A wide variety of culinary delights from all over the world drew an impressive crowd of visitors to Passugg. The 14th Food Festival organized by students at the Passugg hospitality management school was a resounding success. We decided to take a look behind the scenes.

Around “the world of food in six hours”

“Namaste” was the authentically reverent greeting that an Indian student offered to each and every guest at his food stand. His was just one of 18 lovingly adorned stands coupled with delicious and imaginative desserts at the Food Festival laid on by the SSTH Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in Passugg.

Over the course of the following six hours, guests were invited to sample anything their heart desired. Dishes and delicacies from Russia, Mozambique, Argentina and many other countries were there to tempt visitors on a culinary circumnavigation of the globe. The SSTH was assisted in running this event by the Chinese kitchen staff from Alpina Mountain Resort & Spa who served up their irresistible specialties from back home.

A team from the college’s partner university, Cheju Halla in South Korea, traveled over to add even further Eastern flair to the Food Festival. More than 1,300 guests reveled in their journey through a wide range of countries across all continents, savoring each and every sensory nuance.

Attention to detail made an utterly unique experience

“Was that really crocodile meat I just ate?” one visitor asked at the Australian food stand. It most certainly was – and just a small portion of the 50 kilograms of crocodile meat brought in for the event. A further 250 kilos of vegetables, 180 kilos of beef and 240 kilos of chicken were served to the guests.

The SSTH students and lecturers worked virtually non-stop throughout the final three days leading up to the event. Everything was running full-throttle in the hospitality management school’s kitchens and rooms, while the stands gradually appeared one after the other in the dining room and festivity tent. The students pay a lot of attention to detail each year when selecting the recipes and adding decoration in order to provide visitors with a unique and authentic experience. They really went to town on their own attire, too, and served the dishes in traditional national costume.

The path to concoction no. 1

The Food Festival 2016 came up trumps with an exclusive highlight – its very own special concoction. Five renowned regional winemakers joined forces in Passugg for the task – Cottinelli Weinbau, Weinbau Manfred Meier, Weingut Castellum, Thomas Marugg Weingut and Vinothek Brancaia.

Prior to combining the different wines, they were all tasted on their own. After this, the experts then carefully worked on the recipe by mixing a number of wines with different characteristics so as to achieve the desired “young, fresh and sexy” effect. The project team chose its favorite concoction from a total of seven, which was then sold exclusively on the day of the Food Festival.

Students at the helm

A 15-strong project team mentored by SSTH lecturers worked as the Food Festival’s steering committee. They started planning for the event back in September last year. The guests were clearly impressed by the creativity and dedication of the students, who remained on the ball through and ensured constant refills. A project like the Food Festival sets students a demanding conceptual, logistical and managerial challenge – it’s a chance for these future hoteliers to prove what they’re made of!

Together, the Food Festival project team 2016 concocted a resounding success.

This article appeared in hotelrevue on May 26, 2016

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