A taste of Italy in Gstaad

Finally a perfect risotto. Pearly grains with still that little crunch, a creamy texture and rich taste: cima di rapa and salsiccia, flavors from the south that go well with this classic from the north, so often misused, abused, despised. Giuseppe Colella revisits risotto and pays tribute to it, as well as to pasta authentic – for example these simple ones paccheri righteous Neapolitans al denteawakened by a burst of pepperoncino, a pan-fried seafood and fresh herbs. Or these brilliant green gnocchi, made with olive meat, underlined by the softness of an excellent mozzarella… We also like, on the new menu, the Grisons salmon marinated in tangerine and its focaccia, some ultra-fresh fish or seafood to improve the homemade pasta, citrus tiramisù.

Giuseppe Colella is the new head chef at the Hermitage of Gstaad, this impressive vessel disguised as a chalet à la Hansel and Gretel, padded with snow – these days – with its hot, cold, salty, outdoor and indoor pools. A native of Ischia, Quadra has an international career that passes through Milan, Berlin and Brussels before dropping anchor in the Bernese Oberland and collecting a score of 16 in Gault & Millau at the Grand Hotel Park Gstaad.

As local and organic as possible

Just arrived at the five-star Schönried – a stone’s throw from the station and still in the hands of the family since opening – he signs the new menu there these days, tasted in preview and can be highly recommended. Follower of an ultra-light cuisine dominated by vegetables, olive oil, reductions and vegetable juices as well as fish, the man likes clean taste. As mischievous as he is calm – nervousness has never produced good food, he believes – he took over a brigade of around twenty people led by Andrea Gaia, almost entirely Italian, and completely turned the menu and the philosophy of the house upside down.

Its network of producers is as local and organic as possible, from amazing young cheesemakers to top butchers, while remaining loyal to Italian suppliers when they don’t have a local equivalent. The hotel can accommodate up to two hundred customers, but you never notice the number, the restaurant has been redesigned and divided into several different rooms, each with its own personality and decor – all reminiscent of a cozy family cabin. The welcome is adorable, far, very far from the cool image of the palaces of the neighboring resort.

Good news finally, the price of white truffles has dropped to (almost) decent levels, enough to add a few bites of pure pleasure to Giuseppe’s first menu. And want to go back just for the risotto…

Hotel-restaurant Ermitage, Dorfstrasse 46, 3778 Gstaad-Schönried. Such. +41 33 748 04 30. Continuous service every day from noon to midnight. Evening menu served from 19:00 to 22:00, reservation required.

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