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St. Moritz: an adventure in fine dining and gastronomy

by Lucy Woods
Fine Dining in St. Moritz

With its lavish 5* hotels and high end luxury shopping St Moritz, once the preserve of aristocracy, is one of the swankiest ski resorts in Europe.

Fortunately St. Moritz is no longer just a place for the upper classes, and the atmosphere nowadays is relaxed and welcoming. It’s no surprise that the resort has a gastronomic heritage to match with at least five Michelin starred restaurants that jostle for attention.

All you need to truly enjoy your stay is a sense of culinary adventure, plenty of cash and a hearty appetite.

Eating out in St. Moritz

St. Moritz has attracted an impressive pool of young, passionate (mostly male) chefs trying to make their mark on the world. They are driven, inventive and resolute in providing more than the classic staples of truffles and caviar. Their arrival on the scene could explain why the restaurants nowadays have a lively, rather than stuffy atmosphere.

Sweet shop at Restaurant IGNIV

Sweet shop at Restaurant IGNIV (c) Lucy Woods

We were fortunate enough to sample the delights of one such Chef, Silvio Germann, at Restaurant IGNIV, which is located at the 5* Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. The restaurant’s inventive and delicious take on the act of sharing food has earned Silvio a Michelin star.

We gorged on over 20 different dishes including a light and airy egg royal with cauliflower, black air bread with langoustine (like a tiny calzone) and some wonderfully sticky spare ribs. Each course came with an excellently paired wine. At the end of the meal, we were offered a selection of colourful sweets and macaroons from their very own mini sweet shop.

The offering at the newly renovated Kulm Country Club is a little more traditional. The restaurant overlooks an outdoor ice hockey pitch so you can watch local teams battle it out while sipping a glass of champagne. The menu is reasonably priced for the quality. My personal favourites were the lobster with saffron sauce and a starter of quinoa and mushrooms with edible flowers.

Saffron lobster at the Kulm Country Club

Saffron lobster at the Kulm Country Club (c) Lucy Woods

To help you on your gourmet quest through St. Moritz, we have also included a useful guide to the other four Michelin starred restaurants:

  • Ecco on Snow ** is located in the hills above Lake Maggiore in the luxury Hotel Giardino Mountain where diners create their own personalised three to eight course meals.
  • Talvò by Dalsass * offers a fine selection of Mediterranean dishes such as white truffle tagliolini and baby turbot with artichoke.
  • Cà d’Oro * is based in the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains and also serves a delicious selection of Mediterranean cuisine. The seven course menu is particularly tempting, with options such as langostino, red mullet and Wagyu beef.
  • Da Vittorio St. Moritz * is an upmarket restaurant located in the Carlton Hotel and specialises in classic Italian cuisine.

Annual Gourmet Festival

One of the highlights of the year in St. Moritz is the annual Gourmet Festival, celebrating the scrumptious world of fine dining. The festival takes place over eight days every January and has an extensive programme of food and wine tasting, kitchen parties and even a gourmet safari. The latter involves a tour through St. Moritz in a limousine, stopping at five different locations each with a specially selected menu to served at the Chef’s Tables in the kitchens.

St. Moritz Gourmet Safari at Hotel Giardino Mountain (c) Andy Mettler for swiss-image.ch

St. Moritz Gourmet Safari at Hotel Giardino Mountain

This year marked the festival’s 25th anniversary, which culminated in The Great BMW Gourmet Finale. Around 250 guests decked in couture gowns and suits congregated at the stylish Suvretta House for a five course gala dinner each prepared by a guest master Chef. The evening began with champagne and nibbles including delights such as cherry tomatoes stuffed with Fois gras. This was followed by a beautifully fresh starter of crab with orange and celery curated by Three Michelin Star Chef, Jacob Jan Boerma. Live music graced the scene and there was a particularly poignant tribute of French chef, Paul Bocuse, who passed away on the day of the Finale.

Crab de la mer du Nord by Jacob Jan Boerma

Crab de la mer du Nord by Jacob Jan Boerma (c) Andy Mettler for swiss-image.ch

Each course is prepared by a world class chef, flown in to St. Moritz especially for the event. This may go some way to explaining the hefty price tag – a ticket to the finale costs an eye-watering £420 (CHF 550), which includes the gala dinner, wine pairings and champagne reception.

One for the diary: the next Gourmet Festival will take place in St. Moritz on 11-19 January 2019.

What else is there to do in St. Moritz?

All this food could make even a supermodel feel like a beached whale. Fortunately, St. Moritz offers plenty of opportunities to get out in the fresh air and break a sweat.

Read our Ski Guide to St Moritz to find out more about winter sports as well as where to stay and how to get there.


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