St. Moritz Gourmet Festival Winter 2020

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival Winter 2020

 

The Upper Engadin Valley, home of St. Moritz, is as “Alpine” as it gets. Tall mountain peaks offer spectacular snow-capped views, old-world luxury abounds along with a multitude of outdoor activities. There is no shortage of skiing, shopping, and exploring. Frozen lakes in the winter are perfect for cross country skiing, ice skating, and, of course, Snow Polo. There’s something for everyone in this mountain paradise. It’s a place I make my way back to every year. This winter, the iconic Waldhaus Sils welcomed me back to stay, and I was invited to attend my first St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.

St. Mortitz Gourmet Festival Chefs
St. Moritz Gourmet Festival Chefs

 

The festival is always a winter highlight in the Valley, it’s been going on since 1994. The locals look forward to it each year as much as guests to the area. Each year there’s a theme, this year the program highlighted top female chefs from the international dining scene. These ladies are real powerhouses in the culinary world. To be in the same rooms with these beauties in St. Moritz was a once in a lifetime experience. These women are culinary ambassadors in their home countries, and their talents are recognized globally. They are trailblazers and game-changers in the field, both socio-politically and in the fine-dining scene. Each chef took up residence at a landmark St. Moritz/Engadin partner hotel. They were beyond enthusiastic about serving up their passionate cuisine in this exquisite ski valley.

St. MoritzGourmet Festival
St. Moritz Gourmet Festival Baguette

Guest Chefs

•         Judy Joo | Seoul Bird, London

•         Renu Homsombat | Saffron, Bangkok

•         Bel Coelho | Clandestino, São Paulo

•         Carolina Bazán | Ambrosia, Santiago de Chile

•         Lanshu Chen | Le Moût, Taichung, Taiwan

•         Christina Bowerman | Glass Hostaria, Roma, Italy

•         Emma Bengtsson | Aquavit, NYC

•         Kamilla Seidler | Lola, Kopenhagen, Denmark

•         Asma Khan | Darjeeling Express, London, UK

•         Bee Satongun | Paste, Bangkok, Thailand

 

The Events

 

The festival offers diverse events that span over nine days in multiple locations. I was able to attend a few of the signature events, including the Chocolate Cult and coveted Kitchen Party at the luxurious Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

The Chocolate Cult is a celebration of everything chocolate. The event takes place across four afternoons, and it redefines Aprés Ski. An active day on the slopes is an excellent idea before indulging in these treats. Do go hungry! Guests arrive in Le Grand Hall at Badrutt’s Palace. Chef Patissier Stefan Gerber and his team serve up the most decadent chocolate creations ranging from the signature Palace Layer Cake to creamy mousse, a flowing chocolate fountain, pastries with Russian, French, Italian and all kinds of global influences. Confiserie Sprüngli was there composing custom bars of chocolate with a generous amount of your topping of choice

St Moritz Gourmet Chocolate
St Moritz Gourmet Chocolate

The legendary Kitchen Party is off the charts! This evening event takes place mid festival. A platoon of waiters with crisp white aprons and flutes filled with bubbly beckoned us in for the feast. It’s fun to get dressed up for this celebration; there is live music, and the conversation flows like the wine.  

The Kitchen Party is one of the most ambitious parties I’ve ever attended. The entire subterranean kitchen at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is transformed into a culinary party extravaganza. All 10 female Guest Chefs and the Executive Chefs at the partner hotels have stations where they create and serve their savory delicacies to the hundreds of eager and hungry guests. New friends are made throughout the evening. Everyone’s passion for the good life and great food sparks all kinds of lively chatter. The elbow to elbow tasting areas also encourages mingling. It’s a friendly place to chat and compliment the Chefs. We feasted the night away on dreamy delicacies. Fresh seafood creations tempted; fresh fish seems even grander when dining at high altitude. Flavors are more prominent and bolder, especially when you can connect directly with the Chefs who prepare the dishes.

The Badrutt’s Palace Patisserie team hosts the dessert banquet. It takes place in an ambiently candlelit pastry kitchen, which transforms into a sweet wonderland filled with neverending pastries. It’s Willy Wonka gone wild. No matter what your sweet preference is, you are sure to find your favorite from all kinds of chocolate offerings to homemade ice cream with toppings to Turkish Delight. Miniature desserts allow guests to sample all the nuanced flavors.

Champagne, wine, and spirits continue to flow as the party rocks into the night. Guests migrate and celebrate into the wee hours at Kings Social House, also located in Badrutt’s Palace. 

There are many more noteworthy events, including the Gourmet Safaris, where guests travel to five partner hotels with their designated “ranger” to enjoy exquisite menu courses. Expedition guests travel exclusively in Porsche vehicles. There’s never a shortage of extravagance and glamour in St. Moritz!

The Guest Chefs present gourmet Dinners at the partner hotels. This first-class multi-course and à la carte dinners also have notable wine pairings. This event is a great way to get up close and personal with the International Guest Chefs and their diverse styles of cooking.

Check out the schedule for the 2021 Gourmet Festival held on January 29th to February 6th. Be sure to sign up for events ahead of time as they do fill up.

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