At the top of the 2,300 metre-high Gütsch-Express mountain station in the Swiss ski resort of Andermatt resides Markus Neff’s Michelin-starred restaurant Gütsch. Ahead of the resort’s reopening for the summer season, we speak to the chef about the challenges of running a high altitude restaurant and his childhood memories of family cooking
1. Tell us more about your dining concept “From Valley Low to Mountain High” – what does that mean exactly?
It means using everything that the mountains and the valley have to offer, preferably regional and Swiss products, but also everything else if the quality is right. Cuisine for everyone.
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2. Who or what has influenced your tastes in food and cooking?
My mother’s cuisine, childhood memories (back then without fast food), my father’s Sunday roasts, and a lot of curiosity.
3. What’s your typical process for developing a new dish?
It starts by having an idea, then bringing it to the plate. It often comes from the gut, but can also be triggered by regular customers who want something new or new products.
4. How do you think your cooking style has evolved over the years?
I’m always looking for something new, and try to be open to everything, but at the same time, I preserve the signature of my kitchen and avoid jumping on every trend.
5. What are some of the challenges of running a fine dining restaurant at high altitude?
The transport of goods, the height at which we work, weather conditions and sometimes, time pressure (but that last one has nothing to do with altitude).
6. Can you give us any clues of what to expect from the new season menu at Gütsch?
The menu will only be done at the beginning of the season, but you can certainly except fresh products, homemade pasta, dishes adapted to the summer. Let us surprise you!
Gütsch reopens for the season on 3 July 2021. For the latest updates and more information visit: guetsch.com