SWISS International Airlines and the legendary Burgenstock Resort in Lucerne, Switzerland have created a fantastic feast of gastronomic cuisine and splendid Alpine style with ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland.’ This award winning culinary concept features top Swiss chefs who create dishes with delicacies from their home cantons. These regional specialties presented in-flight provide a great introduction to Switzerland’s exceptional cuisine. Flying SWISS to the recently reopened ultra luxurious Burgenstock Resort, seemed like a match made in heaven.
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As of this past September, the ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ star chef is Mike Wehrle, Burgenstock’s esteemed culinary director. His elevated Swiss cuisine from the canton of Nidwalden is available to Business and First Class Passengers on all SWISS International Airlines’ long haul flights. Needless to say, the food is delicious.
The moment I boarded the plane SWISS hospitality was on full display. Scrumptious ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ inflight specialties include: salmon trout tataki with pumpkin and chervil root, marinated lobster with pecorino cheese and cauliflower panna cotta, sea bass fillet, chablis sauce with grapes and pak choi, beef tenderloin with Valle Maggia pepper sauce, potato and leek puree, braised leek, carrots. Not to mention the world famous Swiss cheese and chocolates.
As for the resort, it even provides the posh Burgenstock ferry to whisk you away for a scenic twenty minute ride across shimmering Lake Lucerne. Then a funicular takes you up, up, up to the grand hotel. As I breathed in the oh-so fresh Alpine air and gazed at the mountaintop splendor, I heard a chorus of chimes. Looking down at lush green pastures below I saw cows meandering about, bells around their necks sounding those delightful chimes. Cow bells – just like in the movies! Welcome to Burgenstock.
Perched on a forested ridge 1,600 feet above picturesque Lake Lucerne with staggering views of the Pilatus and Rigi Mountains, Burgenstock looks like a noble residence high up in the sky. In its heyday in the 50’s and 60’s the fabled resort was a playground of the rich and famous such as Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, among the many others.
Glamorously reborn after a spectacular nine year reconstruction the resort currently comprises four hotels including the brand new 5-star Burgenstock Hotel that houses the 107,000 square foot Alpine Spa, the new 5-star Waldhotel with Health, Wellness and Medical Facility, residence suites plus eight restaurants and bars. There’s no shortage of activities and amenities including a wine cellar, cigar lounge, golf course, tennis courts, ice skating rink, boutiques, a cinema plus hiking and biking trails.
Burgenstock Hotel is the flagship and it’s quite the showpiece with a lobby that boasts soaring ceilings, expansive glass windows and striking antique brass pillars. Modern alpine chic rooms and suites include fireplaces, sunken two person bathtubs and marble bathrooms, all with lake views. It’s easy to get blissed out in the enormous spa that contains every indulgence you can imagine including a gorgeous Hollywoodesque rooftop heated infinity pool.
Food lovers will enjoy the outstanding cuisine at the resort’s several restaurants – all helmed by culinary director Mike Wehrle.
Popular Spices Kitchen & Terrace offers dramatic mountain views, an open kitchen and an array of tasty Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Thai cuisine. Some of the many standout dishes included adraki lamp chops, tandor chicken with cardamom and nutmeg, salmon, tuna, scallop and ebi sushi and sautéed king prawns with capsicum in Shanghai chili sauce.
Sharq Oriental Restaurant and Shisha Lounge set in Sofia Loren’s old house next to the Bürgenstock Chapel where Audrey Hepburn married Mel Ferrer, serves impressive Middle Eastern food. I savored a veritable feast of luscious lamb, chicken and tiger prawns with saffron accompanied by rice, vegetables and Lebanese starters galore. And the elegant and romantic Ritzcoffier, its walls adorned with period paintings, is a French fine dining establishment.
One morning I accompanied chef Mike to some of the local farms, dairies and food purveyors that supply the resort. Everything from luscious strawberries, the finest produce to local cheese and meats was so fresh and of the highest quality. Everyone had so much pride in their product. That’s the SWISS way and it shows in the flavorful food.
How To Go: SWISS International Airlines offers direct service to Zurich from New York. In Zurich, visitors can connect via car service or 50 minute train ride to Lucerne and a 20 minute Burgenstock shuttle boat to the resort.