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CSF Kitchen Battle 2010, Rote Fabrik, Zurich

Coco - Radicchio Ravioli mit pikantem Tomatensösseli

Josef/Italia - Felche blau

Coco - Felche im Lauchmantel mit blauen Schwedenchips und Krokette

Josef/Italia - Hirschcarpaccio mit Pinien-Vinaigrette

Coco - Zweierlei vom Hirsch (Entrecote und Ragout) mit Buchweizenpolenta und Rosenkohl

Josef/Italia - Hirschragout mit Buchweizenpolenta, Steinpilzen und Rosenkohl

Coco - Flüssig gefüllter Cupcake, Schokoplättchen mit Zitronensauce und Pinien-Pistache-Gemisch

Josef/Italia - Quarkschnitte

Finally – it’s Kitchenbattle time again. Organised by the Cuisine sans Frontieres society, this is their major fundraiser to ensure that their soup kitchen projects all over the world can be executed. This time it was a semi-final between the Coco and the Italia/Josef restaurant. The idea is as simple as beautiful, two restaurants battle over the crowds approval. An amuse, appetizer, main course and a dessert are served in a head-to-head mode and at the end the diners vote on who moves on to the final. The Ravioli was too thick and too al dente, the great and surprising whitefish blue, was a tartare of whitefish covered by a (more puree like) foam of blue swedish potatoes. The tartare was nicely seasoned, well balanced and a much more creative idea than the ravioli; 0-1 Italia. The appetizer was a deer carpaccio against a whitefish wrapped in leeks, with a white wine sauce, blue swede chips and a croquette. I wasn’t a great fan of the carpaccio, while the meat was nice, the radiccio was too bitter, it was lacking salt, the acid was too aggressive and the vinaigrette with the pine nuts was more of a topping than an emulsified sauce. The whitefish matched my palate better, there was a much better balance of flavours and unlike the carpaccio there was a more interesting textural contrast; 1-1 both. Main course was a simple ragout against a more complex duo of deer. I preferred the ragout since it was the more honest dish. Both were lacking a bit in execution, but the more honest dish won for me, since the porcini and the meat was better overall; 1-2 Italia. Dessert was a simple story – the chef patisserie master of the Peclard company helped the Coco and took it home. The simple dessert of the Italia was just a badly executed dish, too sour, too sweet and too heavy. Where as the Coco radiated elegance, simplicity and playful radiance – agreeably the gold may have been a bit over the top; 2-2. Since the amuse and the appetizer had to be judged together and I preferred the Coco (unlike the jury and the crowd). I would have awared the win to the restaurant next to the Paradeplatz. To be fair, I prefer the full frills, bells and whistle, fancy schmancy cuisine, where as the Italia is more of a simple, straight cucina della nonna. The most surprising relevation for me was, that one member of the jury – Daniel Böniger, the food editor of the Tagesanzeiger – who was the reason why I started this blog, is actually quite competent. Maybe I was a bit harsh on my judgement, still you-know-who visits more restaurants than the Tagesanzeiger culinary genius…. 🙂

Posted by therealpickygourmet on 5 October 2010
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. 10/5/2010

    well as I like very much the straightforward style of Italia I don’t really agree with your comments about the food (I loved the veal carpaccio and the dessert of Italia) I agree absolutely about Boeniger. His quite appropriate comments where good and in most cases I had to agree with him. (he did not talk about the bread this time…)
    anyway, I like your blog very much. go on!

    • 10/5/2010

      Fair enough – that’s why the decision between jury and crowd differed a bit as well this time – still – I’m pretty sure it was deer and not a veal carpaccio – thanks for the feedback!

  2. 10/5/2010

    sorry, of course it was deer.

  3. 10/6/2010

    Nice review! You started this blog beacause of Böniger?! I hope to prove him how it’s done correctly. He is such a twat. I hate his reviews. I’d really like to see him in action, I can’t believe he has any talent. But he likes Abercrombie:
    How cool! And he sings: There’s nothing Böni won’t do!


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