When you think about fine Swiss food the mind immediately goes to little alpine triangles of Toblerone chocolate, creamy and fruity overnight bircher, crispy and golden potato rösti and, of course, cheese. And when it comes to cheese there is Emmental, Gruyère, Vacherin, Raclette and more. The ultimate Swiss cheese experience is, of course, the fondue. But no need to drag out your Mum (or Grandmum’s) vintage fondue set because you can now enjoy cheese fondue and discover the hearty delights of traditional Swiss cuisine with an Edelweiss Fine Swiss Food experience.
Swiss Chef Annina recently established Edelweiss Swiss Fine Food to bring a little piece of culinary Switzerland to the Northern Rivers. Annina has been working as a Chef in the Byron Bay region for the past six years. Now in her own business, with her partner Murray helping as co-host, she says she is able to use this experience and her Northern Rivers network to recreate traditional Swiss recipes using local, seasonal ingredients.
Edelweiss Fine Swiss Food specialises in private dining, cheese fondue dinners and pop-up dinners in local venues. They can tailor a private Swiss dining experience in your own home for up to 12 guests. Entrées might include a Traditional cheese fondue served with bread or a Creamy leek soup with speck and a gruyère crostini. For mains think dishes like Zürich style pork in a champignon cream sauce with a crispy rösti or a Veal cordon bleu stuffed with local ham and Swiss cheeses served with pan fried potatoes and vegetables. And for dessert there are options like the Seasonal fruit Swiss tart with homemade ice cream or Raspberry Swiss Roll. Annina can also create a Cheese fondue dinner to your home with the fondue served in shared main sizes.
We recently attended one of the Edelweiss Pop-Up Cheese Fondue dinners. The venue was originally Jasper Hall in Federal but was changed to a nearby warm and cosy private home which was perfect on a winter’s night. The evening began with an aperitif and a little taste of Swiss cheese and meats. Annina and Murray wore traditional Swiss costume and the dining room was decorated like a Swiss Alpine lodge which was a gorgeous touch.
Our first course was a Fresh organic market salad with thin slices of radish, boiled egg and a delicious honey-mustard dressing; a lovely light start. Main course was the famous Cheese fondue. It’s Annina’s secret recipe that includes three traditional Swiss cheeses. Did you know that the first recipe for cheese fondue dates back to 1699? It’s believed that the recipe began with Alpine Swiss farmers who would cook wine, garlic and herbs with cheese as a way to use up leftovers in winter when fresh food wasn’t available. They would add the hardened cheese to a pot rubbed with garlic and a splash of wine and melt it down.
Mr GFAF and I were new to fondue while the other dinner guests knew how to tackle the warm pot of stringy cheese with Swiss precision, so we took their lead on how to manage the temperature and the etiquette of dipping. Of course, when it comes to dipping your bread in the cheesy pot, there is no double dipping and diners who drop their bread in the cheese are penalised. The cheese at the bottom of the pot that’s a little ‘stuck’ is considered the tastiest part of the fondue and your reward for finishing it all! We opted to pair our fondue with a white wine and the suggestion of black tea was also welcome and a good digestive aid to help reach the bottom of the pot!
For dessert we enjoyed a Lemon sorbet, with hazelnut finger biscuit, chocolate mousse and port pear. As we departed into the brisk night air, Annina and Murray presented their dinner guests with small jars of homemade jam which was such a lovely finish. What amazing hosts!
Whether it’s a private dinner, a fun fondue or an Edelweiss Fine Swiss Food pop up event, you are guaranteed to leave with a full belly as well as new knowledge and a taste for Swiss cuisine.