Mike Wehrle, Culinary Director of the Bürgenstock Resort, took the chairlift up to the Wasserngrat on a warm summer day for a unique culinary assignment. A bit more rustic than his usual workplace above Lake Lucerne, but no less beautiful, the Bergrestaurant Wasserngrat hosted Wehrle for a special 5-course lunch organized as part of Saveurs Gstaad. At this stunning location, perched at 1,920 meters above sea level, over 100 guests dined on the sunny terrace with dishes typically befitting the fine dining establishments at GaultMillau’s Hotel of the Year 2019.
Fine Dining in an Alpine Setting
At the Bürgenstock Resort, Wehrle manages nearly 100 who work at 10 restaurants and bars across the resort’s four hotels. To the Wasserngrat, he brought a team of his staff with him, including Executive Pastry Chef Damian Carini. This mountain restaurant, overseen by Nik and Simon Buchs, usually serves traditional dishes like Rösti, Fondue Moitié-Moitié and meringues with double cream. In the summer, hikers search for these hearty, filling dishes, as do the skiers in the winter months. With Wehrle leading the kitchen on a sunny July day, however, the 5-course fine dining menu showed off his cooking and organizational skills, honed in some of the world’s leading resorts.
Working Together to Create a Memorable Event
I spoke with Mike Wehrle, after he had the chance to serve his meal to all the guests. He talked about partnering with the team from the Bergrestaurant Wasserngrat, and how “it’s a nice time to work together and bring people together.” This event allowed him to bring luxury dining to a different setting and to introduce the Gstaad region to the Bürgenstock Resort. In preparing his dishes, he also told me about their efforts to use some of the local ingredients, such as the wildflowers they gathered in the surrounding alpine meadows.
For the main course, we received veal shanks cooked for 48 hours, with Vialone Nano Risotto and green asparagus. This cooking process resulted in perfectly tender meat. My only regret was that the portion size was a bit too large for me — otherwise, I would gladly eat this plate of food for dinner any day of the week.
For dessert, Damian Carini delighted us all with his Brombeere (blackberry) creation. He layered a hazelnut dacquoise base with a blackberry mousse, sour cream ice cream and port wine. Decorated with fresh blackberries, pansy petals and crunchy golden hazelnuts, it was a stunner.
With a playful jazz quartet in chef hats performing throughout the meal, the event had a festive atmosphere. At the close of the meal, Saveurs Gstaad organizer Hans Peter Reust presented Mike Wehrle with a special jacket, as a gift for his service at the Bergrestaurant Wasserngrat. The meal concluded with a cheese buffet from the Maître fromager Bernard Antony.
For more information:
- Bürgenstock Resort, CH-6363 Obbürgen, +41 (0)41 612 60 00, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bergrestaurant Wasserngrat, +41 (0)33 744 96 22, email@example.com
- Saveurs Gstaad, Hans Peter Reust, +41 (0)33 744 68 32, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Destination Gstaad, Promenade 41, 3780 Gstaad, +41 (0)33 748 81 81, email@example.com
Please note: I attended this event as a guest of the Bürgenstock Resort and Destination Gstaad. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are purely my own.