Doing what I love best is cooking for my family. I love the opportunity to find a new recipe that I ‘ve never tried before, sourcing the freshest quality ingredients, whipping that apron on and then creating something absolutely delicious for my family to enjoy without them actually knowing how nutritious it actually is. So when a couple of girlfriends suggested taking a highly recommended culinary workshop in a little off the beaten track village of Switzerland called Trubschachen, I could hardly refuse.
A visit to beautiful Switzerland never disappoints, but added to that the opportunity to learn some culinary secrets from the place that gifted to the world timeless treats such as the Gruyere cheese, the chocolate fondue and Vollenweider cakes, not to mention quality time with good friends. Well, I can tell you, it was not a matter of if, but when.
Together we arrived early in the morning at Switzerland’s Bern Belp small international airport. From there the five of us piled into the BMW X6M ready and waiting for us as the friendly guy from Book Luxury Car handed over the keys and wished us Bon Voyage! The BMW X6M really was a top pick by my friend Leanne. As a big spacious four wheel drive there was enough space for all of us to be seated comfortably, as well as all of our luggage, and for my clan of girls, that’s a heck of a lot of luggage.
Well with things off to this great start our first port of call was the Kambly biscuit factory, famous for making the most popular sweet biscuits in Switzerland. Guests are able to sign up for the “Kambly Experience” where we discovered all the many secrets that go into the art of fine biscuit production. As we peered over the shoulders of Maitres Confiseurs, we learnt about the quality of the chocolate, the softness of the biscuit dough and of course the skill of the pretty designs. It was a fascinating experience as we were taught all of these new skills in light of the many traditions that accompany them, dating back to over 100 years! Not surprisingly we helped ourselves to a fare chocolate treats, well, it was hard to resist with 100 different types of biscuits on offer!
From the biscuits to the platter that they’re served on, we then went to visit the Dorftöpferei Aebi. One of the most classical and well established ceramic pottery makers in Switzerland, we watched as the artisans were at work crafting their many pieces into various elegant designs and styles. Here you can look over the shoulders of the pottery makers at work and gain an insight into an ancient craft. Each piece of Aebi ceramic is hand-made and unique and our insight into this ancient craft inspired a lot of admiration. I didn’t leave without purchasing a bowl that had a beautiful rustic hand crafted interior detail.
That night we all sat down together for dinner at Kornhauskeller, a beautiful gastronomic restaurant in Bern. The menu had a mix of local traditional foods and Mediterranean cuisine, all with the matching wines on offer. Each having enjoyed our meals enormously, we obviously couldn’t help but wonder how we may be able to replicate this wonderful meals back in our kitchens at home!
Not far from Trubschachen, in the region of Emmental we felt compelled to take a tour of the famous “King of Swiss Cheese”, the Emmentaler. Such an opportunity is actually available in Affoltern, where Emmentaler AO walks you through the whole cultivation process. Detailing the geographical location of the Emme valley of Tal where the cows are left to graze on grass and hay, but not silage. Tradition has it that Emmentaler cheese has been cultivated here in the same way today as it has been since the 13th century, without the added use of preservatives or genetically modified ingredients. Interestingly, the characteristic holes in the Emmentaler cheese is formed by the bacteria that is caused in the fermentation process that excrete carbon dioxide bubbles into the cheese and are finally released when the cheese is opened. All in all in what was a highly fascinating tour finished off on a highlight with a taste testing and a bottle of Pinot Noir that didn’t go amiss.
Our gastronomy tour of Switzerland was absolutely delightful. With more than a generous dash of beautiful scenery, a pinch of a luxurious SUV thrown in for good measure, a scoop of lovely friends and plentiful helpings of excellent food and wine, indeed it was the perfect recipe!