fbpx
close

St Moritz Gourmetfestival

STORIES

What happened at St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2019 ?

My personal highlight: The uniqueness of this event unites excellent international Chefs, creative minds and curious foodies in one special spot up in the Swiss Alps. Chef Nicolai Nørregaard from Denmark was my discovery this year.

Every year in January the Gourmet world of Switzerland points the eyes to St. Moritz. Together with chefs of a variety of prestigious local hotels, nine top-class star chefs from Europe and Asia join for culinary delights.

This year the following gourmet chefs participated at the festival 2019:

What to choose out of the variety of gourmet Food Events when visiting the the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival – a useful guide

Gourmet Safari Event: For those who love to experience different Chefs in different hotel locations in St. Moritz. This event allows best to interact with other gourmands. Taste a variation of menu in one night in an unforgettable surrounding. Get more inspiration here.

Legendary Kitchen Party at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel: The place to live the most vibrant and authentic vibes of the Chefs preparing the dishes directly in the kitchen. Together with 300 other guests you enjoy culinary highlights standing close to each other, the live music is the cherry on the top! Get some highlights of this year’s kitchen party here.

Side events: Wine & Cheese celebration in the legendary wine cellar of the Hotel Steffani, St. Moritz?
Go for this intimate evening in the Hotel Steffani, St. Moritz. Taste international rarities of wines paired with the amazing French cheese selection that Maître Antony, the world’s best “éleveur de fromages” offersorregarNNroregagararrdstivivalmon

Gourmet dinner with your favorite Chef!

My choice this year: Chef Nicolai Nørregaard from Copenhagen and I am absolutely happy about this selection, since the cuisine from Denmark was a novum to me.
The Gourmet dinners offer a relaxed atmosphere where to dive into a culinary journey. It’s the best way to experience the real food philosophy of a Chef. The dinner comes as a more course menu with signature dishes of the Chefs. Mostly there is the chance to talk in person to the Chefs during the dinner and get detailed explanations about the menu.

About my Gourmet dinner at Grand Hotel Kronenhof with Chef Nicolai Nørregaard

This dinner was an excursion to the Island of Bornholm, where the 1 Michelin Star Restaurant Kadeau Bornholm is located and run by Rasmus, Magnus & Nicolai. Beside Bornholm Nicolai and his partners run the 2 Michelin Stars restaurant Kadeau in Copenhagen.

Bornholm is a small island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of the east of Denmark, on the south of Sweden. Here the neighbors are the forest, the beach and the sea. The flavors of Bornholm were reflected 100% in the dishes prepared from Chef Nicolai. He knows the island best, since he grew up there. Years ago, when he was a kid he says during the interview, he used to spend a lot of time with is mother and his grandfather exploring the nature. That is where he got plenty of the knowledge on how to prepare, process and preserve the precious ingredients that grow on the island.

A lovely story I like to share with you that Nicolai revealed at our interview: back in time, when he was a teenager and he was dating a girl at his house it was absolutely normal, that girls got invited to help out in the garden. Some girls may have found that awkward back in time. The house of his mother was located in full nature.

My question about the food philosophy that they follow at Kadeau was answered on the one hand by tasting the extremely balanced and delicate dishes during my dinner. My palate experimented different layers of sour, sweet or salty flavors, perfectly balanced and aromatized.
On the other hand, in the interview Nicolai explained, that on the island of Bornholm they follow the rhythm of the cycle of the seasons by observing nature. In Summer everything grows fast, so it’s a lot of work in a short period of time to absolve. Winter instead is his favorite season, because there is time to experience nature slowly. What I also understood, is that at Kadeau a big part of the work goes to fermenting, pickling and drying. They do also make syrups, oils or vinegars as for example the rhubarb root oil used in the soured cream berry dessert. Several tons of items were preserved this year, this to put Bornholm also on the plates in Copenhagen, when the restaurant Kadeau Bornholm closes its doors.

Another secret I love to share with you here, Cooking and experimenting the way Chef Nicolai works, he says, is like a Jazz composition, “sometime you improvise, but at the same time your instinct and experience create a composition that feels harmonic”. This explains to me, why he has chosen to go for a autodidactic education to get there where he is today.

Nicolai’s curiosity for cooking has always been there. He comes from a family with a high gastronomic interest. His granddad’s family owns a smokery, which is common in Bornholm. I was very happy to try a smoked Bornholm Salmon during our dinner with an excellent taste, of course balanced with a fermented tomato sauce, rosehip and fig leafs. On Bornholm the climate is so special, that figs grow, too!
The menu consisted of a variety of seafood as Oyster, salmon or scallops from the , vegetables and reindeer.

You can not imagine, how delicate and intense in the same time Scots pine taste with dried tomatoes & scallops. What about the unique nutty taste of Limfjord Oysters?

Our 7 course menu at a glance:

  • Limfjord Oyster, fermented gooseberry, kale & oyster emulsion.
  • Young potatoes, codroe, lovage, eldercapers, blue mussel
  • Bornholm smoked salmon, fermented tomato sauce, rosehip, fig leaf
  • Raw scallop, horseradish cream, scots pine, semi dry tomatoes
  • Celeriac, woodruff, oscietra caviar, oxalis, fermented white asparagus
  • Reindeer, Barbecue jelly, currant, rehydrated carrot & beetroot, chicken wing sauce
  • Soured cream, currant, raspberry, gooseberry, blueberry, rhubarb root oil, seaweed oil

The absolute highlight of my dinner was not only the visual presentation, more than that, it’s the different preparation techniques and the perfectly balanced flavor and taste of every ingredient that fascinated me. The dishes connected mind and soul, it was a surprise with every bite. 

A big thank you to Chef Nicolai Nørregaard and his team for introducing me to the food from Bornholm. A very warm thank you to the Grand hotel Kronenhof and St. Moritz Gourmet Festival for the flawless organization.

Curious to read about other St. Moritz Gourmet Festival experiences, check my stories here.

read more
EuropeTravel

Lovefoodish in Wonderland at St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2017

Why I had one of the best food blogger experiences enriching my view and knowledge about farm to table cuisine

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival has it all

Where to begin to summarize this unique experience in the Swiss Alps. My journey started in a cute village close to St. Moritz called Celerina. Here the Hotel Chesa Rosatsch is located with 3 different restaurants. A detailed review is available here. The rest of my time was dedicated to the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.

What happens at the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival?

10 American Master Chefs are invited to St. Moritz for sharing culinary experiences with local Chefs of their partner hotels. Together they enthrall the festival guests with culinary delicacies one week long. Tickets are available online through the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival for everybody. Additional special events as the Kitchenparty or the Chocolate Cult at Badrutt’s Palace take place during the week. Due to my interest in the farm to table concept my choice fell for Chef Melissa Kelly located at the wonderful Nira Alpina Hotel in Silvaplana.

Sweet sensations at the Chocolate Cult, Badrutt’s Palace

My festival visit starts with a glamorous chocolate afternoon. The legendary Chocolate Cult at the Badrutt’s Palace. Can you imagine what chocolate lovers feel when entering the elegant corridor of this beautiful classy hotel? And that smell of real pure chocolate? You find chocolate art paired with lots of experience and passion. Delicious fresh made pralines, tarts, creams and pastries. Only tasting can explain!

Why Chef Melissa Kelly gathered all of my attention at NIRA Alpina in Silvaplana

The farm to table philosophy is something that surrounds me since my childhood. The idea of having an experienced Women Chef in Switzerland to share her life and cooking philosophy was reason enough for me to attend the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. The fact that she has Italian roots was very exciting to me, too.

Melissa Kelly started cooking with the age of 5 in her grandmother’s kitchen. Her Italian roots are from the beautiful city of Bologna. It’s the one and only place where real good and traditional pasta comes from. This explains the exquisite homemade linguine she prepared for us. Her Signature dish is the Nonno Primo’s Pork Saltimbocca named by her grandfather Primo was the absolute highlight.

Chef Florian Mainzger, the home Chef at Hotel NIRA Alpina had a challenging task to gather all of the ordered ingredients to follow Chef Melissa’s farm to table “religion”.  He did a great job she compliments. There is a lot of planning and communication between the two Chefs beforehand, plus cooking on altitude is an additional challenge, confirms Chef Melissa. She brought some special herbs and even pork products all the way from the US to prepare the dishes as authentic as possible. The staff at NIRA Alpina made this unique event possible. The cozy and warm ambience in the Trattoria matched perfectly to the dinner setup. Hotel NIRA Alpina offers an outstanding service. I appreciated their help and kind availability for example by always offering me help for transfer when needed to St. Moritz.
Gioannis from Nira Alpina told me, that he drives every morning to get some fresh goat milk for one of his guests. Absolute lovely!

Diving into the 5 course dinner prepared by Chef Melissa and the team

The courses taste puristic and very fresh. Her creativity is very healthy! She integrates a variety of vegetables that make the courses light and colorful for the eyes. I love the Mediterranean flavors and Italian touch she combines in all courses.

The starter is a fig stuffed with Marcona almond and candled orange. It comes wrapped in pancetta with local chicories. The Gorgonzola filling of the fig is a real surprise.

The next plate is a perfectly spiced Brittany Scallop with a cauliflower panna cotta, caviar and a very light herb spuma.

Hand made Squid ink linguine with a spicy tomato sugo are served next with a Broccoli crema and calamari a la Plancha.

The last course is a pork saltimbocca with roasted garlic potato purée, spinach, prosciutto and a wild mushroom Madeira sauce.

My absolute preferred desert as of now is the Butterscotch budino with salted caramel and rosemary shortbread. This combination gave me such a happy belly feeling, really mouth-watering.

The micro gap still available in my belly got filled by a south Italian traditional sweet! What a surprise! Super soft and fluffy fried Zeppole. I love this fried dough turned in sugar and cinnamon. It reminds me home! In Italy you get them especially at Saint Joseph’s day that is celebrated in March.

Living farm to table as a life philosophy

“Eating and cooking healthy is not a lifestyle, it’s a life philosophy”, says Chef Melissa. This explains why she is running Restaurant Primo in Rockland, Maine since more than 18 years. Living on a farm is the way she grew up. Primo’s staff is involved in the whole gardening and farming activities. There is a lot to do on a 4 acre property. This involvement is necessary to make her life philosophy completely understandable. This is how 400 pounds of garlic come together for example. By not using chemicals and pesticides, their flowers and produce are helping to maintain rich soil without depletion and degrade for generations to come.
They frequently teach kids about farming and healthy food. I liked the story from Melissa about the kids asking if the plant is the place where the chicken come from.

Chef Melissa is as a very authentic and approachable personality. This explains the happy and relaxed faces enjoying their time in the kitchen. Chef Jenna reveals that they feel like a little family. Well done, I really like the group spirit!

Nose to tail for everybody in Rockland , Maine – Annual Pig Day extravaganza

I am happy to see how Melissa offers this tradition to her guests at Primo Restaurant. During the month of November the Pig Day extravaganza takes place at Primo restaurant. Last year more than 180 people spent their day with processing the just-slaughtered pigs raised on the Primo farm. After working everybody eats the food. 4,200 pounds of pork were processed into prosciutto or pates. It’s a unique way to feel Chef Melissa Kelly’s philosophy. Primo’s Pig Day is a focal point of the restaurant since 2009.  Special seven courses nose-to-tail tasting menu are available with exotic delicacies as pig’s ears, pig’s tails, trotters and headcheese.

Where to find Nose to tail in Switzerland

Luckily I discovered the Hotel Rosatsch and their food philosophy. They offer these delicacies, too. You do not need to travel that far! Visit the beautiful Engadine and make a stop at Restaurant Stüva Rosatsch. Try their Slowfood or Nose to tail menu!

Around Zurich you can get in touch with Slowfoodyouth. Their activities published online include interesting projects with special excursion to farms. Join their eat in every first Wednesday of the month to get in contact with local nutrition aware foodies. Or just check online and let me know by email if you find interesting places!

read more