With gardens blooming and taste buds ready for a change after the heavy fare of winter menus, Veggie Week is returning to Geneva, with the city’s top hotel-restaurant chefs whipping up some stunning new dishes to impress your palate. Aimed at vegetarians, vegans and yes, meat eaters, too, this two-week event runs from the 4th — 17th of June and serves up a feast for the eyes and the stomach by means of the freshest produce available from local kitchen gardens.
Don’t you love turning the corner on a tried-and-true path only to lock eyes on something refreshingly new and unexpected. Happened to me last week as I zigzagged through town and came upon the bright and cheery shopfront window of Royaume Melazic (the Kingdom of Melazic).
For those in the know, the Auberge de Bogis-Bossey is a little hidden treasure, nestled in a pocket of tranquility just off a busy street in the neighborhood after which it’s named. A charming facade and bell tower hint at the pleasures on offer in its gourmet restaurant and its laid back café (the Auberge, as its name suggests, also offers lodgings). In the summer months, lunch or dinner on its patio offers shade and relaxation as patrons enjoy items from an excellent à la carte menu or a menu du jour that’s comparable in price to those of other auberges but a distinct cut above in the quality and variety of ingredients, and in flavor, imagination and presentation.
Head Chef Alessio Corda loves healthy, seasonal, full-flavored ingredients — preferably locally sourced — for his delicious dishes at the Ritz-Carlton Hôtel de la Paix’s stylish new restaurant the Living Room, the launch of which I had the pleasure of attending in January. With Spring rapidly approaching, I asked Chef Corda for a recipe that reflects the changing of the seasons and fulfills the wish that I and probably many of you have to transition to lighter fare. This delicious dish delivers on that request but doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of flavor, beauty or nutrition.
Although technology-driven and educational, “Nest” bursts with fun, humor and heart — and conjures lots of fond food memories — so its message is never out of the reach of even the youngest visitor. On 15 June 2016, the CHF50 million “discovery center” Nest opened its doors to the public in the stunningly renovated factory space in Vevey where Henry Nestlé invented in 1867 and went on to manufacture his groundbreaking, lifesaving powdered baby formula (farine lactée). Elements of the original factory, including metal girders, patched-up brick walls, and a looming facade that was once the external wall of the original workplace have been cleverly enfolded within a spacious, glass fronted structure.
Since the early 1900s, Geneva’s food hall has been a beloved feature of culinary life in the city. Many generations of the same local families — and expatriates and visitors who come and go and come back again — loyally purchase goods from the merchants whose stands line the two long corridors of the Halle de Rive. The President of the Halle’s Merchants’ Association tells me why that’s so. One of my favorite shortcuts — whether or not I needed food — when walking to my former home in Geneva’s Eaux-Vives district from the city centre led me straight through La Halle de Rive, a culinary corridor running between Rue Pierre-Fatio and Boulevard Helvétique. The observance of quality and service, the array of beautifully presented produce, the friendly greetings of the food merchants, and the enjoyment of the locals gathering for lunch or raising un verre at the in-house Bistro des Halles left me feeling I was sharing a cherished, time-honored tradition in the life of the city. Which, of course, I was.
The diversity of foreign foodstuffs on Swiss and local French supermarket shelves has dramatically increased over the past few decades as has the number of independent suppliers offering high-quality ethnic ingredients from faraway sources. So an expat desperate for a fix of home needn’t go far to satisfy cravings for a favorite edible or to find the necessary ingredients to whip up a beloved dish in their own kitchens.