St. Moritz Gourmet Festival to Honor Japan

BadruttsIn an age of extraordinary dining experiences where global gourmands dine in complete darkness or under the sea or deep within a cave or surrounded by snow or suspended in a Ferris wheel, one of the world’s most remarkable gastronomic festivals takes place a few kilometers from the highest summit in the Eastern Alps. Held each January, the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival hosts epicures at a mile-high altitude for a weeklong smorgasbord of incomparable gastronomy.

This year’s St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, which takes place from January 25-29, 2016, will feature nine distinguished Japanese chefs for a culinary extravaganza with the theme “Yokoso Nippon.”

©Badrutt's Palace

©Badrutt’s Palace

Only two national cuisines of the world have been listed on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list: French and Japanese, both of which are designated as priceless “intangible cultural” assets.

The UNESCO listing specifies authentic “washoku,” which is loosely defined as traditional Japanese cuisine that has been mastered from generation to generation by practicing numerous learned techniques that bring out the essence of each ingredient.

©Badrutt's Palace

©Badrutt’s Palace

For years, Japanese cuisine has been a source of inspiration for chefs of haute cuisine around the world – not only for its preparation methods and the purity of its ingredients, but also for a willingness to mix tradition with modernity. The St. Moritz Gourmet Festival’s celebrated chefs will include Hisato Nakahigashi, Masayasu Yonemura, Hiroki Yoshitake, Kei Kobayashi, Keisuke Matsushima, Tohru Nakamura, Hideki Matsuhisa and Nobu Matsuhisa, as well as head sushi chef Akifumi Sakagami.

Christmas illuminations in the shopping street of Via Serlas in St. Moritz, with fine designer boutiques. ©ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line: swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Christmas illuminations in the shopping street of Via Serlas in St. Moritz, with fine designer boutiques. ©ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line: swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger

While each of the nine chefs in this year’s St. Moritz Gourmet Festival has roots in Japan, each chef will interpret Japanese cuisine according to personal experience and philosophy. “We’ve invited some of the most innovative Japanese chefs of the entire gourmet scene,” states Reto Mathis, president of this year’s festival.

The Grand Opening at Grand Hotel des Bains will be followed by individual gourmet dinners and safaris, as well as tastings and wine celebrations. At the legendary Kitchen Party, which takes pride of place at Badrutt’s Palace, guests convene with the festival chefs amidst sizzling pans and a convivial atmosphere. This year’s Kitchen Party will feature Chef Nobu Matsuhisa cooking alongside Badrutt’s Palace Hotel chef Michel Jost.

©Badrutt's Palace

©Badrutt’s Palace

Throughout its illustrious history, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has been synonymous with traditional elegance and faultless service. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, Swiss Deluxe Hotels, and Swiss Historic Hotels, Badrutt’s features luxurious guest rooms and suites, which are consistently refurbished and upgraded while retaining their historic pedigree. Open only during the winter and summer seasons, the hotel is situated atop one of the most challenging ski areas in the world with superlative views of the Swiss Alps. The 2016 winter season at Badrutt’s runs from December 6, 2015 through March 27, 2016.

A two-time host of the Winter Olympics, St. Moritz has been an alpine winter resort in the Engadin since 1864 when St. Moritz hotel pioneer Johannes Badrutt urged summer visitors to return in winter. For decades, the resort, which receives over 300 days of annual sunshine, has attracted the wealthy and the well-connected, as well as royalty from around the world.

 View from Silvaplana towards the Lakes of Silvaplana and Sils. On the left side in the background you can see Piz Badile that is known as a prominent mountain in the Alps of Bergell. ©Badrutt's Palace Vista da Silvaplana sui Laghi di Silvaplana e di Sils. A sinistra sullo sfondo si vede il Piz Badile che Ë conosciuto come montagna marcata nelle Alpi della Bregaglia. Copyright by ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line:swiss-image.ch/Robert Boesch


View from Silvaplana towards the Lakes of Silvaplana and Sils. On the left side in the background you can see Piz Badile that is known as a prominent mountain in the Alps of Bergell. ©ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line:swiss-image.ch/Robert Boesch

With a backdrop of the glorious scenery of the Upper Engadin at an altitude of 6,000 feet, this year’s St. Moritz Gourmet Festival will feature a commanding perspective on one of the world’s most celebrated cuisines as interpreted by nine Japanese master chefs and multiple award-winning chefs de cuisine of the partner hotels.

Advance booking of admission tickets for this year’s St. Moritz Gourmet Festival commences on December 1, 2015. In the meantime, the latest news about the festival can be found on the website, as well as on Facebook.

Mark Thompson

About Mark Thompson

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and New York Travel Writers Association (NYTWA), Mark Thompson is an editor, journalist, and photographer whose work appears in various periodicals, including Travel Weekly, Metrosource, Huffington Post, Global Traveler, Out There, and OutTraveler. The author of the novels Wolfchild (2000) and My Hawaiian Penthouse (2007), Mark completed a Ph.D. in American Studies. He has been a fellow and a resident at various artists' colonies, including the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center.

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