GOURMET EXPERIENCES IN THE SNOW
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF, ALTA BADIA TOURISM
Chefs all the way up at 2,000 metres? Skiing followed by a tasty breakfast? A wine ski safari? If you are into food, and love skiing, Alta Badia might just be the perfect holiday destination for you.
On 10 December last year, the Gourmet Skisafari delighted participants in its ninth edition. On the slopes of Alta Badia, in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, it was an itinerant journey; one that took participating skiers from one hut to the next in search of new dishes and internationally renowned chefs. The chefs that were involved this time and brought gourmet cuisine to the slopes of Alta Badia at 2,000 metres, were Norbert Niederkofler (Executive Chef at Restaurant St.Hubertus at Hotel Rosa Alpina, three Michelin stars and one green star), Simone Cantafio (Restaurant La Stüa de Michil, one Michelin star, at Hotel La Perla) and the food director, for a long time Italy’s best chef according to critics, Fulvio Pierangelini (Rocco Forte Hotels).
For the creation of the dishes, the chefs were inspired by the best products of the region, based on their own philosophy in the kitchen. True works of art were presented, not only for the palate, but also for the eye. There was, of course, the opportunity to meet the chefs in person and be told the story behind each dish. The initiative was also to give a concrete signal towards adopting a sustainable approach to gastronomy. The participating chefs created their dishes while reducing waste and with a focus on protecting our planet. Each dish was accompanied by a South Tyrolean wine, chosen by a South Tyrolean sommelier.
A taste for skiing
Examples of the dishes presented were ‘potato dumplings and puccia bread with graukäse cheese cream and speck ragout’, ‘smooth cauliflower soup, teriyaki cockerel sauce and potato churros with mountain mushroom topping’, as well as ‘barley soup, mint chickpeas, black cabbage’. These and five other star dishes can still be sampled at the eight huts participating in A Taste For Skiing, throughout the winter season. This winter’s edition of the initiative is being held under the banner of ‘legàmi’ (relations), understood as connections, conjunctions, harmony between people, places, memories and values, but also relations as the drive and desire to share emotions in total freedom.
The aim of A Taste For Skiing 2022/23 is to give a strong and concrete signal of solidarity, in support of less lucky children suffering from incurable or disabling diseases. Therefore, for the whole of the coming winter season, for every A Taste For Skiing dish served in the refuges participating in the initiative, three euros will be donated to the charity associations ‘La migliore vita possibile’ and ‘Momo’. Leading chefs and pastry chefs, Massimiliano Alajmo, Corrado Assenza, Luigi Biasetto, Luca Cantarin, Leonardo Di Carlo, Ezio Marinato and Luca Rasi, will also contribute to the charity initiative by making tins of biscuits for free, which will be donated to those who order an A Taste For Skiing dish in the participating huts.
Sommelier on the slopes
The chance to taste some of South Tyrol’s finest wines in two different mountain huts whilst admiring the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: this could only happen in Alta Badia. Following the success of the last editions, Sommelier on the Slopes will be returning to Alta Badia for the 2022/23 winter season. The aim of this great event is to enhance the winning combination of skiing and excellent local products. There are six dates planned, scheduled between December and April (13 December, 17 January, 7 and 14 February, 7 March and 4 April), each involving wonderful skiing on Alta Badia’s slopes, combined with the chance to taste South Tyrol’s finest wines.
Participants will be accompanied by a ski instructor as well as a professional sommelier. The price of the wine tasting session, including the ski guide, is 40 euros per person. These are the mountain huts where the events will take place: Ütia de Bioch, Club Moritzino, Ütia I Tablá, Ütia Las Vegas Lodge, Ütia Lé, Ütia Tamá and Ütia Pic Pré. In addition to these events, there are two special editions scheduled for January 24 (Club Moritzino and Ütia de Bioch) and March 21 (Club Moritzino andi Ütia I Tablá). During these events, four South Tyrolean wines will be tasted in combination with four dishes. The special editions cost 80 euros per person. Each event is organised together with the South Tyrol Wine Consortium and South Tyrol’s Sommelier Association.
Local is best
In the week from 12 to 19 March, Roda dles Saus returns; the event dedicated to local gastronomy. It takes place in the Skitour La Crusc ski area, which can be easily reached from La Villa, thanks to the ski lift connection. At each participating mountain hut, it will be possible to taste a dish of Ladin cuisine, created in collaboration with local producers. On Sunday, 12 March 2023, the opening event of the week will be organised with show-cooking and traditional music.
The participating huts, their dishes and producers are: Ütia Nagler with potato gnocchi with goat cheese and cress. The goat cheese is a product of the Maso Corcela farm; Ütia L’Tamá with a typical pancake with forest honey from the beekeeper Milio Terza; Ütia La Crusc-Santa Croce with burnt wheat pappardelle with beef ragout from the farm Lüch da Ciampidel; Ütia Lé with pressed grey-cheese dumplings with capucci salad. The grey cheese is a product of the farm Lüch Chi Pra; Ütia Ranch d’André with venison goulash soup with venison from the hunter Davide. This mountain hut is reachable just by walking from La Val or from the Santa Croce church.
Wine tasting 2,000 metres above sea level
Fancy a wine ski safari while on your vacation? On Sunday 26 March 2023, Alta Badia will be bringing South Tyrol’s finest wines to the mountains for an exclusive tasting session, set to take place from 10am until 3.30pm in the Piz Arlara, Ütia de Bioch, I Tablá and Pralongiá mountain huts.
The aim of the event is to round off the winter season in style, dedicated to excellent food and wine. The tickets, that include the tasting of all the wines, can be purchased at the participating mountain huts at a price of 35 euros. The event is organised by Alta Badia Brand, together with IDM (Innovation Development Marketing), and with the support of the South Tyrol Wine Consortium.
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