Feast of flavours
Hailed as one of the most significant gourmet festivals by food connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, S.Pellegrino Sapori Ticino reflects the culinary wealth of one of Switzerland’s most loved regions. Charmingly close to the Mediterranean style yet deeply anchored in Swiss traditions, the region serves as the base for an annual feast of flavours combining the best of gastronomy with high-end hospitality.
Assiduously devoted to haute cuisine, each year S.Pellegrino Sapori Ticino welcomes a line-up of celebrated chefs from the international scene to join their Ticino counterparts to create outstanding dishes showcased across Switzerland in splendid locations suited to this most enticing gastronomic spectacle. ‘This year S.Pellegrino Sapori Ticino is blowing out 17 candles,’ says Sapori’s charismatic founder Dany Stauffacher. ‘These have been years studded with successes and wonderful evenings under the banner of great taste, with notable names of international cuisine united with local excellence for a unique gourmand experience fuelled by passion and quality. A winning combination that to date has brought together over 400 Michelin stars and 4000 Gault Millau points combined.’ From the beginning, S.Pellegrino Sapori Ticino aimed to promote the Ticino region as a tourist destination, using the universal language of food and wine. ‘The intention was to support the world of hospitality and tourism, including restaurants and hotels. When I started, it was an idea born by chance among friends; I never imagined that I would realise a festival that in 2021 was voted the best food and wine event of the year by Food&Travel magazine.’
This cultural exchange between Ticino chefs and various international cuisines has been more than fruitful. During a series of events showcasing the chefs’ passionate work, the teams create innovative dishes for audiences across Switzerland. Of 21 events held in 2022, we highlight three held in Zurich, Montreux and Lucerne with chefs from Ticino as shining examples of this most prominent of gourmet festivals.
La Réserve Eden Au Lac, Zurich
In Zurich, the event took place at La Réserve Eden au Lac, the imaginary yacht club entirely designed by Philippe Starck. Chef Marco Ortolani and his Italian team had been awarded a Michelin star just one week before the event, so that one could feel the electricity in the open kitchen.
Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux
Held on the Montreux Riviera on the shores of Lake Geneva at the elegant Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, resident chef Frédéric Gardette prepared an outstanding dinner with chefs from Ticino in the historic ballroom of the iconic Belle Époque building. A majestic experience!
Mandarin Oriental Luzern, Lucerne
The grand finale of my three tastings was held at the recently renovated Mandarin Oriental in Lucerne, where chef Gilad Peled and executive pastry chef Clement Laurent prepared classic courses dotted with some unexpected touches, like olive oil in the dessert — the perfect ending to my gastronomic exploration in a hotel that perfectly merges tradition and modernity. In its 17 years of history, S.Pellegrino Sapori Ticino continues to showcase Ticino and its italianità to its full potential: a region of natural beauty, historical sites and unique landscapes, a land of excellent food and wine.
Words Beatrice Lessi
Photos Giorgia Panzera
Several hundred tonnes of saffron are harvested worldwide every year. A staggering 90% of the world’s most expensive spice is grown in Iran and exported from there all over the globe. However, this delicate spice also thrives in the mountains of Graubünden and is increasingly cultivated by regional farmers – a niche product with great potential and increasing in popularity.Discover more
Which foods have a tradition in the mountains of Graubünden? The answer is easy: the very best mountain cheese, spicy dried meats or sweet nut cakes. But salmon? You would probably expect to source it in Scotland. But for a few years, Swiss Lachs have been farming top-quality, sustainable salmon in Misox, Graubünden’s southern valley.Discover more
The Bündner Herrschaft is one of Switzerland’s best-known wine-growing regions. Among the grape varieties, Pinot noir leads the pack. Traditional and innovative winegrowers also cultivate a number of exciting specialities in white and red—an introduction to a small region of great wines.Discover more
Fresh goat’s cheese with mountain herb brioche, Brussels sprouts with nut cream, knöpfle with roasted yeast and truffles: Sven Wassmer’s dishes look pure and elegant on the plate. The culinary director at Grand Resort Bad Ra-gaz describes his style of cooking as sustainable alpinism.Discover more
With prime views of the Rhine, Peter Knogl serves outstanding produce and subtly balanced flavours at the Cheval Blanc, one of the best kitchens in Switzerland. Add the atmospheric brasserie and engaging bar culture, and Basel’s Les Trois Rois confidently steps forward as a gourmet destination.Discover more