Four new restaurant guides for four Swiss cities, each offering discounts for diners who patronize the unique eateries hand-selected by the authors. This might be an ideal Christmas present for your restaurant-loving friend or family member who lives in Switzerland!
Here’s how it works… First, you pay CHF 70 for a beautifully photographed book that profiles 14-18 restaurants in either Basel, Bern, Geneva or Zurich. You can purchase them online or at several bookstores located in each of the represented cities. Then, when you visit each of the restaurants listed in your book, after contacting them in advance, you will receive a main course for free (as long as you bring at least one guest, and they order a main course too). This offer is valid from December 1, 2015 to November 30, 2016.
These books started eight years ago, when René Gruninger began publishing Essen gehn! (“Let’s Eat!” in German), and he continues to serve as the editor of the Basel, Bern and Zurich editions. For the Geneva edition, Allons Manger! (in French), Ann Griffin and Nicolas Jeanmairet of Studio Rubic are the editors. I recently had the chance to ask Ms. Griffin and Mr. Jeanmairet some questions about this year’s book for Geneva:
Q: How is your book unique, especially when you can find lots of restaurant reviews on the Internet?
“Our book is not about reviews, it’s not about just giving some random review to as many restaurants possible… We present a tiny selection of particular places, we take the time to produce content, each restaurant gets four pages, three photographs done by our photographer, a text written explaining their background. The idea—except that of course you also get a free dish at each restaurant—is about [helping] people to discover new places. Restaurants where food is made with time and passion.”
Q: What criteria do you use to select the restaurants for your books?
“C’est des “coups de coeur” like we explain in the book. There is no ranking, stars, points or anything… we choose the restaurants ourselves, just the two of us, we go out [to] eat, and if we enjoy it, and we are sure it could fit the little selection of 16, we propose a collaboration. Much attention is given to the overall experience and not only the food… it needs to be places we feel well, places we would suggest to our friends. We are convinced that a really nice evening out is about being in the right place for that particular occasion; which means with the right people, in the right atmosphere…”
Q: Do you have any plans to write about restaurants in other Swiss cities? For example, to publish a book for Lausanne?
“Everybody asks us about Lausanne of course, we have thought about it. But it takes so much time to take care about Geneva… as said we don’t only do this project, and to be able to provide the quality and the personal relationship we aim to have with everyone we need time, and days are not endless. We have two people who produce content for us: the photographer [Reto Albertalli] and the writer [Giada Danesi]. We do all the rest. We publish, produce, design, distribute, sell and promote ourselves.”