Magdalena Kitchen Party

200 guests and one food truck

Dominik Hartmann threw the first big party: there were bubbles, bread, cheese and great dishes.

Monday evening, 5 p.m., in Rickenbach near Schwyz: a short thunderstorm has just passed overhead, but even that can’t dampen the party spirit: Dominik Hartmann, co-owner and head chef of Restaurant Magdalena (2 Michelin stars, 16 GaultMillau points), extended an invitation to his first Kitchen Party. Many of his chef colleagues from all over Switzerland came, 200 guests were served at the various cooking stations and, at the champagne station, a bubble machine produced shimmering rainbow bubbles into the evening.

Dominik Hartmann’s place is in the V-ZUG food truck, and naturally the ambassador for the household appliance manufacturer is cooking vegetarian cuisine as always: a beurre blanc sauce based on fermented mushrooms, served with fresh morels, braised walnuts and agretti salad. “There is a great atmosphere in this truck, it has everything you need for cooking and the guests love seeing us in here”, says Hartmann of his work in this unusual setting.

Silvio Germann, another V-ZUG ambassador, is just a few feet away from Dominik Hartmann and his team: together with Joël Ellenberger, his successor as head chef at “Igniv by Andreas Caminada” in Bad Ragaz, he is serving up pickled char with crispy baked shiso leaf and asparagus. “We work in harmony even in a confined space”, laugh the two top chefs in the food truck.

The original US Airstream type 27, which was extensively converted into the first V-ZUG food truck a few years ago, is one of the highlights of this party, which isn’t exactly short of highlights anyway. As guests stand before the gleaming chrome former caravan, which now contains a well equipped kitchen, they discuss the zeppelin-like shape and other advantages of the American classic.

ext door, sommelier and champagne expert Ines Triebenbacher from “Igniv” in Zurich is handing out glasses of bubbly, while just a few steps away her partner, “Igniv” head chef Daniel Zeindlhofer, is placing pieces of lamb neck on a small Japanese grill. The meat was placed in liquid marinade for a few days beforehand and then steamed slowly at 120°C in the V-ZUG combi-steam cooker. “The lamb gets its final, delicate smoky note from the charcoal”, explains Zeindlhofer, and serves it with a mayonnaise made with fermented black garlic, crispy baked peas and a sweet and spicy pepper jus.

In addition to the amazing dishes served up from the food truck and the grill, the first “Magdalena” Kitchen Party also served up down-to-earth food: after all, the “Magdalena” is also a bakery. Sourdough-based baguettes, spelt sourdough bread and the “Magdi” bread with potatoes were baked and served with master cheesemaker Rolf Beeler’s specialities from his cheese cellar, such as seven-year-old Alpsbrinz and fresh goat’s cheese from Suhr, Canton Aargau. Like any good party, this festival of chefs and their guests is one large whole made up of many individual glittering parts.

More impressions in the video

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