Graubunden is not only blessed with spectacular natural beauty, but also a variety of climates and ecosystems that lends to a bounty of diverse agricultural offerings and a distinctive regional cuisine. This, coupled with Switzerland’s overall eco-conscious efforts, has paved the way for a sustainable gastronomy movement fueled by a variety of produce from the deep valleys and fertile pastures on both sides of the Alps.
Below are the innovative restaurants, hotels and destinations pioneering the region’s culinary culture with respect to local communities and the global environment.
LENZERHEIDE – An Organic Beef Project and A Green Michelin Star Restaurant
Valbella Resort nestled in the foothills of the Grisons Mountains, has long been a pioneer of eco-sustainable initiatives, and now introduces a agricultural endeavor with a neighboring farm, the Valbella Bio Beef project, breeding organic cattle that graze on the lush meadows around the resort. Guests can enjoy the results at the hotel’s Restaurant Capricorn, where the high-end, contemporary Alpine dishes are, as head chef André Mühlhausen proudly proclaims, “freshly prepared with 100% natural ingredients.”
The Schweizerhof Lenzerheide hotel prides itself on sustainability, particularly at the acclaimed Scarlottas Terroir restaurant awarded a Green Michelin Star. Chef Hansjörg Ladurner incorporates high-quality, seasonal ingredients from vetted regional purveyors and from his own farming project, using a traditional, hand-tended, three-crop farming method with minimum of modern machinery, while engaging in waste management, recycling and social responsibility. The result is an inventive menu that lets the authentic flavors of these exceptional ingredients take center stage.
The Schweizerhof Lenzerheide hotel prides itself on sustainability, particularly at the acclaimed Scarlottas Terroir restaurant awarded a Green Michelin Star.
FLIMS LAAX – Culinary Alpine Adventure
While Flims Laax is known as the freestyle capital of Europe with the world’s largest halfpipe and an extensive snow park, it’s also a champion of sustainable gastronomy. On the mountain and in the valley, sustainable initiatives inform the menus at more than 30 restaurants including Crap Soin Gion, a mountain top lifestyle complex that features restaurants, bars, a cinema and breathtaking 360º views of the Alps. At Alps Dadens de Falera, platters of local cheese, alpine bacon, deer ham, mountain coffee and alpine yoghurt are on offer, while Capalari celebrates Grison specialties such as pizokels (buckwheat dumplings) and capuns (a dried meat dish). For a hip basecamp, stay at Rocksresort, a member of Design Hotels, which supplies cool urban esthetics and meals at Casa Veglia that are firmly centered on local flavors.
CELERINA – An Unexpectedly Hip Gastro Hub
Not to be outdone by neighboring St. Moritz, the quaint, charming alpine village of Celerina is a must stop for foodies. At Chesa Rosatsch hotel housed in a traditional 300-year-old Engadine building, three restaurants mine the treasures of local purveyors and seasonal ingredients. At Heimatli, guests can indulge in traditional Swiss dishes including homemade quarkpizokel and buckwheat pasta with Grisons mountain cheese. At Restaurant Uondas, look forward to home-matured madürà meat from the lava-stone grill and wood-fired tartes flambées in a cool, high design environment. The menu at Die Hühnerei (meaning chicken egg), highlights these ingredients in creative, globally influenced dishes from a whole roasted chicken with rosemary to Californian tacos and a pulled-chicken Gua Bao Burger, served in a delightfully hip setting with cheeky murals and design details.
Graubunden invites travelers to get to know this storied destination year-round beyond the ski slopes.Graubunden is the largest region in Switzerland, making up almost 20% of the country’s total land area. From famed Davos to the glory and beauty of the Engadine, the glam of St. Moritz, the crystal-clear Alpine waters of Lake Caumasee, and the romantic Rhaetian Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the diversity of Graubunden is endless. Days can be spent hiking among the craggy ravines of the Rhine Gorge (known as the little Swiss Grand Canyon) or taking in the charms of quaint Swiss villages. Visitors can indulge in an incomparable culinary scene helmed by Michelin chefs, a legacy of wines passed down from the Romans almost 2,000 years ago, healing thermal waters at world renowned spas and palatial hotels curated by the world’s most foremost architects. @visitgraubunden.us