No stranger to accolades, Sven Wassmer, head chef at the Restaurant 7132 Silver in Vals, has now received an extra EXTRA GAULT&MILLAU POINT.
Plying his trade on the idyllic heights of the Grisons Alps, a young man two years ago embarked on his personal triumphal march through the traditional channels of gourmet critics. Barely eight months after first taking charge of the Restaurant 7132 Silver in Vals, Gault&Millau was already celebrating him as the “discovery of the year 2016”, bestowing a lavish 17 points on the stellar newcomer. He has now wowed the prestigious testers a second time and is thrilled to have received 18 Gault&Millau points – plus the title “Newcomer of the Year 2018”.
“Sven is the biggest talent among Swiss chefs,” Gault&Millau wrote in 2016. “An evening with him is, in culinary terms, a veritable explosion of the senses.” This year, they are once again in full agreement: “We stand by every word. And because Wassmer and his clever cuisine are getting better by the year, we are sending the 18th point down to the valley. Sven is thus approaching Champions League level.”
The atmosphere in Wassmer’s kitchen is one of relaxed professionalism. He and his team are a good-humored bunch who clearly know the ropes as they fillet fresh char, pick fermented vegetables from bulbous jars and chop energy-packed herbs. The waiters are every bit as masterful at their craft, bearing Wassmer’s culinary works of art to the guests at the tables. Here, initial astonishment soon turns to rapturous delight: Whenever possible, Sven Wassmer works with ingredients from the immediate vicinity. Nettles and Good King Henry from the lush mountain meadows, Pomeranian ducks found looking for the same herbs on the edge of the village, and even wood ants, which the head chef himself marinates in olive oil and salt. Wassmer loves nature and spends a lot of time out in the open countryside. For him, occasionally picking his own fresh mushrooms and berries and bringing them to his place of work is the obvious thing to do. “The climatic conditions between 1,200 and 2,500 meters up are quite extreme, so the plants that flourish here are bursting with vitality – they are real superfoods!”
Merely staying true to your local region doesn’t make you a top chef, however. Wassmer has traveled far and wide to see the world and its cuisine, gather experience and learn special techniques. Now, this whole wealth of practical knowledge flows into his copious menus, some of which run to 19 courses. Last year’s Michelin Guide testers reckoned that was worth a second star; and their counterparts at Gault&Millau would seem to be equally convinced.
Congratulations to Sven Wassmer and his team, the latter led by his charming wife Amanda Wassmer Bulgin, who herself was only recently voted “Sommelière of the Year” by Swiss business magazine Bilanz. She always knows exactly the right wines to go with her husband’s dishes. Sven Wassmer is both excited and deeply grateful: “I am fully aware that this honor, this success is not mine alone. My dedicated team share in it, as does the visionary spirit that prevails here at the 7132 Hotel, where we channel all our energy, creativity and passion into realizing our vision of the perfect luxury hotel of the future.”0