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Sapori Ticino Gala Dinner in Zurich’s Hotel Widder

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Once again this year, the Gourmet Festival S. Pellegrino Sapori Ticino guests three times in Swiss Deluxe Hotels in German-speaking Switzerland. The tour just kicked off in the unique design hotel Widder in Zurich. And what a gala dinner it was, mama mia! Something to write home about!

S. Pellegrino Sapori Ticino im Hotel Widder

Latest issue of Sapori Ticino magazine

Hotel partner Swiss Deluxe Hotels

Hotel partner Swiss Deluxe Hotels

Close to the stars (chefs, that is)

In 2018, too, at 20 events planned to take place in Canton Ticino and the rest of Switzerland 20 Michelin stars will come close enough to touch. Some of the world’s premier star chefs and Dany Stauffacher, the Festival founder, make it all possible.

By tradition, to open the Festival series, gala dinner will first be served in three Swiss Deluxe Hotels outside Ticino.

The Hotel Widder in Zurich hosted the kick-off event. Host Jan E. Brucker and chef de cuisine Tino Staub welcomed Ticino top chefs Dario Ranza from Villa Principe Leopoldo, Edigio Iadonisi from Swiss Diamond Hotel and Lorenzo Albrici of Locanda Orico.

To accompany the apéritif, they rolled out ham and salami by Rapelli. That’s in addition to the pulpo con chorizo on skewers and assorted other nibbles. The drinks to go with them were mixed from scratch on the spot.

And thus the evening was launched…

Ham and salami by Rapelli

Ham and salami by Rapelli

Freshly mixed from scratch

Freshly mixed from scratch

Pulpo con chorizo on skewers

Pulpo con chorizo on skewers

Lining up the drinks

Lining up the drinks

La Bottega Rapelli

La Bottega Rapelli

Apéro nibbles

Apéro nibbles

Once the guests’ palates had been amused, the reverberating Asian gong sounded and the feast continued in the spacious Widder Room.

Star-Architect Tilla Theus has left no detail to chance here, so that there is much more than only the cuisine to be savored and observed.

Entrance to the Widder Room

Entrance to the Widder Room

Festive table setting in the Widder Room

Festive table setting in the Widder Room

And more tables in the Widder Room

And more tables in the Widder Room

It begins…

Following the welcoming remarks by founder Stauffacher and by host Brucker, Siro Barino, Managing Director of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Ticino Canton Councilor Norman Gobbi helped set the mood for the already famous Gourmet Festival.

Actually, it was kind of unnecessary, since this year all locations of the Gourmet Festival for the entire three months sold out instantly. It’s the first time that happened in the 12-year history of the Sapori Ticino.

But now the event got going in earnest: The many-headed kitchen brigade got into its rhythm and the briskly efficient servers fanned out through the room so that the illustrious guest assembled need wait no longer.

Sergio Ermotti, CEO of Festival sponsor UBS, also waited expectantly for what courses will materialize.

Even Sergio Ermotti, CEO of sponsor UBS can hardly wait

Even Sergio Ermotti, CEO of sponsor UBS can hardly wait

The famous chefs this evening dish up ravishing sapori from Ticino:

Sicilian shrimp with puntarelle and Cantabrian anchovies

Sicilian shrimp with puntarelle and Cantabrian anchovies
Surprise, but the anchovies only add a subtle accent

Mediterranean tortelli stuffed with burrata, candied cherry tomatoes

Mediterranean tortelli stuffed with burrata, candied cherry tomatoes, and basil pesto

Salmon trout with peas and plantain

Salmon trout with peas and plantain

Variations on Ticino black Angus filet with shallots and Merlot Quattromani

Variations on Ticino black Angus filet with shallots and Merlot Quattromani
Tops! Maybe time for a road trip to Ticino again!

“Gotta have it” wines

As usual, the wine came from the hands of four Ticino vintners: Feliciano Gialdi supplied the highly recommended Chardonnay Carisma  and Guido Brivio the robustly good Bianco Rovere Bianco di Uve Merlot Ticino (classic “gotta have it”!).

For the meat course, they decanted the Quattromani that they had pressed together with Angelo Delea and Claudio Tamborini.

Top quality Swiss premium wines. Those Ticino folks know how to live!

And with dessert, Tamborini then also poured his Tinto Forte Vintage.

Patissiers on an important mission

Patissiers on an important mission

Widder chef de cuisine Tino Staub and a patissière up against 100 desserts.

Widder chef de cuisine Tino Staub and a patissière up against 100 desserts…

Dessert of braised rhubarb with strawberries and white chocolate glaze

Dessert of braised rhubarb with strawberries and white chocolate glaze

Good to know…

Incidentally, the 40 Swiss Deluxe Hotels position themselves more and more strongly via the kitchen: 734 Gault Millau points and 32 Guide Michelin stars are the impressive credentials of a gastronomy that doesn’t have to hide from gourmet restaurants…

The S. Pellegrino Sapori Ticino and Swiss Deluxe Hotels websites promise all the information you need about both.

I’m going to forego listing all the other Sapori Ticino events since they’re all sold out. You can find a nice list on the mentioned websites.

So, if you couldn’t snag a seat this time around, better get the low-down early next year…

Sapori Ticino Magazine's 2018 theme

Sapori Ticino Magazine’s 2018 theme

Designer cutlery by Sknife

Designer cutlery by Sknife

Chefs Dario Ranza, Lorenzo Albrici, Egidio Iadonisi, Tino Staub and his kitchen brigade

Chefs Dario Ranza, Lorenzo Albrici, Egidio Iadonisi, Tino Staub and his kitchen brigade

The chefs talk shop with two of the Quattromani

The chefs talk shop with two of the Quattromani

Norman Gobbi, Dany Stauffacher, Sergio Ermotti and photographer Rémy Steinegger

Norman Gobbi, Dany Stauffacher, Sergio Ermotti and photographer Rémy Steinegger

The evening's extensive menu

The evening’s extensive menu

Gourmet Festival founder and friends

Gourmet Festival founder Dany Stauffacher (3rd from left) with Quattromani & friends

Dany Stauffacher with the Ticino Councillor, chefs and Sergio Ermotti

Dany Stauffacher with the Ticino Councillor, chefs and Sergio Ermotti

Ticino wines Carisma and Quattromani.

Ticino wines Carisma and Quattromani. Post mortem…

Ascona and Sapori Ticino magazines 2018

Ascona and Sapori Ticino magazines 2018

Acqua Panna by S.Pellegrino

Acqua Panna by S.Pellegrino

Our thanks go to…

… Alexandra Bertram of Swisskonzept for the invitation! It was something to be savored ;-)

I should note that in Berne last year, one of the “outside Ticino” events took place in the Bellevue Palace. Also went over very well…

We gave reviews from more Swiss Deluxe Hotels their own heading here.

And here the official event photographer Rémy Steinegger caught me while I was taking pictures in the kitchen. ;-)

Walter Schaerer Sapori Ticino

Walter caught taking pictures in the kitchen, Foto © Rémy Steinegger

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About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog travelmemo.com. In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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