Sunday brunch in a snowstorm
The first days of St. Moritz Gourmet Festival felt to have "champagne climate" - the wonderfully dry, sunny weather with tingling air, luxurious enough for the high season in St. Moritz. Sunday Brunch on the terrace filled up with bright January sunlight and a clear blue sky sounded like a dream plan, but on assigned day, we faced a heavy snowfall, that looked even more scenic while we were climbing up the mountains, to get to our Sunday Brunch location in CHECHA Restaurant.
CHECHA Restaurant is a casual looking place with a “home-like” ambiance and a retro window decor that creates an ultra comfortable setting in the heart of Upper Engadine.
We arrived by the time when the brunch has already started, the real weekend fuss has been perceived straight away. The bright, spacious veranda was almost full, chefs were adding finishing touches, simultaneously trying to manage selfies with the guests. Amidst it all, it was the truffle pizza that has caught my attention, or to be precise, the sharp smell of truffles, which were energetically shaved on the fresh oven-baked pizza by Reto Mathis himself.
Reto Mathis is the famous St. Moritz restaurateur and founder of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival who manages CheCha Restaurant & Club since 2017. During the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival he welcomes guests in CheCha for various events; last year CheCha served wonderful mushroom risotto as a part of a “Gourmet Safari” dinner.
The “Golden Egg” by Guillaume Galliot
As we discovered, chef loves laksa and makes us fall in love with it all over again recreated in a concentrated gourmet version of it in an egg confit and wonderful mix of spices reminiscent of the original south-east Asian noodle soup.
Radiant green plate by Sven Wassmer
Sven Wassmer’s “Mountain risotto” was served with green barley, kale puree, kale chips, pickled pumpkin and elderflower vinegar. This dish was an exclusive preview of what the chef will have to offer in his new restaurant at Grand Hotel Quellenhof, that will open in July 2019.
When you think it can't get any better - Zeeland oysterS arrive
Dutch multi-Michelin star chef Sergio Herman, brought right from his motherland uniquely flavored flat oysters, and made a showstopper dish out of them. Fresh Zeeland oyster, was served with smoked eel, orange sea buckthorn berries and pumpkin granita. Impeccable.
Essence of art de vivre
Philippe Mille—chef from the restaurant Le Parc at the historical hotel Domaine Les Crayères in Reims, presented the essence of art de vivre, the dish that is still on the menu in his remarkable 2-star restaurant. Lobster and champagne layered on top of Pinot Noir lentils with sweet onion custard, with just a touch of lemon zest.
The grand finale
The concluding sweet part was a true a stand-alone tasting. A parade of a lavish selection of perfect winter delicacies, including tiramisu, classical Panettone, two versions of the moist rum baba, crème brûlée, puff pastry apple cakes, and more Panettone slices, ready to be dipped in a rich vanilla zabaione. We were truly lost for words.
At this point, chefs have already finished the service and were enthusiastically savoring the beautiful atmosphere, clinking glasses, taking pictures, and no one seemed to care about the small snowstorm outside.
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