Meet Chef Martin Dalsass of Michelin-starred Talvo

LUXOS talks to Martin Dalsass, chef at Talvo restaurant, in Champfèr near St. Moritz

St. Moritz is one of the hot spots for high society coming from all over the world, attracted by the amazing Engadin scenery, the intense social happenings that include polo or White Turf on the frozen lake, everything that revolves around the bobsleigh club, and the

The culinary scene has always been particularly important in and around St. Moritz, and LUXOS is thrilled to introduce you to one of Switzerland’s most famous and respected chefs, Martin Dalsass. More than an interview, our meeting with Martin was a long, fascinating conversation. You could listen to him for hours, because he has a charismatic presence. He makes his food sound and look lively and presents it like an art piece, using the colours and ingredients as his palette, choosing them according to the seasons and what the local farmers are producing next door.

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Originally from South Tyrol, the area around Bolzano, Martin has been fascinated by food for 35 years. For more than 25 years he was based in the southern part of Switzerland before getting the opportunity of taking over the famous Talvo restaurant, which for many years has been an institution, highly appreciated for its gourmet cuisine. For him, he tells us, it was perfect timing, when in 2011 he moved from the Tessin to the Engadin with his lovely wife Lorena. His son and future wife Dora – also from South Tyrol – moved with him and will ensure that the next generation is in place to perpetuate the legend.

The restaurant is located in a charming characteristic Engadin house dating back to 1658, in Champfèr, a lovely village just a few minutes from St. Moritz. Whether it is the ambience of the house or the cuisine, Martin loves to combine the traditional with the modern and wants his guests to feel at home.

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His cuisine is a combination of Mediterranean style with local produce at its best. Olive oil has always been of prime importance for him and will be found in a lot of signature dishes such as the famous olive oil chocolate mousse! For him it is all about the simplicity of cooking where natural flavour and authenticity must remain the focus of the recipe. The wine list is fantastic, and the sommelier will be pleased to give you professional guidelines whether you want to have a wine from the region or an amazing Bordeaux.

The restaurant is very cosy, with interiors built totally out of wood, creating a warm and relaxed setting. On two floors with an open plan, it provides fine views from the upper section. You may like to finish the evening at the Davidoff Stüvetta – the only one in Switzerland, where you are most welcome to enjoy a cigar. Perhaps Martin will join you to enjoy a last cigar, after he has ensured that every guest has been totally satisfied.

But with 18 Gault & Millau points and one Michelin star, you will certainly have enjoyed the whole meal… and not only the meal.

Restaurant Talvo by Martin and Lorena Dalsass Via Gunels 15 CH 7512 St. Moritz – Champfèr Tel. +41 (0)81 8334 455 www.talvo.ch