St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2020: The Year of Women

The St. Moritz Gourmet Festival has always brought together extraordinary chefs from all over the world. For the 27th edition of the festival, and for the second time in its history, organizers are showcasing the talent of female chefs.

Grand Julius Bär Opening, St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2020
Photo credit: PPR/Witwinkel/David Hubacher

The first time the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival hosted an all-female line-up of guest chefs was in 2005. Fifteen years later, the festival has decided to do it again, inviting 10 women working at the top of their field. During the festival, each of these guest chefs partner with an Executive Chef working at one of the participating hotels in the Upper Engadine region.

From January 31 to February 8, 2020, the festival will hold over 40 culinary events ranging from gourmet dinners to gala events to wine tastings, and much more.

Culinary Events & Talented Guest Chefs

As in past years, the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2020 started at the Kulm Hotel with the Grand Julius Bär Opening. At this event, half of the guest chefs were in attendance.

About mid-way through the festival, the remaining group of guest chefs arrive for a spectacular Kitchen Party at Badrutt’s Palace on Tuesday, February 4. This is the only event featuring all of the chefs together. Then, this second group of chefs close out the festival with a 5-course dinner at the Porsche Gourmet Finale at the Suvretta House on Saturday, February 8.

The first set of guest chefs, who will attend the festival between January 31 and February 4, includes the following:

  • Judy Joo – Seoul Bird in London, UK
  • Renu Homsombat – Saffron in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Bel Coelho – Clandestino in Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Carolina Bazán – Abrosia in Santiago, Chile
  • Lanshu Chen – Le Moȗt (closed in 2018) in Taichung, Taiwan

Clockwise from top left: Judy Joo (© Yuki Sugiura), Renu Homsombat, Bel Coelho (© Rafael Jacinto), Carolina Bazán and Lanshu Chen.

From February 4 to 8, the second set of guest chefs includes another equally talented set of women:

  • Asma Khan – Darjeeling Express in London, UK
  • Cristina Bowerman – Glass Hostaria in Rome, Italy
  • Emma Bengtsson – Aquavit in New York City, USA
  • Kamilla Seidler – Lola in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Bee Satongun – Paste in Bangkok, Thailand

Clockwise from top left: Asma Khan (© Ming Tang Evans), Cristina Bowerman (© Paul Read) Emma Bengtsson, Kamilla Seidler (© Alicia Warner) and Bee Satongun (© Sarah Bromley).

Grand Julius Bär Opening

For the first event of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, the grand ballroom of the Kulm Hotel was transformed into a winter wonderland. Large white decorations depicted snowy scenes, like giant examples of the traditional Swiss art of paper-cutting. Organizers told me that over 400 tickets were purchased for this sold-old event. Throughout the evening, attendees could visit “gourmet stations” presented by each of the five guest chefs and a selection of local chefs. With a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne in hand, I wandered through the grand hall sampling the delicious dishes from nearly every one of the chefs.

To give you a taste of the Grand Julius Bär Opening, here are a few of the dishes that I particularly enjoyed.

  • Judy Joo used whimsical props to immediately introduce you to her concept of “Korean Surf & Turf.” Her “Lobster Pop” dish had a crispy fried exterior and a soft flavorful interior with lobster. It reminded me somewhat of a Korean version of a Japanese Takoyaki. She paired her yukhwe, a Korean beef tartare, with a slice of crisp lotus root, slivers of Asian pear, shredded nori and pine nuts.
Judy Joo introduces the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival to “Korean Surf & Turf.”
  • Carolina Bazán also used nori. She placed a spoonful of fish tartar on a nori “cracker.” Full of flavor and with a delicious contrast of textures, this was another great dish.
  • Renu Homsombat served a Thai Massaman Nua curry, described as “Southern style.” Served with some crunchy peanuts, the slow-cooked beef was tender and full of spices.
  • Bel Coelho served a crispy manioc shrimp with a bright, citrus-flavored sauce, containing uvaia, a fruit native to Brazil, and ponzu.
  • The “Flavour Pork Nugget” from Lanshu Chen had a sticky sweet and spicy sauce with sesame seeds. I could have eaten a whole plate of this with some white rice.
Flavour Pork Nugget from Lanshu Chen.
Photo credit: PPR/Witwinkel/David Hubacher

For more information:

If you would like to learn more about the guest chefs selected for this year’s St. Moritz Gourmet Festival or purchase tickets online for any of the remaining events that have not already sold out, go to: www.stmoritz-gourmetfestival.ch.

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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