Deceleration as a culinary philosophy – we embrace slow food

Regional cuisine is the latest hot topic. Everyone is talking about local produce and seasonality. However, guests are hardly ever given specific information about the most important thing – the producers. “Regional and seasonal” are not just window-dressing for the Slow Food Restaurant Stüvas. Over 95% of all ingredients used by chef Jan Gassen come from farmers and smallholders from the Engadine, Valtellina, Bergell, the Canton of Grisons and other parts of Switzerland – a truly impressive figure.

 

Preserves are all the rage in winter

Conserving flavours is of utmost importance for us. In the winter, farmland disappears under snow and ice, meaning salads, regional vegetables and fruit are no longer available. In order to stay true to the philosophy of rigorous regionality, fruit and vegetables are preserved in summer and autumn in preparation for the winter. In the colder months, local pears, apples, berries, figs, vintage carrots, etc. are used as relishes, chutneys and purées to enhance meat dishes. Sometimes, they are even the sole star of the plate, providing a unique taste experience.

 

It’s all about sustainability

Slow food calls for what we eat to be perfect in terms of its taste and its health benefits as well as to be produced in a clean way – i.e. without harming nature or animals. Food producers must also receive a fair price for their produce and work.

 

The history of slow food

Before the slow food movement was established in Switzerland in 1993, a group already existed in Ticino, which at that time focused on Italy, where journalist and sociologist Carlo Petrini had set up the organisation in 1986 as a counter-movement to the industrial “manufacture” of food. Nowadays, slow food has around 100,000 members across the world and is present on all five continents.

Slow food has successfully established so-called convivia in most Swiss regions over the past few years – the Hotel Chesa Rosatsch is part of the “Slow Food Südbünden” (“southern cantons”) convivium.