Top Chefs from Europe and Asia at St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2019

A spacious ballroom with crystal chandeliers and gold lamé drapes in the historic Kulm Hotel held the sold-out Grand Julius Bär Opening of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. Last night, this party kicked off the 26th edition of the nine-day festival. This year, the 10 guest chefs represent some of Europe and Asia’s finest talent in the culinary world.

17 talented chefs at the Grand Julius Bär Opening (Photo credit: PPR/Witwinkel/David Hubacher).

Joining the opening night party was Claudia Canessa, Executive Chef of Sunny Bar at the Kulm Hotel. Currently in her third winter season at the hotel, she served up one of my favorite dishes of the evening: Salmon tiradito, passion fruit tiger’s milk, chia seed oil and cassava chips. Bright and full of flavor, this was by far the spiciest dish of the night. I can certainly see why Bilanz magazine awarded her Chef of the Year 2018.

“Salmon tiradito” from Claudia Canessa of Sunny Bar at the Kulm Hotel

Extraordinary Guest Chefs for 2019

As in years past, chefs from nine grand hotels in St. Moritz partner with guest chefs invited to participate in the festival. With a focus on collaboration and knowledge sharing, these talented chefs work together to prepare various dishes and meals for different events during the festival. The opening night party featured five of this year’s guest chefs:

  • Guillaume Galliot – Caprice, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 3 Michelin Stars
  • Sergio Herman – Chef and entrepreneur who famously closed his 3-star Michelin restaurant, Old Sluis, in 2013. I interviewed Syrco Bakker, Executive Chef of Herman’s Pure C restaurant, last year.
  • Philippe Mille – Le Parc, Domaine les Crayères in France, 2 Michelin Stars
  • Manish Mehrotra – Indian Accent in India. The Economic Times named him the No. 1 Chef in India for 2018.
  • Sven Wassmer – Grand Hotel Quellenhof in Switzerland and Gault Millau’s Shooting Star of the Year 2018
Sven Wassmer and Sergio Herman (Photo credit: PPR/Witwinkel/David Hubacher).

The five other guest chefs, all of whom work in restaurants that have earned 2 Michelin stars, will participate in the Kitchen Party held on January 15, 2019 at Badrutt’s Palace.

Behind the scenes… The historic kitchen of the Kulm Hotel.

Lobster, Caviar & Paneer – Small Plates with Exceptional Ingredients

At the opening night party of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, you have an amazing opportunity to taste delicious food from a diverse line-up of internationally-acclaimed chefs. This year’s event included 17 chefs, all in the same room, who you could meet and talk with about their dishes. I tried at least one dish from every “gourmet island.” Here are some of my favorites from the evening:

  • Zeeland mussels with a dollop of pureed potatoes and finely diced broccoli, plankton and green herbs from Sergio Herman and Dirk Haltenhof, representing Badrutt’s Palace.
  • Both dishes from Manish Mehrotra and Dariusz Durdyn – a seared prawn with sago puffs and a beef pathar kabab with tamarind, peanut and curry leaf gunpowder, representing Nira Alpina.
Shrimp and diced fruit waiting for the green curry soup from Tim Raue of the Kulm Hotel.
  • The scrambled eggs with smoked salmon topped with a generous spoonful of caviar from Guillaume Galliot and Fabrizio Zanetti, representing the Suvretta House.
  • A hearty ravioli with mushrooms, red wine sauce and cheese chips from Fabrizio Piantanida of the Grand Hotel Kronenhof.
Tarbooj and paneer with a trio of hummus from Chhoutu Khatik of the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski.
Tender beef cheeks and fermented cabbage from Sven Wassmer and Mauro Taufer from the Kulm Hotel (Photo credit: PPR/Witwinkel/David Hubacher).
  • Champagne and lobster on a bed of lentils with pinot noir layered over a soft cream made from sweet onions from Philippe Mille and Graziano Caccioppoli, representing the Carlton Hotel.
Scallop with algae and citrus from Matthias Schmidberger of the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski.
A dessert with cocoa juice and a leaf tinted with black currants from Rolf Fliegauf, Hotel Giardino Mountain.

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival – Friday, January 11 through Saturday, January 19, 2019, http://www.stmoritz-gourmetfestival.ch

For the full schedule of events, you can check out the program and purchase tickets online. The Gourmet Dîners can be booked directly via the partner hotels.

Please note: I attended the Grand Julius Bär Opening as a guest of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are purely my own.

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