With almost 3,000 visitors flocking to the Swiss metropolis of Zurich, il TAVOLO food festival spread over the city offering culinary events and experiences like no other. Beginning in Zurich airport on Wednesday 25 June, the festival ended on Sunday 29 June with a family brunch at Zurich’s Engrosmarkt. We give you each day's highlights in light to next year's expected celebrations...


Wednesday | Opening Night

Located at Gate Gourmet, Zurich Airport, the Opening Night saw internationally illustrious chefs take guests around the world in seven destination-themed cooking stations. There, the hosts, il TAVOLO VIP Chefs Marco Fritsche, Luisa Rossi, Beat Schlatter, Silvia Affolter, Clifford Lilley and guests enjoyed the delicious treats made by the participating Executive Chefs Maurice Marro & Olivier Rais (Baur au Lac), Sebastian Diegmann (Eden au Lac), Frank Widmer (Park Hyatt Zürich), Fredi Nussbaum (Storchen Zürich), Gion Fetz (The Dolder Grand), Dietmar Sawyere (Widder Hotel), Oliver Fischer (GATE GOURMET SWITZERLAND) as well as their guest chefs.

 

Thursday | The Dashing Chef

6 courses, 6 top chefs and 6 first-class hotels. That can only mean one thing – the racing chefs are in their starting blocks again! Racing from kitchen to kitchen in il TAVOLO's host hotels - Baur au Lac (Rive Gauche), Eden au Lac (Restaurant Eden), Park Hyatt Zurich (Restaurant parkhuus), Storchen Zurich (Rôtisserie), The Dolder Grand (Garden Restaurant) and Widder Hotel (Widder Restaurant) - the chefs conjured up one delicious course at each hotel. In short entertainment, virtuoso live cooking and top class culinary extravagance of top-class style with: Sandro Steingruber, Arno Abächerli, Paul Stradner, Sascha Kemmerer, Alexander Moser and Alyn Williams.

 

Friday | Star Night

Located at the host hotels, this glittering gourmet experience was another exquisite addition. At Friday's "Star Night", chefs from participating hotels were joined by guest chefs to prepare star-menus. Cookery duels, kitchen parties and other culinary events kept foodies fully entertained. In addition live music, spectacular views on the lake Zurich as well as exclusive insights behind the scenes amused the guests throughout the night.

 

Saturday | Il Mercato Lunch

Nowhere does Zurich have such a Mediterranean feeling than at the il Mercato Lunch where, amid the biggest ‘mercato’ in the city (the Zurich Engrosmarkt), the 200-meter long communal table invited guests to savour the joys of this wonderful atmosphere. Six head chefs from the il TAVOLO host hotels plus four guest chefs from top Zurich restaurants prepared 20 dishes at 10 live cooking stations – using, of course, only the freshest of ingredients from the Zurcher Engrosmarkt. Guests were encouraged to wander from station to station, tasting and savouring to their hearts’ content. The chefs included Maurice Marro & Olivier Rais, Sebastian Diegmann, Frank Widmer, Fredi Nussbaum, Ingo Kühn, Dietmar Sawyere, Jann M. Hoffmann, Mike Thomi, Pierre Vallet, and Michael Bolliger.

 

Saturday | Il Mercato Dinner

The same six top international chefs who participated in The Dashing Chef, plus 4 Zurich restaurants prepared dinner at il Mercato Dinner Party, a Mediterranean summer-themed culinary soirée at Zurich Engrosmarkt. Preparing 20 delicious dishes at 10 live cooking stations – where helped themselves to their hearts’ content and feasted at the 200 meter long communal table in the most Mediterranean 'mercato‘ in Zurich. The selection of food was a culinary journey through the south of Switzerland and southern Europe.

 

Sunday | Brunch

The 200 meter long communal table came out to play again for the Family Brunch. With André Jaeger, the "Gastrosophinnen" created a first-rate family brunch. Salmon tartare on fresh bread, skewers with marinated feta or spicy chicken breast, piquant empanadas or ricotta-sage-crepes, beetroot rosti with trout-horseradish mousse, corn pancakes with spicy mango salsa, waffles filled with fruit, jam or chocolate, fresh power drinks, Prosecco and infinitely more. The hot dishes were prepared at the 10 Gaggenau cooking stations, where the whole family could then help themselves to their hearts’ content.

The children’s programme at the family brunch promised to be sweet and chocolatey - the little guests enjoyed making corn flake pralines – mmmm! Or for something less sticky, they could enjoy listening to wonderful tales from storyteller, Renata Graf, Member of the Mutabor Märchenstiftung.

 

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Images © Genny Russo, Ivo Nigro, David Biedert