My personal highlight: Getting inspiration and motivation from Chef Renu Homsombat (Bangkok) reminds me that everything done with love and compassion brings more joy in life!
A culinary experience that must be on your agenda at the beginning of the year is the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. This year a load of girl power came together in the upper Engadine from 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 favourite 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 the same mined people.
The Chefs of the 2020 Edition at a glance
- Cristina Bowerman, „Best Female Italian Chef in Europe 2018“ from the Restaurant Glass Hostaria in Rome guest cooking at Carlton Hotel St. Moritz with home Chef Heros de Agostinis
- Indian star chef Asma Khan from the Darjeeling Express restaurant in London guest cooking with home Chef Mauro Taufer at Kulm Hotel
- Judy Joo from London, Soul Bird, guest cooking with Valmiro Pasini at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel
- „Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2016“ Kamilla Seidler from Denmark, Restaurant Lola – cooking with home Chef Gero Porstein at Hotel Waldhaus Sils
- Lanshu Chen from Taiwan, 2014 as „Asia’s Best Female Chef“, (at LE MOÛT until the End of 2018) cooking with Home Chef Fabrizio Zanetti at Suvretta House
- Haute Cuisine Chef Renu Homsombat from Gourmet temple Saffron in Bangkok guest cooking with Chef Rolf Fliegauf at Hotel Giardino Mountain
- Chef Bee Tatongun, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2018“ Bangkok, Restaurant Paste Bangkok guest cooking with Home Chef Dariusz Durdyn at Hotel Nira Alpina
- From New York the Swedish 2 Michelin Stars Chef Emma Bengtsson, Restaurant Aquavit guest cooking with home Chef Matthias Schmidberger at Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski
- Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2019“ Carolina Bazán from Chile, Restaurant Ambrosía, guest cooking with home Chef Giovanni Caruso at Hotel Saratz
- Cook Bel Coelho from Brazil, Restauran Clandestino is guest cooking with home Chef Fabrizio Piantanida at Grand Hotel Kronenhof
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. Besides 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 flavours 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 such as the pickled cauliflower or fried eggplants! The dinner starts 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 – Pineapple, minced pork beef, shrimps, peanut paste
- Por Pia Puu Sauce Mamuang – Summer spring roll with crab meat, Thai mango sauce, chilli peanut dip
- Pla Muek Laab Thod – Spicy fried baby octopus, Thai chilli sauce, crunchy popped young rice
- Tom Yum Goong – spicy Thai shrimps, mushrooms, Thai ginger, lemongrass
- 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 in 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, and the selection of the products is of high quality and as fresh as possible. This is why for example in a city like Bangkok Chef Renu has a little garden where she lives and she can grow her own flowers to integrate them into 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 of 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 savoury. 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 the taste 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 about 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.