Ticino has been famously nicknamed the tropics of Switzerland, and we all know about its sunny days, palm trees and exceptional views. But did you know that it’s also a gourmet paradise? And that – get ready for this one – there are a lot of activities so one doesn’t get bored there? If you still doubt, welcome to our #deliciousticino break in Ascona-Locarno, where we spent three days at the Eden Roc Hotel. We relaxed, blogged, ate, and…(you guessed it)…had fun!
But let’s start from the food. We experienced nothing less than the best risotto we had in our whole life, and it had three Michelin stars.
Enrico Cerea – The Man With Three Michelin Stars
Enrico – or Chicco – Cerea is following his parents footsteps in the Da Vittorio Restaurant, one of the best 10 Restaurants in the world. Our Eden Roc program started with a private class with him, during which we could look, ask questions, taste, learn some basics and some secret tips, and above all eat.
I wish I could make you smell, taste and savour the consistence of the creamy risotto Chicco made, and of the tomato pasta he prepared. Dishes that sound easy, but were prepared with such a level of perfection that became pure art.
What makes a difference, while cooking, literally boils down to two things: the love and time you use for your dish, said Chicco.
After the class, we all went to the kitchen. By now we know almost everybody working there, and the DJ, Gianni Conti, too. We insisted for switching from lounge music to disco relatively fast, and by dessert we were already dancing. Bloggers, hotel staff, chef and cooks joined us while finishing to prepare the delicious food. The winning dancer? It0s always Salvatore Frequente, the chef. Number 2 and very close to Salvatore’s perfection: Clifford Lilley – the soul of every party, and perfectly styled as usual too.
300 Year Old Grotto
The day after we explored Grotto America, the oldest restaurant of its kind in the whole Ticino. This is where meat, cheese and wine used to be stored in the past, when there was no fridge, as Davide Buvoli, the owner, explained. La Ghiandaia, a local cheese maker, offered us a cheese selection of some of its bio products. There was also a wine tasting and a lot of types of meat to try – the most famous being the local luganighetta, a sausage that is made with a touch or cinnamon and sugar. To die for.
A Free Day
In the afternoon, some bloggers decided to go and visit Carlo Rampazzi’s Art Gallery, Selvaggio. Others went to try the ceremony of tea at Monte Verita’, where one can learn about tea culture and see a tea plantation. Geri and I stayed in Eden Roc and took more pictures – we wanted to enjoy the sunny day and the hotel facilities as long as possible. Here are some more impressions of the day; I hope they can give you an idea of delicious our Ticino break was.