Ten years of “SWISS Taste of Switzerland”: over 650 Gault Millau points to date; programme highlights on board from tomorrow

4 December 2012

“SWISS Taste of Switzerland”, Swiss International Air Lines’ award-winning inflight culinary concept which highlights a different region of its home country and its speciality cuisine every three months, is ten years old this year. A total of 42 guest chefs drawn from 38 regions of Switzerland have been featured in the programme to date, devising meals specifically for SWISS’s inflight service aloft. To mark the programme’s anniversary, a selection of these meal creations from the past ten years will be served to First and Business Class guests from tomorrow onwards.

“SWISS Taste of Switzerland” has been delighting First and Business Class travellers on SWISS’s outbound long-haul services with its innovative and varied meal creations for ten years now. Every three months a new top chef is enlisted from a particular region of Switzerland and asked to create a series of gourmet meals for SWISS’s inflight service that put a particular focus on their home canton’s cuisine. Due regard is also paid to the changing seasons and to Switzerland’s four language regions in each year’s selection; and each set of meals is accompanied by a carefully-chosen red and white wine from the canton concerned. “SWISS Taste of Switzerland” thus showcases the sheer culinary variety of SWISS’s home country all over the world, and serves as an international ambassador of Swiss cuisine.

A total of 42 guest chefs with over 650 Gault Millau points among them have featured in the “SWISS Taste of Switzerland” programme since it was launched in 2002. The series was opened in the winter of that year by Rudolf Wanninger of the Piz Umbrail restaurant in Canton Grisons; and he has since been followed by a “Who’s Who” of the Swiss culinary scene that includes André Jäger of the Fischerzunft in Schaffhausen, Tanja Grandits of the Stucki restaurant in Basel and Heiko Nieder of the Dolder Grand in Zurich.

Not that the choice is restricted to Switzerland’s bigger cities and towns. Smaller places and regions have also been well represented over the years through such culinary flagbearers as Daniel Jann of the Landgasthof Adler restaurant in Ried-Muotathal (Canton Schwyz) and Franz Faeh of Le Vieux Manoir in Murten (Canton Fribourg). “SWISS Taste of Switzerland” is a prizewinner, too: shortly after its launch, in spring 2003, it was honoured with the inflight catering sector’s coveted IFCA Mercury Award.

A special tenth-anniversary selection

To mark the programme’s tenth birthday this year, First and Business Class travellers on SWISS long-haul flights from Switzerland will be offered a carefully-chosen selection of the meals that have featured in “SWISS Taste of Switzerland” to date for the period from 5 December 2012 to 5 March 2013. These will include such starters as smoked saddle of lamb by Johan Breedijk of the Art Deco Hotel Montana in Lucerne or lobster salpicon with citrus jelly by Jan Leimbach of the Hotel Lenkerhof in Lenk (Canton Bern). Among the main courses will be rabbit ragout with polenta by Frank Oerthle of the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola in Lugano (Canton Ticino), while the desserts will include nut cake with saffron ice cream by Markus Neff of the Waldhotel Fletschhorn in Saas-Fee (Canton Valais). Every meal will be further accompanied by a selection of traditionally-made Swiss cheeses, along with choice wines from various parts of Switzerland.