Saveurs Gstaad Hosts the Bürgenstock Resort on Wasserngrat

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.

Guests gathered for an aperitif at the Bergrestaurant Wasserngrat.

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.

Mike Wehrle plating the first course, with wild plants from the alpine meadows.
Goose liver parfait with shallots and port wine, quail eggs and brioche.
Mike Wehrle, shaving Périgord truffles for the Scallops “Wellington-Style”
Jakobsmuschel (Scallops) “Wellington-style,” in a pastry shell with Périgord truffles.

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.

48 Studen gegarte Schweizer Kalbshaxe, Steinpilze, Vialone Nano Risotto and grüne Spargeln.

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.

Damian Carini’s exquisite blackberry dessert

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.

Serving the Petit Fours with white gloves: the Bürgenstock Praline and Financier 2.0.
Robert Herr, General Manager of the Bürgenstock Resort (back left), Mike Wehrle (center back row), Damien Carini (front row, third from left) and the rest of the team.

For more information:

Bergrestaurant Wasserngrat

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.

Related article:

Traditional Swiss Cuisine at the Bürgenstock Resort’s Taverne 1879 Restaurant(May 2019)

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