The “10 Manos” are a cooking quintet of Argentinia’s most trendsetting and creative chefs. They put on their show for the first time in Switzerland in March 2018, where they presented the innovative side of Argentina’s cuisine in the Rive Gauche Restaurant of the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich.
This year’s Gustofestival program premiered at the Rive Gauche was headlined as “Fuego y Pasión”.
This food festival, started by Boris Walker originally in Solothurn and Buenos Aires has gradually established itself with these events as a mecca for friends of South American cookery.
The Diez Manos: 10 hands active in Argentine cuisine
United by the joy of cooking ensemble, 10 Manos is made up of the most influential cooks Argentina has produced. Already for the past three years, they have presented their delightful “Best of Argentina”.
But, there is no regular crew or a predefined style. So, sometimes the menu turns out to be traditional or — as in Zurich this time — more on the innovative side. Whoever among the most prominent chefs has time takes part in one of their rare gigs.
The head behind the 10 cooking hands is Mauro Colagreco, Nr. 4 in The World’s Best Restaurants 2017. However, in Zurich he let Narda Lepes, a TV chef known around South America, introduce the chefs.
Humorously and eloquently, she presented the evening’s cast: Serving alongside the renowned colleagues of 10 Manos are the 2016 world’s best sommelier(!), the elected Paz Levinson and South America’s best professional barman, Tato Giovannoni, number 23 among the World’s Best Bars.
Now we are truly in suspense what so much star power is going to put on our plates! Or will the boys in the kitchen duke it out?
The 10 Manos menu: The best of Argentina in Zurich
Each of the five culinary virtuosos is responsible for one of the five courses. They prepare everything under the interested gaze of the Rive Gauche kitchen team.
This is the sequence of courses they prepared:
- Cocktail de Bienvenida by Tato Giovannoni
- Apostoles Gin Vermouth Giovannoni – Soda de Sauco – Yuyos Argentinos
- Scallop– raspberry – cilantro blossom
- Green peas – kiwi – wild herbs
- White asparagus– kaymak – morels
- Entrecôte – young onions – chimichurri
- Strawberries – cane sugar – orange blossoms
- ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
(Incidentally, what is with the five stars at the end of this kind of menu? Anyone?)
I dutifully record the following:
The chimichurri sauce with the entrecôte really is something! It is much less oily than is typically prepared in Switzerland. First rate!
And the Entrecôte was just outstanding. But, that’s not something I need to stress when it comes to an Argentine meal…
For the courses, the surprisingly young Paz Levinson decants wines by Susana Balbo Wines. The wines produced close to nature at Luján de Cuyo near Mendoza go exceptionally well with the respective courses:
The slighly acidulous Susana Balbo Crios Chardonnay from the Valle de Uco, Mendoza, 2017, is outstanding with the vinegar around the scallop and contrast the raspberry.
Next come a Susana Balbo Torrontés Barrel Fermented 2016, also from Valle de Uco, and the Susana Balbo Benmarco Expresivo 2015 from Gualtallary, Mendoza, do what they are called on to do to round out our gourmet menu.
Just when it came to the presentation of the dishes I could have wished for a bit more imagination: I had to get pretty acrobatic with the camera to shoot the dishes in the right light…
When the dessert arrives, I’m out of inspiration how to stage the strawberry attractively. Sorry about that!
But the overall spectacular staging by the Argentinians made up for it in a big way!
10 Manos – the Zurich cast
Restaurant Mirazur, Menton (FR), number four of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, 2 stars Guide Michelin, Chef of the Year Gault Millau France 2009. 2012 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.
Much-awarded TV chef known all over South America, author, and TV personality nardalepes.com
Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires. Fernando currently does cooking classes, catering and coaching. He is one of Argentina’s best chefs.
Executive Chef of Parilla Don Julio (number13 among Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants) in Buenos Aires, TV chef and pioneer of the Argentine Farm to Table movement.
Argentinian cooking legend and former student of Francis Mallmann. He has worked in Mexico, America and London and is currently Executive Chef of the Gaucho Group (UK).
Owner and barman of Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, ranked No. 23 among The 50 Best Bars 2017 and Best Bar Latin America 2017. Producer of Apóstoles Gin. Here we review his drinks.
- Sommelière Virtus Paris
- 2010 & 2014: Best Sommelier of Argentina
- 2015: ASI & APAS Best Sommelier of America
- 2016: ASI Best Sommelier in the World (!)
Wow, what a line up!
Many thanks to the Gustofestival by Boris Walker!
The visit by 10 Manos in the Rive Gauche was organized by Gustofestival producer Boris Walker. Gustofestival puts on culinary events and food festivals both in Switzerland and Argentina.
The next stops for the Fuego y Pasión 2018 program with top chef Guido Tassi after Zurich will be the Swiss cities of Ascona (May 31 to June 3), Basel (July 6 to 8) and Solothurn (September 6 to 19).
Beat the crowd! Make those reservations now.
Rive Gauche at Baur au Lac hotel
Thanks also to Stephanie Steinmann of the PR-Agency of the same name for the invite! Invite us anytime! ;-)