SPONTANEOUS AND CREATIVE: CULINARY SKIING EXPERIENCES
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.
The skiing season in Alta Badia, in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, opens from 5 December to 7 April. But while visitors can look forward to snow-covered slopes and apres-ski fun as in other regions, they also have something a bit more special to experience: The 14th edition of ‘Skifahren mit Genuss’ (skiing with pleasure) in the winter season of 2023/2024. For this special event, participating chefs will each be paired with a ‘partner hut’ from Alta Badia, for which they will create a dish that will be offered to skiers throughout the winter season.
This year, spontaneity will inspire the chefs who will bring to life the fourteenth edition of Skiing with Pleasure, the gastronomic event that, year after year, makes the winter season in Alta Badia a culinary highlight. The dishes offered are a hymn to simplicity, and stand in perfect harmony with the alpine landscape that surrounds the event. And between great chefs who will create their dishes based on these concepts and an idea of hospitality that is always new and stimulating, Skiing with Pleasure wants to be a meeting point in the name of the good, the beautiful and togetherness. The concept of the initiative remains unchanged: eight star chefs are each assigned a mountain hut on the slopes in Alta Badia.
The dishes are served in the mountain huts Ütia Lé, Ütia L’Tamá, Club Moritzino, Ütia Las Vegas, Ütia I Tablá, Ütia de Bioch, Ütia Jimmy and Ütia Edelweiß. The chef lineup this year includes two chefs that were awarded with three Michelin stars – Massimiliano Alajmo from Le Calandre and Ana Roš from Hiša Franko. Ana’s cuisine is coined by dishes that live in harmony with nature. She is the eighth woman in the world to receive three Michelin stars. Her restaurant is currently also the only Slovenian restaurant to have three Michelin stars.
Other participating chefs this year are Simone Cantafio, Andrea Berton, Gianluca Gorini, Errico Recanati, Diego Rossi, and Tomaž Kavčič. All of them were asked to create their recipes with waste reduction and planetary protection in mind, thus contributing to the sustainable initiatives of Alta Badia, the fourth destination in Italy to receive GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) certification has.
In former years, 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. 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’.
The aim of this year’s ‘Skifahren mit Genuss’ is to give a strong 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 establishments participating in the initiative, three euros will be donated to the charity association ‘La migliore vita possibile’.
On 9 December, visitors to Alta Badia can also participate in the annual ‘Gourmet Skisafari’ which will take participating skiers from one hut to the next in search of new dishes and internationally renowned chefs. For the creation of the dishes, the chefs are inspired by the best products of the region, based on their own philosophy in the kitchen. There will be, of course, the opportunity to meet the chefs in person and be told the story behind each dish.
SUNRISA: Sunrise skiing
For winter sports enthusiasts this one is the fulfillment of a dream. Make your turns on empty and virgin slopes in front of a magnificent mountain backdrop. Even better: you’ll get an excellent breakfast in five different huts at an altitude of 2,000m. On Monday, December 18th, the lifts on the high plateau of Alta Badia will start operating at dawn. This means skiers can enjoy the sunrise at 2,000m altitude and the perfect, untouched slopes, which were carefully prepared the night before with numerous snow groomers. The perfect complement to this unique ski experience is the rich breakfast with high-quality and healthy regional ingredients in the ski huts Club Moritzino, I Tablá, Ütia de Bioch, Piz Arlara and Las Vegas. Each ski hut will specialize in one component of the breakfast, such as milk, grains, eggs or fruit. In order to guarantee the highest quality, the composition of the breakfast is selected together with nutritionist Elena Casiraghi.
New this year: The Brunch Tribe
For those that don’t want to get up early, a new brunch offering might just do the trick. Participating in The Brunch Tribe is an exclusive and unforgettable experience. The private hut in the Piz Sorega area can be reached on skis or on foot, but always accompanied by a guide and only on the few days when the events take place. The brunch, prepared consists of local products. Vegetables are the main product of the brunch, accompanied by local cheeses, eggs, cakes, and natural wines. The brunches will take place on selected dates in the mornings in January, February and March. Reservations are required online at www.altabadia.org or directly at the Alta Badia information offices.
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 2023/1024 winter season on 12 December, 9 and 23 January, 20 February, 5, 12, and 19 March, as well as 2 April. The aim of this great event is to enhance the winning combination of skiing and excellent local products. 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. Each event is organised together with the South Tyrol Wine Consortium and South Tyrol’s Sommelier Association.
From ski hut to ski hut. From top wine to top wine. The Wine Ski Safari on Sunday, March 24, 2024, is one of the absolute highlights of the culinary winter season in Alta Badia. The event is an exclusive tasting of the best wines in South Tyrol that will take place in the Piz Arlara, Ütia de Bioch, I Tablá and Pralongiá ski huts. A high-class and stylish way to celebrate a personal end to the ski season. Tickets, priced at €35.00, which allow tasting of all wines, can be purchased in the participating huts on the day of the event.
More culinary winter events
In the week from 17 to 24 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 17 March, the opening event of the week will be organised with show-cooking and traditional music.
Last but not least, there is another attraction to choose from throughout the winter season. Frühstück mit Pulverschnee (breakfast with powder snow) in the Las Vegas ski hut offers an unusual experience; a combination of a delicious breakfast with the best South Tyrolean ingredients and empty, freshly groomed slopes before the official start of the day.
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