Beef filet Wellington, salmon tartare, grilled scampi, mussels, duck à l’orange, scampi papparadelle, involtini di prosciutto con spinace (ham rolls stuffed with spinach), numerous cheeses, at least eight different flavors of ice cream, an assortment of pastries akin to that of a Parisian pastry shop.
And, those were just the highlights of the offerings at a recent Club Med St Moritz dinner. (See recent post, “Club Med St. Moritz,” February 2015) There was more — an assortment of salads, risotto, numerous tempting vegetable concoctions…
Who counts calories at Club Med where the food is truly over the top, and one of the resort’s many attractions? At St. Moritz, you could eat almost all day, beginning with a breakfast featuring the usual cereals, fresh fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice, breads, omelets, cheeses, cold meats, and eggs cooked to your specifications. One morning a chef was making donuts on the spot. Another morning he was filling freshly made croissants with jams or pastry creams. I indulged, figuring I’d burn up the calories on the ski slopes.
But then came lunch and dinner and more in between. At the club restaurant both lunch and dinner feature copious buffet selections, from several tables laden with cold delicacies, a line of various hot foods, a table of cheeses then on to the gorgeous desserts. At winter Club villages such as St. Moritz, there are usually Club restaurants on the slopes where skiers can have lunch, again a buffet of numerous hearty offerings. Club Med St. Moritz has two mountain restaurants.
Whether at lunch on the mountain or dinner in the club restaurant, will power failed me. I could not resist. I had to try as many different enticing edibles as possible (too many). But, I did take mini portions. Nonetheless the calories piled up.
Since St. Moritz is a winter club with most guests on the slopes during the day, a hearty après-ski snack awaits every afternoon – mini sandwiches, crepes or waffles, also made on the spot. Then, beginning about 6 p.m. the snack selection is put away and a copious assortment of pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres – and I don’t mean potato chips and peanuts — fills the tables in the lounge.
It’s all so good and tempting. How can you pass up fresh oysters, foie gras, roast suckling pig? I can diet when I get home, I reasoned.
The Club at St. Moritz has a capacity for about 550 guests, and it was at 90 percent occupancy during my February visit. Preparing such an incredible variety of food for all these guests on a daily basis has to be daunting. Giuseppe Apicella, assistant restaurant manager at Club Med St. Moritz, says organization and team work are essential. Each member of his team of 23 cooks, including four fulltime pastry chefs, knows what he or she has to do, he said. “For this reason, all is perfect. We aim for perfection.”
Quality ingredients are also a must. “All the products are the best we can get,” said Giuseppe. “The oysters are very fresh and from Holland.” (They were excellent.)
The cuisine of the region is not neglected. Be it Martinique, Mexico, Greece, China or Switzerland, Club restaurants always include local specialties. At St. Moritz, truffle fondue is offered. This required an advance reservation, and there was an extra charge. But, raclette was served one evening — no extra charge.
St. Moritz is close to the Italian border and most of the kitchen staff is Italian. “I prefer cooks from Italy. They are the most professional in the world,” said Giuseppe, a native of that country who worked at his family’s hotel- restaurant in southern Italy before joining Club Med three years ago.
So, it’s no surprise that Italian specials predominate at this mountain club, mainly served in the Italian restaurant adjacent to the main dining room. Fresh pasta with various sauces, pizza and other Italian favorites were on the agenda. You could try these, as well as the buffet in the main restaurant.
Beverages – as much as you want all day. Machines are at your disposal for coffee, soft drinks and juices. Cocktails and wine are offered at the bar. And, wine with dinner – as much as you want.
There is no extra charge for any of the above – all included in the Club Med package price.
“You have to wonder how they can offer all this food for the price,” commented my friend Gerlinde. “I paid 5 Swiss francs ($5.20) in town for just a cup of coffee.”
Indeed mind boggling. And, fattening. Even with the skiing, I gained a few kilos. I am still trying to shed them….but the delectable food adventure was worth every bite.
My all-inclusive ski week at Club Med St.Moritz cost 1,141 euro. Ski and boot rental extra. Gerlinde and I shared a room.
More on Club Med: http://www.clubmed.com. More on St. Moritz: www.stmoritz.ch
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