During Food Zürich, I had an evening free of events. And my first choice was Ecco. I was not sure I could get a reservation with such short notice, but I was really lucky and they had a table waiting for me.
Almost like the song: "One Food Blogger went eating one day, over the hill and far away." I was using the awesome Zürich Card, so I decided to go by streetcar. Once I arrived at the stop (Thank Google Maps!) I started the walk. Ecco is at the Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, Really up the hill, with a beautiful view to the city. It was quite a walk, but I love walking, even better in such green small paths.
So it all starts! I ordered the 9 course dinner and I tried to not over eat much before dinner (haha impossible with all the tasty stuff at Food Zürich)
The first amuse bouche was a Cracker with marinated Sepia and Dill, sour cream and iced sepia pearls. It was a very nice appetizer, the different textures, soft, crunchy and ice complemented each other perfectly. The funny thing was, when I cleaned myself with the napkin it was black.
Right away, came the next two amuse-bouches... Yeah! and these ones do not count as the 9 courses.
A delicious cannelloni and a turnip ravioli filled with hazelnuts and sprinkled with black truffle. Both of them delicious. The turnip ravioli reminded me on one dish at the Essento Insects Dinner, where they served kohlrabi ravioli swimming in a cloud of nitrogen.
The sommelier's pairing was a Prosecco. Yeah I dont like to drink champagne before a beautiful dinner like this. It goes right away to my head and "tipsy" isnt really a good thing to remember all dishes. I got an Andreola Prosecco that shows fresh aromas of apple and citrus with a mineral undertone. It is made out of 100% Glera, grown at 250 meters above sea level in a mixed soil of clay and sandstone.
Next appetizer was a superb duck skin cracker with shaved duck and pickled cabbage over it. Yumsters!
Then the bread came and it was the cutest bread ensemble I have seen in a restaurant. Even cuter than the bread presentation at one-star Ylajali.
It was potato bread with sea salt, buttermilk butter and smoked butter with garden cress and a little scissor so you can cut them yourself. Super cute. And wow! that smoked butter! mouth-watering. I really enjoyed this serving.
The last non-menu entreé: Crab tartare marinated with curry and sprinkled with smashed crab shell, pickled carrots and iced purple curry pearls. And crunch of sepia and tapioca. Quite a unique dish. Crunchy and with a soft curry creamy taste. A dance of flavor, spicy yet not hot. The crust crunch is defo a new experience!
First course. Belly bluefin tuna (Otoro) flamed on both sides and thin sliced poached oysters on top. Pickled cucumber marinated, mini cucumbers with Yuzu cream on top and Linseed chips. All this floating in a cucumber and oyster leaves (herb that taste like oysters) soup.
What a taste. Oysters and tuna blend like milk and chocolate, smooth oysters with a really tender tuna. I am a super fan of yuzu, so I loved it! I cant stop thinking of those buttery oysters. I don't think I have ever had oysters in a dish. Normally I get them in their shell. I will try this at home.
A white wine to start. The Sommelier brought me a Grüner Veltliner Federspiel from 2014 from Wachau, Austria. The fragrance of this Grüner Veltliner its fruity and spicy, reminding of fresh yellow apples and apricots, with fresh herbs in the background. You can only find a few stores in Europe and only the 2014 and 2016 vintages are available. (yeah I checked)
My phone was going out of battery, when I noticed they have outlets next to the table and WIFI! Awesome!
While charging my phone and enjoying that Grüner, The "Cep" came by. I was told that the chef thinks that this plate look more photogenic without the sauce. I didnt think so, both ways look so beautiful, with or without sauce.
This was a "Ragout" made out of pumpernickel and rye with boiled mustard seeds, pan fried cep chips and iced pearls of mustard. Drizzled with shaved chips and cream made of herbs from Uetliberg. Served with a cep sauce. (see first picture of the blogpost)
The "Ragout" is just something different, very soft and bready, feels like a sunflower risotto from Relæ I tried to cook at home) with a very subtle but delicious flavor of mustard. The cep mushrooms that they use are local unless there is not enough of them around, then they will import them from France.
Norwegian Lobster, Aha! Norwegian! it was fried and glazed, served together with tomato, seaweed cream, coriander and seaweed crisps. Swimming in a red curry sauce and sprinkled with chives.
This was a huge langoustine like the ones at Maaemo. It was perfectly made. The curry mixed with coriander did get a great mix of cultures Thai and Vietnamese, in my honest opinion.
A tiny difference between scandinavian restaurants and Ecco, was that no cooks come to the table to explain the dish. Though the waitress did and took the time to explain me every dish while I took fast notes. Very patient indeed.
Next wine was really really good and as one of my favorite bordeaux "Calon Segur", it was from a woman winemaker from the french part of Switzerland. Maria-Therese Chappaz's 2015 grand hermitage president troillet has a light gold color with a taste of candied fruits and sweet spices. it has a smooth finish, with notes of flowers.
Seared cod served with a bean cream compote with mussels covered with raw marinated sugar snap and "Ajo Blanco" and Savory and roasted almonds.
This dish is citrusy and fresh even though it is warm. The beans are surprisingly good. I'm not a fan of beans but they tasted great with the citrusy tone that made them very pleasant. The cod is perfectly cooked and the sugar snaps were a special touch to it.
Then came my favorite wine of the evening. I had 2 glasses cause it was soooooooo good. It was a 2013 Bricco del Bosco Vigne Vecchie made out of grignolino grapes (have you heard of those grapes?) from Piedmont, Italy.
Ruby Red with a complex perfume with notes of cardamom, nutmeg, rhubarb, on a bottom of flowers. It is very limited, about 1800 bottles.
This dish was a combination of different parts of veal from Grison. Baked sweetbread, braised and sliced head , braised tongue, cooked and braised chin with deep fried cauliflower, roasted cream and pan fried violet cauliflowers. Lovage cream on the side and puffed calfskin. The sauce was made out of calf with roasted cauliflower and lovage from Eichhof.
I was totally digging the lovage. I don't think I have ever tasted that herb. The sauce is very very strong and more "german". The sweetbread was so buttery and crunchy, haven't got such a good sweetbread in quite a while. This is the strongest flavored dish of the evening and remind me a little bit to my Vau experience back in Germany
And now the main dish. I chose the young venison from Tyrol instead of the Wagyu. It was a shoulder sauce with pickled plums, chervil root and liver, Over it, the pan-fried saddle with a mash chervil root and chips
Very tender and on my favorite rare medium doneness. The sauce was strong and sweet at the same time.
I loved the chervil root in three-ways like the Jerusalem in three-ways I got at Brasserie Paleo. You get the soft mash, saucy sauce and crunchy that complement the overall of the veal.
What a perfect mix of sweet and salty on the sauce, and the venison broth in the sauce gives the oomph it love to have.
Again the same red wine. And who isnt in love with Zalto glasses? so light, so elegant. Short note on my glass love
In a golden envelope, came a thick black paper booklet that explained the cheese I was served. The little booklet was great to know more about the origin and specs of the cheese. They were served with with nut & fruit bread.
All cheese was from Jumi. Check their website here
The first dessert. Americanello grapes in 3-ways. Awesome! Fresh grapes, grape cream and grape iced pearls with a sorbet made out of black walnuts, goat cheese cream and walnut earth.
Wow, just wow! This dessert was the bomb, I was surprised by the saltiness and freshness of it. So many elements and textures without being overwhelming. I can't believe the next one can top this one
The next and last dish and dessert from the menu. A chocolate mousse ball filled with apple compote served with 72% chocolate crumble, marinated apple in thin slices and with a worm of sorrel sorbet.
it was very close to the last one, very flavoursome. That sorbet was craziness! so good! I am now even a bigger fan of sorrel. The chocolate mousse was as delight. A lovely dessert but in my honest opinion, it didn't top the grape dessert.
And I thought I was done and there it comes an special dessert for me! Yay!!! Ice cream with ginger foam and ginger cake sprinkled with poppy seeds and a baked shortbread. Under it, gel citrus filets.
It smelled like ginger strongly. But I didnt expect the flavor once I tried it. It was an outburst of flavors with the right sparkle of ginger spiciness.
I am sorry for the last picture. The ice cream was actually perfect but I got distracted talking to the Chef. You know how chatty I get sometimes... only sometimes. *wink* *wink* This first bite was a caramel brioche with pear and black vanilla verbena.
The second bite was Duck foie gras in a brioche and shaved fennel. I love liver and foie gras and duck. so this was a big plus on my Ecco experience.
The third bite was a "one bite" praline made out of white chocolate, buttermilk and a juicy center of lime.. ahhh love the liquid inside.. like a cooler version of a key lime pie.
And the last bite and last dish of the evening. Cookie with pistachio and cassis, buttermilk and lime ice cream... I love cookies. Who doesnt?
And who is this handsome lad? It is Stefan Heilemann, Executive Chef from Ecco since 2015. And yes girls! he is german, Stuttgart-born to be exact. He spent many years acquiring his skills at the 3-Michelin-star Schwarzwaldstube in the Traube Tonbach hotel in Germany’s Black Forest. A couple of minutes away from my parents Inn. The Ecco was awarded two Michelin stars not long after he became head chef in 2015.
When the bill arrived, also a little goodbye surprise in a jewelry box tadaaaah! When i opened it is was a golden parfait. What a best memento to eat later at the bloggers hotel.
Overall this was my one of my favorite experiences in Europe. The food and ambiance was very similar to the other Michelin starred scandinavian restaurants. I totally recommend you to get a table when you are visiting Zürich, or if you live there. After this HUGE amount of food, I walked to my streetcar again and joined my fellow Food bloggers for a night cap. Check Maria & Sophias article on our "Food bloggers Class Trip" to Food Zürich.
Don´t forget to follow my Instagram account @twofoodieseating. I am always adding on my stories everything I eat and a special preview of what it will be in the blog. Like these 2 pictures while dining at Ecco and during Food Zürich.
This article was made in collaboration with Visit Zürich who brought me all the way from Berlin to the beautiful Zürich.
My dad was a Commander Pilot so most of my childhood I spent in hangars, planes and choppers. When I saw I was going to attend the event "Dine around the World" at Food Zürich I was thrilled. I read a big plane was involved and the location was direct in the airport... After a ride on 2 trams and 5 minute walk I was there at RUNWAY34 right in the airport, almost at the landing strip or "runway".
The entrance was just like a sleeve of a plane. I felt just like boarding one. Inside the hangar restaurant was a huge Ilyushin plane just in the middle of the whole space.
I got greeted with some bubbles and my First Class card, for drinks of course! It was a buffet. I regularly dont blog about buffets but the location was awesome, the idea was super and the food was good.
One of the cool things was, there is a simulation academy there and you can actually get inside the big Ilyushin plane. I will tell you guys what is inside later on.
I started my trip around the world in Asia, my beloved Asia. I had a Thai green curry chicken with jasmine rice, a Tom Yum from Thailand, Samosas from India and Spring Rolls from Vietnam.
Most of the seats were taken from old airplanes. The "crew" was actually wearing flight hostess and pilot uniforms. And most of the decoration was plane parts, food carts and so on. My dad would love this place for sure.
A small food break to test those simulators. You can fly the Lockheed Super Constellation, a Pilatus PC-7, a Boeing 777 and a Jet Ranger BELL 206B3, the one my dad used to fly and was an instructor at Bell Helicopter in Texas back in the 80s. Sorry, I am a nerd with airplanes and helicopters.
Next Stop: North America and Southamerica. Argentinian entrecôte with chimichurri, baked potatoes with sour cream and corncobs . Served with grilled tomatoes and green beans rolled in bacon.
Now we are in Europe. Yummy! I started with some San Daniele Ham cut with a Berkel machine, antipasti and salad with different dressings. Some bread and the mushroom risotto with loads of parmesan.
Lets go fly again! now the coolest plane in my honest opinion. The Swiss Air Force Pilatus! muahaha This baby was so much fun! You fly around with 9 airplanes through the alps. Perfect break before the next continent.
We are now in the last stops: Africa and Arabia
The highlight of my trip was the pumpkin soup, I loved it. I was not sure if it was in the America or Africa tables, it doesnt matter. It was the best pumpkin soup I had since I was a kid. (Ok after a short research with my friend Google, pumpkin soup is actually from Africa, craziness!)
I had as well couscous, sheep cheese, veggie taboule, hummus & babaganoush with pita bread.
After all those continents, one last tiny bite of dessert and return my wine passport into my purse and drove back to my cozy hotel The Yard to meet my bae Food Bloggers for a Beer at the bar :)
Want to know what was inside of the big plane in the middle of the restaurant??
This blogpost was in collaboration with VisitZürich
Since a couple of months, it is legal and possible to buy insects for food in Zwitzerland. You can actually jump into a supermarket and buy some mealworm patties or locust falafel. Can you imagine?
Some years ago, when I went to the famous NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen, I had the pleasure to eat ants and crickets, So I am ok about eating bugs.. yeah BUGS!
I was invited by Visit Zürich to their food week called Food Zürich. And one of the events I signed up for was the "Essento Dinner - Insekten Genuss" by Pfefferbeere. An Insects Dinner, A full 5 course dinner just using insects. That sounds exciting, right?
The dinner was in a beautiful building, looked like we were in the theater backstage: Raw walls, props, paintings. A very used Atelier. Beautiful.
Waiting for us was a table serving Marius Blanco 2016 and 3 kinds of insects: Mealworms with salt, crickets and locust with curry powder. They were exquisite and super crunchy. like chips or popcorn.
It was an open kitchen, so we could see the guys from Pfefferbeeren work. The first course was pickled quail egg with mealworm "soil", watercress and balsamic pearls. It was a perfect combination of soft and crunchy. The soil was delicious, but it was weird to see the little parts of the worms while eating them. Still, mouth-watering.
Our Sommelier of the evening, Thierry, paired this dish with a swiss wine Chasselas Cru de Champrevéyres, Neuchâtel. Delicately fruity, flowery and silky.
While we were finishing our wine, the kitchen was already busy. They were making little nests that would hold the mealworm and locust soup and next to it, the black mealworm panisse over rape butter. This was absolutely my favorite dish of the evening. The little "brownies" were salty and crunchy outside and soft like melted cheese inside. I wish i had a bucket full of those while watching a movie... just WOW.
We had the same wine as pairing, the sommelier chose this wine because it is so versatile that fits this two courses. a really good match.
And now... There was loads of smoke coming from the plating table. I had to run quickly there to see the magic happening. It reminded me the time I had dinner at the chefs table in Maaemo. loads of Nitrogen making a thick mysterious mist.
This course was kohlrabi ravioli filled with peas cricket and a forest berries gel. I loved the idea of not using pasta to make this ravioli. I will definitely try to recreate this at home. Stay tuned!
The wine pairing for this course was Tremenda from Alicante. Beautiful wine, intensive, with a hint of berries... very elegant.
Some logs starting to arrive and the kitchen was filled with rosemary scent. The grilled locust pinchos were sticking of the logs. There were 3 kinds of beauties: BBQ, Tahini and rosemary. My fave was BBQ. On the side: rosemary potato boats, hazelnut-mayo-salsa and quark. They were served all together in the table, so I am showing you the potato boats still in the pan ;)
The wine of choice was a Petit Verdot from Alicante as well, a strong and intensive wine. My favorite of the night. you could taste a flavour of dark berries in this one.
The cooks started looking like mad scientists and it was time for dessert. Nitrogen clouds started filling the room and we all started making pictures, videos, instagram stories and just going Ohhh-Ahhh. This was ice cream in the making.
Meanwhile the Barolo di Villa a very sweet but delish Recioto della Valpolicella appeared in the table and we couldn't wait for the dessert. It was a brownie with flower pollen and mealworms with a cricket covered in caramel on top. A mealworm-nut ice cream next to it. When we turned around there was spider webs made out of cotton candy and sweet crunchy locusts where hanging from them.
A delicious perfect evening that wasn't missing meat, it tasted marvellous and even tho it was weird to see little legs and heads, it was adventurous and exciting. I cant wait until there is legal to buy insects in Germany.
Thanks again Visit Zurich for let me be part of this gorgeous event!
Some days I get super homesick. Instagram doesnt help when I see all those peruvian accounts showing my favorite food. Most ingredients are hard to find, like the over 200 kinds of potatoes. But one kind of potato can be found here: Old potatoes.
Yes! old potatoes. You know them! when they start getting dry and growing stumps all over. Normal european people toss the away, but in Peru, they are the best potatoes to make "Papa Rellena" what means literally stuffed potato.
i bought some potatoes and let them dry behind a door in my kitchen. 2 weeks! yeah! you can wait until 4 weeks for better results. The drier and weird the look, the better! they should look gross but not have any moss on them or any fluids either.
Ingredients: (for 4)
7 medium size old potatoes
200 grams ground beef or 1 diced aubergine for the vegan version.
1 white onion
1 carrot or as much as you onion amount
3 garlic cloves
16 black olives
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup broth
Salt & pepper
Flour or Rice Flour
Lets get stuffed. Sometimes a person gives you are really hard time, but there is always a bright side on every bad situation. The mom of my ex hated me, but gave the greatest tip: Do not boil your potatoes, steam them! Yes, steamed potatoes are way better in texture and flavour, not to mention that they never break as they do in water.
Steam the potatoes for 35 minutes!. Once they are tender peel and press with a fork. I use a potato press, works wonders as I dot have to peel the crap out of them.
In a pan, fry the diced onions, garlic and carrots until they are transparent and tender. Add the meat or diced aubergine, paprika powder and tomato paste. When the meat is cooked, add the broth and olives and let it simmer until the liquids are all gone. Add salt and pepper to the meat mix and the potatoes and let them cool down.
Now we start building them. Take a quarter of the potato with your hand (full with flour) and press the potato to an oval flat form. Add a big spoon of the filling and roll the potato over it until you made a cocoon. Feel free to add as much flour as you need. It gets sticky, so use a lot of flour.
Add a lot of rice flour to a dish and place them using baking paper to separate them. In my house they used to put them in the freezer for an hour to make them a bit more "solid". Then In a hot pan with a lot of olive oil, fry the potatoes until they are golden. You can use a deep fryer as well.
Serve with some rocoto sauce or sriracha mayo and some salsa if you want it even more spicy! I used 1 spoon vegan mayo and half spoon of peruvian chili paste.
Suddenly for a couple days, the summer is gone. And when I feel winter coming, I can only think of melted cheese. I remembered about zucchini boats while talking with my pal Philipp (that doesnt like zucchini, say whaaaat?) and I told him about the baked boats my mom used to make on winter days and how they feel like a love child between lasagna and mini pizzas. This recipe shouldn't take more than 45 minutes to make and there is a vegan variation at the end of the recipe. So lets get all cheesy now, melted cheesy!
3 whole zucchini
1 slice of bread (I used gluten free bread)
1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
1 small white onion
3 garlic cloves (1 if you aren't much into garlic)
1/2 cup of grated cheese
Salt & Pepper
First, warm up your oven to 180C. Dunk that bread in milk and let it soak. Meanwhile, boil the zucchini for about 15 minutes in water with salt. If your zucchini are a bit bigger, you can always test if they are tender with a fork. They should be firm but you should be able to stick that fork in! Once they are done, cut them in halves and let them rest. They will leak some zucchini water, so leave them over paper towels or regular kitchen cloths.
In a food processor, add the raw onion, garlic, cheese (leave 2 spoons to sprinkle the boats later), parsley, the soaked bread (be sure you squeeze it a bit before) and the zucchini "meat" and chop chop until it is all homogeneous. If you are wondering how to get the zucchini "meat", just use a spoon to dig the inside of the zucchini out, leaving them looking like boats. Add salt until it tastes good for you.
Sauteé the prawns for 1 minute in a hot pan. Spoon the cheese mix inside the zucchini boats, place a prawn and sprinkle the cheese that was left. Drizzle some olive oil, add pepper and slide these babies in the oven.
Bake them for 15 or until they are golden. Sprinkle some fresh parsley and enjoy! In Peru with eat this with a side of rice, but alone it as tastes awesome as well.
For the vegan option, just change the prawn for half mushroom and change the grated cheese for vegan grated cheese.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...