The Best Fondue Experience in Zurich

Last year, I truly enjoyed the KRUG Chalet at The Dolder Grand and went there many times to indulge in the best fondue ever. It’s back this year slightly smaller due to the pandemic situation but not less yummy. Inside the so-called KRUG Carnotzet Pop-up coziness meets exclusivity. Carnotzet is a French-Swiss word meaning a small room beside the wine cellar where one samples wines.

There you can enjoy «DAS Fondue», the most extraordinary fondue creation by star chef Heiko Nieder, Chef Fine Dining at the Dolder Grand, and the well-known Swiss Maître Fromager Rolf Beeler, with a noble champagne accompaniment from Maison KRUG. As a perfect complement, five carefully selected exclusivities from the KRUG «Single Ingredient Program» create a surprising, challenging and contrasting gourmand experience.

Every year,  Maison KRUG challenges its ambassadors, top chefs from all over the world, to create dishes from just one ingredient. The most popular ingredients from different years and various occasions were integrated into this year’s menu under the motto «World of Craft Style».

To finish off the experience, guests are served a selection of three meat specialties: Morcon de Chorizo, Pata Negra and salami with truffle. In addition to common bread and potatoes, green olives, anchovies and quail eggs pickled in peperoncini macinati will be served. Each guest also enjoys half a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée as well as mineral water and coffee or tea. The breathtaking view of Zurich and the Alps is free.

The KRUG Carnotzet Pop-up will be open until the end of February 2021 (with the option of an extension). This year, it is kept particularly intimate, as the Carnotzet can only accommodate up to four people.

Price for two people: CHF 450.-. To book, click here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Dolder Grand
DISCLOSURE: This post is NOT sponsored, I just love it!

For All Senses

On Monday evening, I was invited to a unique sensory experience by two famous Maisons, Christian Dior and Moët & Chandon. Both have united to create a new temporary concept, dedicated to the perfect olfactory pleasure at the ONYX Bar of Senses at Park Hyatt Zurich. Imagine, perfume that you can drink. Combining the savoir-faire of the perfumers and the cellar masters, cocktail lovers can enjoy an exclusive and individually prepared selection created by Hercules Tsibis, Bar Manager and Master Mixologist at the ONYX Bar.

Practicing social distancing: Hercules Tsibis with me

He developed six signature cocktails inspired by six exclusive fragrances of Maison Christian Dior, that harmonize perfectly with the aromas of the Moët & Chandon champagne Impérial Brut and Rosé. With the creative freedom of both houses, Hercules and his team created also six «essences», which enable a more intense version of the cocktails based on the principle of culinary reduction. Mixed with Moët & Chandon champagne, these «essences» offer a journey of taste.

Named after six beautiful scents by Maison Christian Dior that were chosen for their olfactory diversity, you can enjoy «La Colle Noire», «Rouge Trafalgar», «Bois d’Argent», «Gris Dior», «Spice Blend» and «Rose Kabuki». The menu offers two separate variations for each signature cocktail: a cocktail and an «essence».

«Essences» with miniature fragrances

Cocktail, accompanied by amuse-bouche and miniature of the fragrance CHF 28.50
«Essence», accompanied by an amuse bouche and miniature of the fragrance CHF 19.50

With beautiful Christa Rigozzi at the event last Monday.

Let yourself be enchanted by this experience, which consists of the play of colors, a bouquet of aromas and the extraordinary variety of perfumes. For this sensual sensory journey, head chef Tarik Lange created an amuse bouche that perfectly complements and completes your selection.

Filming the live talk between…

… Kiki Mäder, Tarik Lange and Stephen Ansell, GM Park Hyatt Hotel Zurich (from left to right).

You can enjoy it only for a limited amount of time, starting today until November 28, 2020 at the ONYX Bar of Senses at Park Hyatt Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

My favorite cocktail: Rose Kabuki

Photos: © David Biedert Photography

Baur’s Private Art Collection

«Impeccably imperfect» – that is the new catchy slogan that the new Baur’s plays with. Imagined by Andrea Kracht and created by trendsetting interior designer Martin Brudnizki, who designed the elite nightclub «Annabel’s» in London as well as the «Beekman Hotel» in New York City and «Fortum & Mason» in Hong Kong, this hot spot in Zurich will finally reopen its doors in September this year.

I had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful interior during a guided art tour as guest of Gigi Kracht followed by a beautiful intimate ladies lunch on the terrace of the Baur au Lac.

Gigi Kracht (center with green jacket) surrounded by her girlfriends.

«Take a set, grab a treat» – the classic brasserie concept is elevated to a whole new level, blending contemporary chic with international grace in an artful, inviting ambience. The colors blend in perfectly, the retro vibe delivers a certain twist. I adore the interior design of the Baur’s. It gives me this international flair that we are sometimes missing in Zurich.

As I am at the moment designing my new home, color is also a must for me along with stunning wallpapers to create the perfect ambiance. The Baur’s has it all. I am not a minimalist and white rooms don’t make me feel at home. I couldn’t agree more with Brudnizki who says: «When I enter a white space, I feel like I’m being deprived of something. Color infuses my life

The best is yet to come. The green color combined with the coral red of the armchairs serves as the perfect backdrop for the highlight of the restaurant: the private art collection. Drawing on the expertise of Gigi Kracht, Andrea Kracht’s wife, that my avid readers know well from her Art in the Park events, the room is filled with selected works from the world’s most popular painters: thirty-three originals by artists such as Rashid Johnson, Rita Ackermann, and Martin Creed to photographs by the iconic Annie Leibovitz, to intimate art work by Louise Bourgeois who shares a raw look at female pain.

Painting by Louise Bourgeois

Even that these simple yet cruel images contain a sensual sense of loss and the often unspoken sorrow of miscarriage, they seem to belong there, to this place of happiness and relaxation among dear friends or business partners, providing the bar area with a certain coziness.

Photographs by Annie Leibovitz

Cigar aficionados will enjoy the cigar lounge that is decked out from top to toe in Baur’s green and decorated with artwork by Swiss artist Dieter Roth, who took tablecloths, or even the floor as his canvas to scribble on.

Painting by Dieter Roth 

Playing all together, the new Baur’s is a feast for all senses. Vive la Brasserie! Vive le Baur’s!

LoL, Sandra

Artwork by Martin Creed

Painting by Rita Ackermann

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Dinner at Anne-Sophie Pic in Valence

During summer we love to go on a gourmet tour through France and Italy, which means we stop every second day at a two or three Michelin stars restaurant. It has become a tradition and it is great to be back in our favorite locations. This time, we took another route and visited for the first time Anne-Sophie Pic in Valence. This has been the best culinary experience we have had so far.

Personally speaking, you can feel that a woman is behind the creations. The dishes are light and fresh. Even after the 10-course «voyage» I didn’t feel stuffed as I usually do. You can taste that Anne-Sophie Pic takes a lot of devotion to find the best fresh ingredients. Her menu changes accordingly to the market. In fact, Anne-Sophie Pic is always moving. She is perpetually seeking new, complex flavour associations.

By finding non-consensual flavours such as the bitter, the acidic, the salty, the roasted, and the smoked and by taming them, she incorporates often overlooked produce such as beetroot, turnip or cabbage. In order to explore all of their possible uses in the kitchen, she approaches the ingredients in their totality, rather than cinnamon sticks, she prefers the cinnamon leaf.

The amazing anti-alcoholic accompaniment – the most extraordinary experience: pine needle tea (photo middle below).

The best? Forget the traditional wine pairing. At Anne-Sophie Pic you can order an anti-alcoholic accompaniment, which consists of different cocktails that are prepared at the table (the show is already worth it) and sophisticated teas.

The 51-year old French chef inherited her talent from her family. 3 generations, 3 stars, her father Jacques gained the restaurant «Maison Pic» three Michelin stars in 1973 and her grandfather André in 1934. Even that she spent a lot of time in the kitchen watching her father preparing his creations, she initially decided not to follow in their footsteps, and instead travelled overseas to train in management. In 1992, at the age of 23, she realised her place was by her father’s side so she could learn how to cook and develop the brand that was also her surname.

Unfortunately, her father died only three months later, and she moved to working the front of the house. In 1995, the restaurant lost its third Michelin star, for which she felt she had lost «her father’s star», and spurred her to return to the kitchen. In 1997, Pic took control of the restaurant. Even that she had no formal training in cooking – this is what I call real talent – she regained Maison Pic’s three Michelin stars in 2007.

An explosion of taste and color: amuse-bouche by Anne-Sophie Pic.

She is the fourth female chef to win three Michelin stars, and was awarded the Best Female Chef by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2011. In the same year, she was named a Chevalier (Knight) of the French Legion of Honour. Isn’t it bizarre that women are supposed to be in the kitchen but the best chefs are all men?! I think, gentlemen, you should reconsider your dedications at home!

The divine white millefeuille served with milk foam is Anne-Sophie’s signature dessert dish. Click here for the recipe.

Great news is that we have also an Anne-Sophie Pic restaurant in Switzerland, located in Lausanne at the Beau-Rivage Palace. It was awarded two Michelin stars in 2009. There is more, the dedicated brunette has built a complete gourmand empire. Along with her husband David Sinapian, she establishes the PIC Group along with her SCOOK culinary school in Valence (2008), the ÉPICerie Fine in Valence (2010), la Dame de Pic in Paris (1 star), the Daily Pic (the gourmet verrines of Anne-Sophie Pic – 2014 and 2018), the restaurant André (2016) and la Dame de Pic London (1 star – 2017).

Visiting the kitchen after our excellent dinner experience.

Nevertheless, to really get her essence, you should visit her in her home in Valence. During the dinner, she will pass by to greet you and in the end I was even able to visit the impressive kitchen.

We stayed at her 5-star hotel Maison Pic in Valence. The restaurant is located within the property. The rooms are beautiful, you have an outdoor pool and the breakfast the next day is to die for. I have never in my life had such an amazing chocolate croissant.
One thing is for sure, we will be back soon!

LoL, Sandra

Breakfast at Anne-Sophie Pic

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht 
DISCLOSURE: This post is NOT sponsored. 

A Fashionable Picnic Box

A match made in heaven. My beloved illustrated character by artist and my dear friend Jasmin Khezri (rumors are that Irma seeked some inspiration from my humble self as she loves shopping as much as I do), and my favorite champagne have collaborated this picnic season and created a special box Irma x Ruinart for you to get at Feinkost Marks in Munich (you can also order them online).

Whether you prefer a salty snack or something sweet matching the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Rosé, you can select among several boxes catering to your respective taste. Here are some great tips:

Go by bike to Feinkost Marks and drive along the Isar to find an idyllic place to sip your chilled champagne. Irma suggests a fresh selection of cheeses to a Blanc de Blancs and some Muscat grapes.

You might be looking for a unique present for the garden party at your friend’s house. Choose the sweet desert variation box that matches lovely with the champagne and makes a great gift. On the go grab a delicious ice cream which combines heavenly with a dash of champagne.

If you travel further to the countryside, make a selection that keeps fresh and delicious. We chose fine crackers to accompany Marks homemade delicatessen.

Treat yourself and a friend with a glass of champagne to slowly start getting social again. A bench in the park is the ideal place to talk or daydream. A personalized picnic box makes such a great gift, don’t you think?

Each limited edition picnic box comes with a hand painted IRMA illustration, two bottles of medium size champagne Rosé and Blanc de Blancs, as well as two RUINART champagne glasses.

For some inspiration what to do in Munich, I would kindly invite you to check Jasmin’s insider tips for the Bavarian metropole here. I am loving it very much, makes me miss my old hometown so much…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Irma/Ruinart

Dolce & Gabbana Rosa

The pleasure of the family that meets at the dining table and the conviviality that survives even in the delicate moment: Dolce & Gabbana and Donnafugata renew their collaboration by giving life to Rosa, a new rosé wine with a fruity and floral personality.

The perfect ambassador of two Made in Italy excellences, united by their unconditional love for Sicily, passion for work and attention to detail.

Born from a vintage of 2019, Rosa is characterized by an original blend of two of the most important autochthonous vines of the island’s tradition: Nerello Mascalese and Nocera.

With a refined pink tinge, this wine is defined by an elegant bouquet of jasmine, enriched with delicate hints of wild strawberry, peach and bergamot. It has a very pleasant fragrance, minerality and persistence.

Perfect for aperitifs, raw fish, vegetarian dishes and delicate meats. It is excellent to be served at 10-12° C. Rosé is always a great idea in summer, and indulging in a Dolce & Gabbana moment is even better… for more information, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana and Donnafugata

Erica and The Survival Box

Today, I would like to introduce you to my dear friend Erica Pelosini Leeman. If you don’t know who this bundle of energy is, then you’ve been sleeping under a rock. Being an extroverted Italian stylist, editor and creative director who’s contributing regularly to Vogue and other high-end fashion titles, she has been traveling constantly around the globe for fashion shoots and all sorts of glamorous events. As her hectic life has come to a halt this year due to the corona crisis, she took this unique opportunity to reflect and channel all her amazing energy towards creating something that can make staying at home a bit more pleasant: THE SURVIVAL BOX.

Erica Pelosini Leeman

SLEEP, EAT, RESET, HEAL and REPEAT – that is the motto. Survival Box’s goal is for everyone to be strong and survive this unique and challenging time and also to help families and children in need along the way! By buying a box not only are you gifting yourself some amazing goodies but you are also helping to further Erica’s mission of providing essential items and basic food to children and families in need deeply impacted by Covid-19.

Our lifestyle before the corona virus: Erica and I together on a yacht for the fragrance launch of Tom Ford Lavender Extrême in Gordes, at the De Grisogono Gala during Cannes Film Festival or celebrating Mary Katrantzou and her fantastic S/S 2020 show in Athens.

Erica, do you miss all your travels at the moment?
I would never have thought I would say this, but actually NO! However, I am of course missing my family in Florence but I am very happy that they are all safe in quarantine in our country side house with our  horses and dogs!
Just before everything started I was traveling nonstop, in one month I had been to Aspen 5 times, Milano, Florence, Germany, Paris, LA, NY, St Barth’s. First I thought, I hap planned to stay in the Caribbean but I got scared I couldn’t go back to California where I’m now super happy to be! For once home with my husband and my dog!

You HAVE so much energy. How does your day look like during quarantine?
You know me well! After spending some time organizing my closet, bags, shoes by colour (something I NEVER thought I would have time to do in my life), learning how cook something more elaborate than my green juice in the morning, almost getting a sun burn at my pool, I took some time off to think, about my friends and everything that is going on in the world at the moment. This was the point, when I decided to invest all my energy towards something good, to keep my friends healthy and strong but at the same time to help others that really need our support! There are so many innocent families affected by the corona crisis due to school closures, financial problems or domestic violence.

This was exactly when the idea of «the survival box» came to my mind, to pamper while staying at home, a box filled with many goodies that support everyone’s well-being and health.  We already got requests from hospitals to have the boxes delivered as a treat for their doctors and nurses. This made me so happy, to know that «the survival box» can also be a treat for those angels that are working on the frontline daily for all us.

How did you choose the products for the survival box? Did you know most of them before or did you go on a virtual «treasure hunt»?
I’m a total freak when it comes to health and well being. In my free time, I have always loved researching the best vitamins, workouts, super food, hair and beauty products. I literally put all this knowledge in my project so that everyone can boost their immune system while being at home and make quarantine a little bit more enjoyable so that we will all glow once this crisis is over. Everything to stay healthy, strong, hydrated, informed, styled, fit, and energized, you can find in the box !

From eating clean with Gr8nola’s charcoal gluten free granola, to chilling and getting some good sleep with Ouai Miracle Chill Bath Pills and glowing skin with Shea Marie’s new skincare line «The Feelist», to my favorite detox Sorate green tea, one of the best sources of antioxidants; then you can train with celebrity-obsession Body By Simone workouts, and get advice on how to age gracefully with Naturium Retinol cream and go-to kick Vitamin C from Vital Proteins. You will also get the ultimate clear skin routine from Zitstika, the perfect way to style your hair while at home with Mermade hair and advice from the experts in health, wellness, fitness, food, and beauty at C Magazine.

What is the first thing you will do once this quarantine time is over?
I have many amazing projects on hold that I hopefully can reveal then. But so far, I truly wish that I will be able to spend the summer with my family as this has always been our tradition.

SLEEP, EAT, RESET, HEAL and REPEAT – that is the motto. Survival Box’s goal is for everyone to be strong and survive this unique and challenging time and also to help families and children in need along the way! By buying a box not only are you gifting yourself some amazing goodies but you are also helping to further Erica’s mission of providing essential items and basic food to children and families in need deeply impacted by Covid-19.

30% of all the proceeds will be donated to charity. Furthermore, a 10% discount will be applied if you would like to gift a box to the amazing doctors, nurses and health care workers at the hospitals. A much well deserved treat after a long shift at the frontlines. And great news is – THE SURVIVAL BOX ships internationally.

As Erica says: «We are all in this together. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home.
BEING KIND IS COOL!»
Thank you!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © THE SURVIVAL BOX – Instagram:@survivalbox.co and @ericapelosini

Krug Chalet

In the name of the House of Krug & The Dolder Grand Hotel Zurich, I was invited to the most amazing fondue above the rooftops of Zurich and personally speaking one of the best ones I have ever had!

The Krug Chalet brings together traditional Swiss cuisine and a stunning panoramic view of Zurich at the very highest level.

With Heiko Nieder in front of the Krug Chalet

DAS Fondue is a joint creation by Heiko Nieder, Chef Fine Dining at The Restaurant and «Chef of the Year 2019», and Maître Fromager Rolf Beeler and consists of Gruyère, Vacherin from Fribourg, Raclette from the Valais and Mimolette, combined with paprika and jalapeños. A truly interesting and new taste for a fondue – I loved it!

With Heiko Nieder at the helm, the Dolder Grand’s fine-dining restaurant was awarded 2 Michelin stars and 19 GaultMillau points. Rolf Beeler, who truly can claim to be one of the leading cheese experts, has been turning the Swiss world of cheese on its head for a number of years. Exquisite cheese meets haute cuisine. The dishes designed to perfectly complement the Krug champagnes are true classics that offer an explosion of flavours.

Guests will be served chorizo, Iberian ham aged for 36 months, and a Spanish dried black pudding. These specialities will be accompanied by DAS Fondue, that can be enjoyed in the traditional way with bread baked in a wood-fired oven and potatoes, or with anchovies and olives for a touch of Iberian flair.

Happy faces at the Krug Chalet. 

But why is the paprika so important? Pioneers of taste: As part of the Single Ingredient programme, Krug works with culinary ambassadors across the world to select a single special ingredient that celebrates the individuality of each of their vineyards. After all, the vineyard plays a crucial role in defining the flavour of every champagne.

This year, paprika was the ingredient selected. Krug Cellar Master Eric Lebel introduced the chefs to the fascinating world of paprika during a trip to Oaxaca in Mexico. Krug and the Dolder Grand now present the results together with Krug Ambassador Heiko Nieder.

DAS Fondue The dinner comprises a trio of Spanish meat specialities, a signature fondue, half a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée, 167ème Édition, per person, mineral water and coffee or tea.

CHF 450.00 for two people
CHF 792.00 for four people
CHF 1188.00 for six people

The Krug Chalet offers reservations for a minimum of two people and can seat a total of up to six people (then you have the chalet exclusively). And for those who would like to try Rolf Beeler’s and Heiko Nieder’s creation at home, DAS Fondue is set to be available at the Dolder Grand’s Saltz restaurant and from Rolf Beeler from the end of November for CHF 28.00 (for two people).

The Chalet Krug is open now to January 31, 2020 (with the option of an extension).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Dolder Grand Hotel and © Sandra Bauknecht

Baur’s – Zurich’s New Hot Spot

In exactly one week, Zurich will have a new hot spot. Say hello to Baur’s – the new brasserie and bar is part of the famous hotel Baur au Lac.

For the last two decades, the Baur au Lac Grill Room was known as Rive Gauche, and one of Zurich’s most popular restaurants. But at the iconic hotel change is part of its DNA, and Baur’s, an all-new dining concept, inspired by the classic European brasserie, will open on September 20th.

The stunning interior design is blending contemporary chic with international grace in an artful, inviting ambience while the menu offers a fine selection of grill room-inspired dishes, modern takes on culinary classics and plant-based delicacies, paired with a sophisticated wine list, curated by the world’s best sommelier.

Opening hours Brasserie:
Monday – Sunday
Lunch 12 pm – 2:30 pm
Dinner 6 pm – 10:30 pm

Opening hours Bar:
Sunday – Thursday 3 pm – 12 am
Friday – Saturday 3 pm – 1 am

Visit baurs-zurich.ch for more information and to book your table.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Baur’s, Instagram ©baurszurich

Prêt-à-Portea: The Dior Couture Collection

When you come to London, I don’t want you to miss this season’s Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley, the legendary designer afternoon tea inspired by the world of fashion, that sees the iconic designs of Christian Dior take to the cakewalk for an unprecedented solo show inspired by the exhibition I told you about earlier this week – Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the V&A Museum.

The Dior Couture Collection transforms landmark pieces into exquisite biscuits, bakes and fancies. From the Junon Dress worn by Theo Graham at Le Pré Catalan in Paris 1949 to the Bar Jacket which has been synonymous with Dior since it took to the catwalk in 1947 as part of the «New Look,» each piece this season takes inspiration from Dior’s fashion history.

Your tea also includes a flavoursome collection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches. To drink, choose a loose leaf tea from the hotel’s extensive collection.

Email: dining@the-berkeley.co.uk
Call: +44 (0)20 7107 8866
Please note that the Dior Couture Collection will be served until 29 September 2019.

Prêt-à-Portea is priced at £60.00 per person.
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, £70.00 per person.
Signature Mocktail Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of a refreshing Mango & Rooibos mocktail, £70.00 per person.
Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, £76.00 per person.

We had such a great time and I hope that you will enjoy it as well!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht