Ten finalists representing 10 Swiss restaurants gathered in Lucerne on October 23 for the final of the Gramona Amuse Contest 2022. More specifically, these finalists were comprised of two-person teams, typically a chef and a sommelier or wine enthusiast working at a restaurant or catering establishment in Switzerland. Each team had to create an amuse bouche paired with one of three sparkling wines from Gramona: La Cuvée, Imperial or III Lustros. This Spanish wine producer, in partnership with Smith & Smith from Zürich, selected “Zero Waste” as this year’s theme.
The “Zero Waste” theme required teams to select ingredients for their amuse bouche traditionally considered as second cuts, leftovers or byproducts of the cooking process. Ingredients such as offal, vegetable peels or fish skins fell within the scope of this year’s them.
After being selected as a finalist, these two-person teams prepared their small dishes at the Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern and presented before the 7-member jury. It would have been nine jury members, but unfortunately Lisa Bader and Amanda Wassmer-Bulgin had to cancel at the last minute.
Also, a new milestone for the contest occurred this year. For its fourth edition, a restaurant from French-speaking Switzerland qualified for the first time for the final. Château Salavaux, located in the canton of Fribourg’s Vully region, was the sole representative of Suisse romande among the finalists.
1st place – Maximilian Dullinger and Julien Mühlebach from Restaurant Ameo in Zürich for Fisch im Netz (Fish in the Net) with Gramona’s Imperial.
Their amuse bouche featured pike perch as the key ingredient, with crispy skin, salted cheeks and fish oil mayonnaise. The team combined the flavors of the fish with apricot, both fermented and made into a jam. Winning the competition was a great feat for this restaurant, as it has not even opened yet. It will start welcoming guests in spring 2023.
2nd place – Christoph Hartmann and Géraldine Dietsche from Taverne Johann in Basel for Huckepack (Piggyback) with Gramona’s III Lustros. This was the particular favorite of jury member Jaume Gramona. The little fried packet was filled with venison and deer liver and topped with a thin slice of fermented walnut.