Graubunden SwitzerlandEach winter for the last several years, two weeks of gourmet dining have been provided by top chefs in a fairly off-the-beaten-track region of Graubunden, Switzerland. Tom and I were thrilled to be invited to Brigels for this annual celebration of local ingredients, dishes and wines. Our evening of pampered fine dining was memorable from first course to last!

Surselva is a pristine region flanking the Rhine Gorge between Reichenau and Disentis. Our culinary destination, Brigels, is perched on a mountainside about halfway along the train line linking the two.

Huts and stalls of Brigelser mountain pastures in the Surselva region, Graubunden.

In addition to rustic (and often family) local specialties such as maluns and capuns, the region has a surprising concentration of kitchens offering fine dining. The Surselva – Genuss Pur (Surselva – Pure Enjoyment) program, initiated four years ago by the management and head chef of Hotel La Val Bergspa Hotel’s Ustria Miracla, aims to highlight the virtuosity of participating chefs, as each kitchen hosts evening events throughout the program’s two-week run.

The 2015 edition of Surselva – Genuss Pur ran from 11 to 25 January. For our evening at restaurant Miracla, Chef Rudolf Möller offered a five-course Genuss Pur Gala Menü. Every course was exquisite, and perfectly paired with a wine from Annatina Pelizzatti in Graubunden’s Bündner Herrschaft wine region.

Ustria Miracla sommelier Andreas joined vintner Annatina Pelizzatti and Chef Möller for a photo before the evening dinner service.
Our Graubunden gourmet evening was one of casual elegance and splendid flavors. Servers and the guest vintner provided explanations of each dish and each wine served. It was a time for Surselva food stories, as well as fine taste experiences!

The food & wine

Our meal began with sashimi of mountain char with sliced cucumber, on a bed of cottage cheese and horseradish mousse. Wine: 2013 Chardonnay.
The second course was a “shot of Muskat-Kürbis”, cheese pumpkin soup with herbed foam flavored with cardamom, anise and nutmeg. Wine: a 2012 Schiller Blauburgunder | Weissburgunder blend. The soup was followed by wheat-berry risotto with “viande des Grisons” (air-dried beef), celery, leeks and carrots. Wine: 2013 Pinot Noir Eichenholz.
The main course: Tournedos of Brigels beef under a cep mushroom crust, with potato puree and carrots. Wine: 2011 Pinot Noir Barrique.
Dessert was an apple “delice” seasoned with vanilla, and accompanied by apple compote, slices of mild hay-flower cheese and a tiny nut crisp. The dessert wine was a glass of 2012 Sorso, a cuvee of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sweigelt.

The chefs of Surselva – Genuss Pur

Our hosts at Hotel La Val take great pride in the quality of local food products from Brigels and the neighboring countryside. La Val Manager Chris Faber and Chef Möller initiated the Surselva – Genuss Pur program to showcase both regional fare and the talents of chefs based in Surselva.

In addition to Rudolf Möller (14 Gault Millau points), chefs and teams participating in the annual extravaganza are Guido Sgier (13 Gault Millau points), Hotel Postigliun Andiast; Tino Zimmermann (14 Gault Millau points), Stiva Veglia in Schnaus; Andreas Baselgia (13 Gault Millau points), Hotel Central Obersaxen; Manuel Reichenbach (14 Gault Millau point), Casa Tödi in Trun and Corsin Cavegn (guild of established Swiss restaurateurs), Hotel Posta Rueras.

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We were invited to Graubünden, Switzerland as guests of Switzerland Tourism, and for our Surselva – Genuss Pur experience, Hotel La Val Bergspa Brigels. Thank you for sharing this marvelous food and wine evening with us!

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