Tippling Club in Zurich, who knows!

Chef Titti Qvarnström, Sweden

A woman Chef from Sweden with a humble and humorous personality. I start to laugh of course when she makes a joke that the souvenir she brought home from her time living in Germany is her husband. He supports her in the kitchen and works with her on the stage!

She introduces a simple rustic dish typically from the South of Sweden. Her husband prepares fried hasselback potatoes and combined with an elegant elements as Roggen caviar and a Crème fraîche. While Titti shares with us plenty of stories of her childhood and challenging career situations as a woman Chef her husband is active on the stage in preparing the delicacies.

We all smile when she gives into the plenary a jar containing fresh cream and asks one person to start shaking it and hand it over until we get fresh butter! This butter is used for the fresh rye bread with sour milk, malt and the home made anise herb mix she prepares herself. The passion for an experimental natural cuisine Titti follows in her restaurant is based on her childhood memories of forest visits with her father. He is the person that showed her which natural treasures are suitable for consumption.

Chef Nicolai Nørregaard – Restaurant Kadeau Bornholm & Kopenhagen (DK) – www.kadeau.dk

The program continuous with some more nordic Cuisine. Coming from a country where you spent most of the time outside, it is essential to work with every element given. He uses fir seedlings in a dish for example. On the stage with his sous Chef he prepared 6 different dishes with a admirable elegance and tranquility. Observing Chef Nicolai during his preparations comes over as a meditation.

A dish presented is a pickled & grilled pumpkin glazed with a quince sirop decorated with some fried rose petals and red ants that give sourness to the plate. Another plate: a smoked salmon where combined with figs that grow even in a climate as the island of Bornholm. The island of Borholm is located 180 kilometers from the coast nearby the Baltic Sea. A paradise for nature lover. We all fall into the silence and enjoy the show!

Dominique Persoone – The Chocolate Line, Brügge/Belgium – thechocolateline.be

I am happy that the end of day 1 was solved by passionate Michelin Star Chocolatier! Very impatient holding a wonderful purple box in my hands I waited the instructions of Dominique Persoone to open it! A gift for him to the attendees of Chef Alps. Persoone cultivates his own criollo varieties. They use best ingredients and also care about sustainable projects as bee keeping. They harvest liquid gold to incorporate it in their fabulous assortment.

Chocolate wouldn’t be rock and roll if we didn’t try something out of the ordinary.

I experience the Chocolate Master as a showman, actor and life motivator. No wonder he is also called shock-o-latier. More than his craziness, its his way of approaching tasks that impresses me. What made me smirk was the way he always looked had his wife during the show mentioning her support and influence in plenty of the realized ideas.

How to properly taste chocolate

Take the piece of chocolate in your hand, temper it, nose at it and than slowly let it melt on your tongue (Obviously I put it directly in my mouth and swallowed it whole). Switzerland has lovely chocolate, tough Swiss Chocolatier should try to roast the beans less, the aroma of the cocoa can get much more complexity if it gets less roasted.

Some projects I love to link to that come of his kitchen are the chocolate lip stick, and the chocolate shooter. Even the Queen Rania from Jordan asked for that gadget while she was visiting the Chocolate Shop of Persoone in Belgium. You get cocoa power shot directly into your nares with that machine. Check that Youtube Movie to see more!

I look very much forward to the 2019 Edition of Chef Alps and would like to thank you the team of Woehlre Pirola for the excellent organization and possibility given to attend this unique Summit. Don’t miss the Chef Alps Youtube Channel to see all shows in full length.

In the mood to read more stories of Lovefoodish? Get more here.

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Zurich Blogging

Chef Alps – International Cooking Summit 21 & 22 May, 2017, Zurich

My personal highlight: quotes, life stories, flavors. Woman Chef are best story teller ever!

After attending the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival this winter I could not wait to get in touch with more passionate International Chefs! For those who missed that story, you can dive into it here.

My experience at Chef Alps 2017 starts with Chef Dominique Crenn. She is a French born raised in a family of artists. You can feel her creative heritage in the way she prepares and presents the dishes and in the stories of life she tells. Today she lives in San Francisco where she runs two restaurants, Atelier Crenn (2 Michelin Stars) and Petit Crenn, a third one to be opened soon. Her easiness and authenticity inspired myself. If you feel your own fire inside, it’s what brings you forward in life. One of her attributes is the fact, that she loves to transmit a poem with food.

„Food is a language“ she says. It’s more than a sophisticated dish you get on your plate.

A focal part of my interview: Crenn’s personal story about working as a Woman Chef in South East Asia

In 1997, she made culinary history being the first female executive Chef in Indonesia leading the kitchen at the InterContinental Hotel in Jakarta. Crenn mentions during the interview that this time was one of the most challenging of her life. It touched my heart, how she approached and supported the Indonesian women staff she was managing by that time.  Giving them believe in their qualifications and professional goals. Due to the political turmoil in Southeast Asia, she returned to California in 1998.
At her restaurants in San Francisco food waste is a number one topic. On stage she presented to the audience how to prepare the marrow from the swordfish. It turned out to be a real delicacy.

Why a food blogger should visit an International Cooking summit like Chef Alps

It’s the place where creative people come together for sharing life and food stories. The event is an inspiring platform for Chefs, gastronomesfoodies and media. After attending the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival beginning of the year I was very honored to be part of Chef Alps 2017.

It’s a unique experience talking in person to world famous Chefs.

You understand, why food has such an important influence and it bridges cultures and humans.

It’s more than tasting a piece of delicious prepared meat or admire a good looking plate. It’s the procedure, the origin of a Chef, their motivation and struggles. Their complete life.

Hearing Antonia Klugmann from Italy (1 Michelin Star) explaining, how a menu is created and that it includes complex, thoughtful steps with several months of tests until it appears on the menu, left me with an open mouth. On the stage she presented two of her own original dishes.
The tomato strawberry spaghetti and the beef carpaccio aromatized with herbs from her garden at  Restaurant L’Argine a Vencò in Dolegna del Collio, Gorizia Italy. Using a variety of alpine herbs is a signature of her recipes.

“Respecting the use of fresh and local ingredients by an accurate preparation is only one parameter to be considered,” says Chef Klugmann. Further, it’s essential to be a good example for ongoing Chefs and to stay as authentic as possible.

How to be a good leader

Being a leader for the employees and sensitive enough to understand when the team needs a break is a topic that Chef Ana Roš mentions during her session on the stage. She is the World’s Best Female Chef 2017.  While traveling to Zurich she got a phone call from her Sous Chef. They were discussing the need of a break due to a very intense time at her Restaurant Hiša Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia.

Her cuisine focuses an avant-garde approach with local and seasonal ingredients from her home country. One of the dishes Chef Roš prepared on the stage is a cooked tongue of a milk cow. It came paired with a home made Dashi, pickled celery, smoked celery purée, light sweetened algae and a scallop. A complete surprise. That is how she loves to cook, creative, sustainable and full of energy.

Ana Roš achieved her international fame overnight, thanks to an episode of her cookery skills shown in the series “Chef’s Table” on Netflix. ‘The visitor numbers on the website increased from 200 to 10,000 a day. They were absolutely swamped with reservation requests.

What impresses me much is the fact, that she started her Chef career from scratch by autodidactic tools. She was a former professional skier and studied politics. Her way into cooking was completely new.

These my friend,s are more than just Chefs preparing food to satisfy guests or winning awards. These are inspiring personalities that motivate all of us to follow our dreams and passions.

Thank you for reading the Lovefoodish food stories!

 

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