Having previously only visited Switzerland for a brief moment en route to a French ski resort, it was quite surprising to find ourselves heading to Zurich for the second time in as many months. This country is fast becoming one of our favourite weekend getaways, especially Zurich, with it’s beautiful views, excellent wines and delicious dining experiences. However, when we landed for the second time, we quickly found ourselves being whisked away into the mountains, close to the border of Lichtenstein.
In December we had the absolute privilege of being invited to the launch of a very exciting new opening. Along with other international journalists, we found ourselves arriving at the beautiful Grand Resort Bad Ragaz for a press conference with Andreas Caminada, head chef of Schauenstein, one of the World’s Top 50 Restaurants, which has been awarded 3 Michelin Stars and 19 Gault et Millau points.
Schauenstein was not the reason for this meeting of minds though as we were here to witness the unveiling of Andreas’ new creation, IGNIV. Centred at the heart of Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Amanda describes the new opening as a ‘refreshingly new concept with very high-quality, authentic cuisine’ and stated that inspiration was ‘enjoying life and celebrating indulgence and time, for all ages’. Now that’s a philosophy we can get on board with!
Following the press conference, we were invited to join Andreas as the first people to look behind the curtains of IGNIV and enjoy a exquisite four course lunch. Where IGNIV differs from many high-end restaurants that we have had the pleasure to sample, is that the dining philosophy is based on the idea of sharing to promote a more social experience. The name IGNIV has a Rhaeto-Romanic origin and translates in English to “nest”, thus the perfect name for this dining concept, as it represents enjoyable moments spent with family or friends.
Having toasted to the opening of IGNIV with the obligatory champagne, we sat down for a brilliant four course sharing menu that fluctuated between delicate and intricate dishes such as the rich Goose Liver Meringue and refreshing Beetroot Chrunch or the more wholesome and rustic Veal Rib Chop with Mushroom and Eschalots.
The surprising thing about the sharing menu was that each course consisted of 7-8 individual dishes, creating more of a banquet than a tasting menu.
Goose Liver Flower Meringue
Egg In A Nest
Air Bread With Prawn
Marinated Char Carrot With Onion
Lettuce With Truffle
Beef Tartar With Potato Chip
Chicken With Goose Liver Terrine
Veal Rib Chop With Mushroom & Eschalots
Braised Veal Cheek
Tortellini With Truffle & Cicorino Rosso
White Cabbage Salad & Bacon
Pumpkin Three Ways
Cauliflower With Egg Yolk & Nut Butter
Cut-Up Sour Cream Pancake
Macaron With Apple & Calvados
Stand out dishes included the Braised Veal Cheek with Sprouts that melted away on the tongue with minimal force and was beautifully paired with a glass of Hermann’s Grand Maitre, delivered from giant 6 litre bottles to add to the theatre of the grand unveiling. Another top dish was the Chicken with Goose Liver Terrine, presented as expected from a fine dining experience, pristinely put together and brimming with flavour at every mouthful.
As you can see from the Dessert course, there was a large emphasis on the apple! Not an issue for us, as hailing from the West Country, we have a huge admiration for this fruit. The table was laden with an assortment of treats featuring authentic dishes with winter seasonal ingredients and more refined and subtle offerings, such as the delicious Macaron With Apple & Calvados.
Once the final mouthful had been taken and the last drop of wine sipped, it was to the acknowledgement of all at our table that it had been a great success. Obviously with such a plethora of dishes on show, there were those that split decisions amongst us and those that won all our hearts but the overriding result of the preview feast was that this was a brilliant concept and it would be a welcomed addition to Chef Caminada’s crown.
Only time will tell when the Michelin Stars will be awarded to IGNIV, it’s just a matter of how long and how many. One thing that is a fact though is that Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is a true destination hotel, equipped for a perfect foodie retreat.
We The Food Snobs x