A look at Switzerland’s food scene

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th November 2014
To coincide with the release of the Michelin Guide Switzerland 2015 The Staff Canteen are taking a closer look at Swiss food and what makes it so special. Fribourg_022Switzerland is famous for watches, wealth and beautiful landscapes. It’s a landlocked country in the heart of Europe and a dream location for many but the Swiss are less famous for their food.  That is no reason to underestimate the quality of their cuisine as the country has an enviable culinary heritage. American politician, Michelle Bachmann, recently said: “It’s tough to find a place not to like in Switzerland.” Switzerland boasts spectacular natural beauty. In just a few miles you can go from vineyards and apricot trees to snowy passes and Alpine gorges. Tourists are often drawn to Geneva. It’s a global city and financial centre, attracting an eclectic mix of people from all over the world. Bern, Switzerland’s capital, is known for its easy-going lifestyle while the beauty of the city’s medieval buildings earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Switzerland also boasts major skiing resorts in Zermatt, Verbier and Saint-Moritz. There’s something for everybody so it’s no surprise that the country offers excellent food. Fondue is indelibly woven into the fabric of the country. For centuries, mountain-dwellers relied on the dish, not just to keep warm but also to use bread and cheese in the colder months.Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville Today, dunking rustic country bread into melted cheese infused with wine and garlic remains a mouth-watering prospect to locals and tourists alike. Rosti is another iconic national dish. Thinly grated potatoes, pan-fried until golden are often served steaming with salty bacon or melted raclette cheese. In last year’s Michelin guide, Switzerland was awarded with 89 one-star restaurants, 19 two-star restaurants and 2 three-star restaurants. The UK Michelin guide, in comparison has 142 one-star restaurants, 21 two-star and 4 three-star with a population of over 60 million. The Swiss, therefore, have an impressive number of quality restaurants to rival the British total. When you consider that their population is just over 8 million, this is very impressive and a testament to the quality of Swiss cuisine. Schauenstein Schloss Restaurant Hotel is a historical castle and one of Switzerland’s 2 three-star restaurants, run by Andreas Caminada. The young Swiss chef won his third star in the 2010 guide and has a reputation for creating a unique blend of food and art. His restaurant, Schauenstein Schloss, is rated as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants while it’s setting in Fürstenau, the world’s smallest city, makes dining there a genuinely unique experience. schauenstein restaurant Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville is Switzerland’s other three-Michelin star venue. It has a rich gastronomic heritage with a succession of legendary chefs working there for almost 40 years. Philip Rochat was the first to bring three-stars and international fame to the restaurant while today Benoît Viollier oversees the kitchen, applying his style, knowledge and experience. Benoît has a passion for game while locally sourced ingredients provide the key element of his refined and exceptional cooking. Switzerland’s food scene offers a bit for everyone and release of the 2015 Michelin guide is likely to highlight the quality food on offer in one of the world’s wealthiest and most beautiful countries. By Tom Evans @tevans43

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th November 2014

A look at Switzerland’s food scene