St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2016 – “Yokoso Nippon”
25th to 29th January
The 2016 St. Moritz Gourmet Festival – ‘Yokoso Nippon’ – from 25th to 29th January, is entirely dedicated to Japanese cuisine and its wide culinary variety. With the Japanese star chefs 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, a varied event programme with Far Eastern delicacies awaits gourmets for a period of one week. From now on two title sponsors will accompany the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.
For more than two decades, the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival as ‘the original’, has distinguished itself throughout the world with its exclusive character, and has always been able to rely on the precious support of substantial sponsors. It is not only through financial means that longstanding and new partners enrich the presentation of the festival, but also through their impulse-giving ideas and products. In turn, these enterprises appreciate the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival – which has about 4,000 guests per week on each occasion – as a world-class platform for the presentation of their products and for cultivating customer relationships.
With the Bank Julius Baer, the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival has now gained an additional title sponsor, besides BMW (Schweiz) AG, which has been committed since 2014 as Title Sponsor & Official Car. ‘We are delighted about the decision of Julius Baer and our future cooperation with the responsible persons of this Swiss private bank. The premium brand and the substantial spirit of Julius Baer as an entrepreneurial and innovative impulse generator in the international finance sector, correspond to the leitmotif and the significance of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival in high-end gastronomy’, explained Reto Mathis, president of the festival event organisation.
Traditional popular and new pleasurable events with Japanese flair
The kick-off event for the 2016 St. Moritz Gourmet Festival ‘Yokoso Nippon – a cordial welcome to Japan’ on Monday evening, carries the new name Grand Julius Baer Opening. On nine different ‘gourmet islands’ at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains, decorated in Far Eastern style, the Japanese star chefs 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, will serve guests the first samples of their culinary skills. The event also offers a fantastic opportunity to meet all nine guest master chefs for a personal conversation. Excellent champagnes, wines and spirits will accompany the culinary treats. The following party with live music will kick off the festival week. From Tuesday onwards, one highlight will follow the next. An incomparable weekly programme comprising traditional popular and new pleasurable events with Japanese flair awaits epicures.
The festival guests can look forward to a profound experience gladdening the heart and the mind at the Japanese tea ceremony on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof. During the sensuous preparation of high-quality green tea, tea master Soyu Mukai will provide insights into the fascinating tradition that has been cultivated in Japan ever since the 14th century. The ‘Chado’ (‘Way of Tea’) follows strictly structured rituals, where the well-being of the guests is of prime importance, and culminates finally in the ultimate tea pleasure.
At the Chocolate Cult, connoisseurs of melting temptations may taste and savour chocolate to their heart’s content. On the afternoons in «Le Grand Hall» of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, chef pâtissier Stefan Gerber will create an incredible diversity of delicacies made from the finest chocolate with the most varied flavours. Furthermore, on the occasion of the festival’s Japan edition, the chocolatier of the renowned Confiserie Sprüngli in person, will create, using skilled handiwork, pralines with a Japanese inspiration, made of the finest Sprüngli chocolate.
Outstanding moments of pleasure await gourmets at the Gourmet Dîners taking place in the evenings in the stylish restaurants of the partner hotels. Here, with a five-course menu, also offered with wine pairing or à la carte, they can savour the individual cooking skills of each of the nine Japanese guest master chefs. Nowhere else gourmet fans will have such an opportunity without having to travel to the USA, to different European countries, or to Japan.
The Gourmet Safaris guarantee Japanese delectations in an entertaining circle. In select BMW saloon cars and accompanied by an experienced ranger, the guests will go on a discovery tour to visit five guest master chefs who will spoil the participants with a several course menu at the ‘Chef’s Table’, served directly in the partner hotel kitchens. The culinary delicacies will be accompanied by corresponding wines. Afterwards, all the participants will meet to celebrate their round trip at an unbelievably delicious dessert buffet.
One of the midweek highlights is the traditional Kitchen Party in the canteen kitchen of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. To the sound of live music, and accompanied by fine champagnes, wines and spirits, all the master chefs together will serve culinary delicacies as soon as they are prepared. The guests will dine right next to the stove, between sizzling frying pans and steaming saucepans. This legendary festival event continues in the «King’s Club» and never finishes before the wee small hours.
During the Illustrious Kitchen Whispering, guest chef Akifumi Sakagami will prepare exquisite aperitif titbits with the assistance of his prominent friends, in the kitchen of the Hotel Schweizerhof. While savouring these delicacies the guests will have the exceptional opportunity of chatting in a relaxed atmosphere with the ‘head sushi chef’ from Tokyo about his experimental interpretations and the refined preparation methods of traditional Edomae sushi. Besides food, wine and champagne play a big part during the festival week. At the following events of a very special kind, noble wines will be presented in an exceptional way.
During the Japanese art of cookery and Italian art of wine event at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, the two-star chef Hisato Nakahigashi from Tokyo will demonstrate the exciting relationship between his culinary ‘Tsumikusa’ (freshly picked) art and the wines of the Italian vintner Nicola Manferrari. His tiny ‘Azienda Agricola Borgo del Tiglio’ in the Collio area (Friaul) is considered by insiders as one of the best Italian wineries. Ueli Schiess from the wine house Caratello, has arranged this unique get-together that guarantees a top-class gastronomic experience for epicures.
A paradise for wine lovers and epicures opens in a magical way at the hotel Waldhaus, situated above Sils-Maria. At the Celestial Wines event presented by the expert Jan Martel from the wine house Martel St.Gallen, wines can be tasted by a small, exclusive circle, and savoured by the guests in candlelight. Character wines and world-class wines from the wineries Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Jean-Louis Chave, Bodegas Roda, Castello di Ama and Ridge Vineyards, besides others, will be presented here. Subsequently, the Waldhaus chef de cuisine Kurt Röösli will spoil the guests with a heavenly four-course menu, accompanied by noble wines from the treasure chambers of the Martel wine store.
A very special treat is offered by the world’s best ‘éleveur de fromages’ on the three evenings of the Wine & Cheese Celebration. In the vaulted wine cellar of the Hotel Steffani, the master cheese-maker Maître Antony in person will serve his ‘cérémonie de fromages’. At the same time, the guests will have the pleasant task of selecting the most appropriate wine. They may make their choice from the hotel’s wine shelves, where fine vintage wines are stored, or from the excellent offerings of the wine houses Martel AG St.Gallen, as well as Caratello Weine St.Gallen, who will also enhance these evenings with exquisite wines.
A highly elegant evening awaits the guests at the Suvretta House for the Fascination Champagne event with Laurent-Perrier, Tours-sur-Marne (F). In the family-run and traditional house of champagne Laurent-Perrier, the main values include respect for nature and love of quality. But above all, the house has always had the desire to create outstanding wines with an unmistakable style. Along with the pleasure of the exclusive champagnes Grand Siècle, Cuvée Rosé, from 4 Millésimé and Ultra Brut from Laurent-Perrier, master chef Masayasu Yonemura from Kyoto will create a delicately coordinated menu. The evening will be enhanced by a musical accompaniment with compositions from Japan and from France, by the French violinist Chouchane Siranossian and, on the piano, Jan Schultsz, the artistic director of the Engadine Festival.
The Tasting at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains invites gourmet fans and gastronomy professionals alike to partake in a culinary discovery tour. Exquisite drinks and delicacies can be sampled at various market stands. Furthermore, the guests can rummage to their heart’s content through the latest haute cuisine cookery books. At the same time, valuable innovations and gastronomic trends can be discussed with the experts of the festival partners Caratello Wines, Cerutti “il Caffè”, HATECKE, Laurent-Perrier SA, Martel AG St.Gallen, Nonino Distillatori S.p.A., Rageth Comestibles AG, Valser (official water), and the bookshop WEGA.
With High Alpine Sushi & Kaiseki Blizzards by Usagiyama, the Ryokan Hasenberg hotel guarantees high alpine Japanese pleasures at the restaurant of the pioneer of ‘Fine Mountain Dining’, Reto Mathis, on the local St. Moritz mountain Corviglia. The hotel, which is run in original Japanese style in Widen, in the canton of Aargau, is famous for the host’s use of authentic culture. With the chef de cuisine Akihiko Suzuki, the only Japanese master chef in Switzerland to be awarded one star by the Michelin Guide, the festival guests will be able to savour refined sushi creations from the Ryokan Hasenberg hotel, and at the same time they can enjoy the breathtaking Alpine panorama at an altitude of 2,486m!
On Friday night, the Great BMW Gourmet Finale at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz crowns the festival week. The evening starts off with a stylish cocktail reception featuring Japanese finger food specialities. At the following gala dinner in the grand hotel’s dining room, festively decorated in Far Eastern style, all the guest master chefs and the local chefs de cuisine together will prepare a fantastic, multi-course menu, accompanied by fine champagnes and wines.
The same evening will see the festive presentation ceremony for the winner of the Young Engadine Talents competition. This is the fifth time the competition for up-and-coming cookery talents has been organized within the scope of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.
Press conference in Tokyo attracted considerable interest
During the last 21 years, the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival has been successfully established as a top culinary event in the Upper Engadine. It benefits from worldwide appeal for epicures and contributes to the promotion of tourism in the region. The forthcoming festival also aroused great interest in Japan, as underlined by the large attendance at the press conference in Tokyo on 28th October 2015. On the occasion, Switzerland Tourism together with the tourism organisation Engadin St. Moritz (ESTM) had invited Japanese media professionals as well as business and tourism representatives. The Swiss delegation was composed of Ariane Ehrat, CEO of ESTM, and Reto Mathis, president of the festival event organisation, and others. Besides the presentation of the festival programme in the presence of guest master chef Akifumi Sakagami from Tokyo, a tailor-made package for holiday stays was presented. It includes an ideal combination of the unrivalled winter atmosphere, traditional hotel trade, and host culture of the Upper Engadine, along with the delicacies of the Japanese guest master chefs.
Individual hotel arrangements
Of course, the packages do not only apply to guests from the Far East. On the contrary, a multitude of individual arrangements will be offered in the festival partner hotels to epicures from far and near from 25th to 30th January 2016. They include admission tickets to the event and overnight stays, as well as extras that make stays especially attractive in each of the partner hotels during the festival week. Hotel arrangements can already be booked directly with the partner hotels. The different offers are shown on the web site www.stmoritz-gourmetfestival.ch under the hotel portraits. The detailed festival programme and current news can also be found on the web site www.stmoritz-gourmetfestival.ch and on Facebook. Advance booking of event admission tickets will start on 1st December 2015.
2016 St. Moritz Gourmet Festival – ‘Yokoso Nippon’,
25th to 29th January Overview of the guest chefs
Nobu Matsuhisa, Restaurant Matsuhisa, Beverly Hills (USA), 1 Michelin star, ‘One of the top destination restaurants in the world’ (New York Times, 1993), ‘One of the 11 most influential chefs of the decade’ (Madrid Fusión, 2009), ‘Who’s who of food and beverage in America“ (James Beard Foundation, since 2002), ‘Outstanding chef’ (James Beard Foundation, nominated 1997–2006), America’s 10 new best chefs (Food and Wine Magazine, 1998), www.nobumatsuhisa.com
Guest of master chef Michel Jost, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel***** Superior, St. Moritz, www.badruttspalace.com
Hiroki Yoshitake, Restaurant Sola, Paris (FR), 1 Michelin star; winner of the ‘japonais Red U-35’ award (2013/14), ‘Best new concept’ award (Restaurant Association of Singapore, 2010), www.restaurant-sola.com
Guest of master chef Gero Porstein, Carlton Hotel***** Superior, St. Moritz, www.carlton-stmoritz.ch
Kei Kobayashi, Restaurant Kei, Paris (FR), 1 Michelin star, www.restaurant-kei.fr
Guest of master chef Fabrizio Piantanida, Grand Hotel Kronenhof***** Superior, www.kronenhof.com
Hideki Matsuhisa, Restaurant Koy Shunka, Barcelona (ES), 1 Michelin star, www.koyshunka.com
Guest of master chef Markus Rose, Hotel Giardino Mountain***** Superior, Champfèr/St. Moritz, www.giardino-mountain.ch
Akifumi Sakagami, Restaurant Sushi Ginza Onodera, Tokyo (JP), Head Sushi Chef, www.sushi-onodera.com/ginza_en
Guest of master chef Christian Ott, Hotel Schweizerhof**** Superior, St. Moritz, www.schweizerhofstmoritz.ch
Keisuke Matsushima, Restaurant Keisuke Matsushima, Nice (FR), 1 Michelin star, www.keisukematsushima.com
Guest of master chef Kurt Röösli, Hotel Waldhaus*****, Sils-Maria, www.waldhaus-sils.ch
Tohru Nakamura, Restaurant Geisels Werneckhof, Munich (D), 1 Michelin star, 17 GaultMillau points, ‘Chef of the year 2015’ (DER FEINSCHMECKER), 4,5 F (DER FEINSCHMECKER), ‘Discovery of the year’ (GaultMillau, 2013), ‘Best trainee cook of the year’ (Rolling Pin, 2013), International Eckart Witzigmann prize (‘Nachwuchs’, 2011), www.geisels-werneckhof.de
Guest of master chef Matthias Schmidberger, Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains***** Superior, St. Moritz, www.kempinski-stmoritz.ch
Hisato Nakahigashi, Restaurant Miyamasou, Sakyo-ku / Kyoto (JP), 2 Michelin stars, www.miyamasou.jp/html_en
Guest of master chef Hans Nussbaumer, Kulm Hotel St. Moritz***** Superior, www.kulmhotel-stmoritz.ch
Masayasu Yonemura, Restaurant Yonemura, Higashiyama-ku / Kyoto (JP), 1 Michelin star, ‘Best cookbook design’ award and ‘Best cookbook cover’ award (2006), www.r-yonemura.jp
Guest of master chef Fabrizio Zanetti, Suvretta House***** Superior, St. Moritz, www.suvrettahouse.ch
The following festival partners look forward to welcoming
gourmet fans from all over the world to the festival
The partnerhotels Badrutt’s Palace Hotel***** Superior, St. Moritz, Carlton Hotel***** Superior, St. Moritz, Grand Hotel Kronenhof***** Superior, Pontresina, Hotel Giardino Mountain***** Superior, Champfèr/St. Moritz, Hotel Schweizerhof**** Superior, St. Moritz, Hotel Waldhaus*****, Sils-Maria, Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains***** Superior, St. Moritz, Kulm Hotel St. Moritz***** Superior, St. Moritz, und Suvretta House***** Superior, St. Moritz, as well as the event locations Cava, Hotel Steffani****, St. Moritz, and Mathis Food Affairs, Corviglia/St. Moritz.
Furthermore, the festival is supported by the tremendous commitment of the following sponsors:
Title sponsor & Official car: BMW (Schweiz) AG;
Title Sponsor: Bank Julius Baer & Co. AG;
Main sponsor: Valser;
Co-sponsors: Caratello Weine St.Gallen, Confiserie Sprüngli AG, G. Bianchi AG, Laurent-Perrier Suisse S.A., Martel AG St.Gallen, Maura Wasescha AG, Maximum Wellbeing AG Schweiz, Rageth Comestibles AG;
Suppliers: Bader + Niederöst AG, BRAGARD SUISSE AG, CERUTTI „il Caffè“, HATECKE, Hugo Dubno AG, Nonino Distillatori S.p.a., Schwob AG;
Carriers: ANA All Nippon Airways, Massé and Partner Transports GmbH;
Local Media Partner: Engadiner Post/Posta Ladina;
Media Partners: dasfilet.ch (Gourmetblog), htr hotel revue, ibexmedia GmbH, marmite – magazine on eating and drinking culture, restaurant-news.de.
WOEHRLE PIROLA Marketing and Communication AG
Tel. +41 (0)44 245 86 94
service by Rocco Lettieri