World Gourmet Summit

Story by Juliie Mosley

Reto Mathis Reto Mathis

C reating a stronger link between the gourmet festivals in St. Moritz and Singapore is just one of the aims of Swiss chef Reto Mathis. He cooked Swiss - with a twist - for guests dining at the World Gourmet Safari at the Hilton Internationalís Harbour Grill during the Singapore Food Festival.

Beef Carpaccio "I see a big future for New Asia Cuisine," he says. "There are links between the two gourmet festivals and, hopefully, we can co-operate in the future."

Chef-proprietor of Corviglia Restaurant in St Moritz, Chef Mathis is preserving the culinary style of his father, Hartly, by combining the latest trends in cuisine with tradition. He recently opened a second restaurant, Brasserie Cassis, and market-fresh as well as seasonal products are a must for both.

"In Europe", he says, "the trend is towards Asia. Chinese [food] is already gone. Thai is very strong but Vietnamese is coming up - and it depends if you consider Australia to be a part of Asia," he says.

Beef Carpaccio "I think the trend is towards Asian because, first of all, its cuisine is high in nutritional value as guests are becoming more health conscious. It is lighter, healthier and tends to be boiled or steamed and you have very little butter or oil."

Also the preparation is very natural, he adds. "The product stands in front and that is very important for me. That is the right credo, to always put the product in front."

"I see very big potential in the Asian market. So I do things like wild salmon fried in rock salt, served with wasabe mould potatoes."

The opportunity to be among chefs from so many nationalities at the World Gourmet Summit was very appealing to him. "It is interesting to see different cooking techniques. The more you see and the more you travel the more you get out of it."

He has travelled overseas to do promotions, presenting his own style of cooking. He sees a problem today with many European chefs who are trying to please everyone and who, consequently, are not focused on their cuisine.

"They try to do Wiener Schnitzel, chicken curry, everything. But they do not focus on their style and strengths." Chef Mathisí style is drinking champagne! A founder member of the St Moritz Topless Champagne Club - continuing a custom established during Napoleonic times - he is an avid drinker of champagne. It is a club, which he started six years ago.

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