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Connect Three – Three days, three extraordinary chefs

The first Tour de Swiss Deluxe Hotels reveals why the best hotels in the country are considered the creative nucleus of its gastronomy.

Locanda Barbarossa at the Castello del Sole

“Sapori del nostro orto”, the menu that Mattias Roock is preparing for us, is dedicated to the finest products grown in the 140-hectare garden of the Castello del Sole. The clear tomato soup combines almost all of the 22 varieties there are in the garden. It is Roock’s perfect prelude to his summery concert of courses. The zander, who was still swimming in the nearby Lago Maggiore hours ago, is served as a refreshing tartar and congenially partnered with sour cream, watercress, pepino mini cucumbers, and yuzu. Even this citrus fruit of Asian origin thrives in the hotel’s garden. A few months after our visit, Germany’s most important gourmet blog «Sternefresser» will name Roock’s “sapori del nostro orto” their menu of the year. Is there a better recommendation for this subtle, close-to-nature cuisine with a Mediterranean touch?

Restaurant Pavillon at the Baur au Lac

Laurent Eperon dictates the culinary rhythm of Zurich’s most beautiful restaurant. In his creations, the Romand is searching for harmony, and has named his summer menu accordingly. The courses consist of a selection of highly precise, artful dishes – a bow to the traditional trade of a chef: Sole – baked as a whole and then carefully eased from the bone – with kohlrabi, capers, and an elderberry vinaigrette.

A highlight, strikingly demonstrating how well the fish goes with the blossoms’ flowery sweetness. The master chef also specialises in powerful creations. This facet of his art reveals itself in the form of a Carabinero cooked in a rice leaf with lardo and served on red curry foam. Laurent Eperon has been with the Baur au Lac since 1993, now in his forties, he still seems driven to keep getting better and better. 

Restaurant Memories at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Sven Wassmer is considered the biggest Swiss talent since Andreas Caminada. His signature dish, a char in burnt cream and fir, is joined by a lovely halibut from the clear waters of northern Norway, arranged on a sauce of white asparagus, fermented in whey. Wassmer’s Alpine cuisine matches the DNA of his restaurant at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. But the 33-year-old chef does not dogmatically limit himself to products from the immediate area.

“Taste comes first,” he insists. Guests will most certainly not forget Andy Vorbusch, the Memories patissier – because of his sourdough bread, a crusty masterpiece with an inimitable crumb, and because of his ability to merge savoury and sweet flavours in a virtuoso manner.

words by Alex Kühn

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