"Cooking up friendship"
In Schauenstein Schloss
This time, I would like to tell you about the time I shared with Andreas Caminada in the past tense, after spending a few days back in Denia, analyzing and reflecting on my experience.
I almost feel like we lived in a fairy tale at Schauenstein Schloss. We occupied my admired colleague’s home/castle in Fürstenau, Switzerland, the smallest city in the world. You have to go, it’s amazing.
Cooking with him was a huge honor! We came back with a ton of memories, techniques, products, ways to interpret cuisine and so many moments spent with his family and team. He has a wonderful project in a beautiful setting. He has something huge, worthy of envy.
We took full advantage of the 3 days we spent there, and of course he was willing to give us a tour of his corner of the world. This was his way of imbuing us with his DNA. Mountains, lakes (I could never forget that blue lake), his traditional cuisine, and especially the essence of the restaurant, of his current cuisine and of his products, bursting with innovation and harmony. A visionary, entrepreneurial man, engaged with impressive projects as they come to being, a true delight: Schauenstein Schloss, a restaurant with 3 Michelin stars, and a small hotel, Remisa, Ignive, with 1 Michelin star, and just a short while ago, a pop-up in St. Moritz. Next year, he is going to inaugurate more rooms, a restaurant with traditional cuisine, and a bakery.
After cooking together for several hours, plotting out each detail of the dinner, we spent an intense morning in the kitchen with members of the press from different fields and countries. It was gratifying to see our visit to Switzerland's pull effect. I’m so thankful.
The dinner was quite intense. Packed to the rafters. Swiss guests came for a unique experience, and we had to live up to their expectations. We were quite focused. Fast-paced service, high demand and great support from his team. The most exciting moment of the menu was perhaps the challenge we gave ourselves, to cook an improvised dish: sea and mountains, bearing the theme in mind. We brought an iconic product for Denia, and for us: red prawns, unknown in Switzerland. He made a vegetable squash ravioli, with fermented prawn head kimchi. We lightly candied the prawn tail in extra virgin olive oil, and he made a clarified broth with cured meats, air-dried in the snow. It was delicate and aromatic, perfectly protecting the prawn's flavor. We lightly grilled the head, so that this part of the prawn could be tasted as well, as is tradition in Denia. Nerves, and the final magic of harmony and wonder all together, applauded by the diners.
I’m keeping the values, and so many things both establishments share... Yet we are so different, and that’s the magic of it all. This profession is synonymous with plurality. Projects built on a foundation of passion, effort, work and dedication. Food that gets up close and personal, and a different way of understanding cuisine.
His large, professional team was an essential base for success. This time, I was joined by Juanfra Valiente, Carolina Álvarez, Ángel García, Giovanni Mastromarino and Andrea Arias.
They made us feel at home, and what a home it is!
If you can go, don’t miss out. It’s magical. If you like snow and cuisine, all with impressive landscapes, this place is for you.
Thank you, Andreas Caminadas. You’re great.