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?Rubrik GRAND HOTEL PARK · 29 WISPILENSTRASSE · CH 3780 GSTAAD · TELEPHONE: +41 33 744 97 00 THE ALPINA GSTAAD · 23 ALPINASTRASSE · CH 3780 GSTAAD · TELEPHONE: +41 33 744 74 80 www.graffdiamonds.com


August 23, 2013 - Issue 6 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT

Andrea Scherz The Hôtellerie Gene

Horses for Courses Primary Care-ful

Holy Cow!


Hublot Polo Gold Cup 2013

Cowgirls, Cow Auctions & More

Menuhin Festival Gstaad

Rx for Healthcare in the Saanenland?




CALM - NATURE - SECURITY Charming and authentic, le Hameau de Vert Pré is presently under construction.The development is located close to the agriculture zone and is conveniently only a few minutes from the village centre. This exceptional location guarantees optimal peace and a splendid view over the valley and the surrounding mountains. Apartments are available in formats of 4.5 to 6 rooms. Underground parking. Finishing at buyer's request. www.hameauvertpre.ch From CHF 610’000.00 CF Immobilier Compagnie Foncière SA Rue du Village 40 - 1659 Rougemont Info@cfimmobilier.ch - www.hameauvertpre.ch Tél. +41 (0)26 925 10 00





Gschwendstrasse 2 I T +41 (0)33 748 45 50 I F +41 (0)33 748 45 51 I info@gerax.ch I www.gerax.ch

Photo: zvg

Letter from the Editor

Until the Cows – and Goats and Horses and Dogs – Come Home Four months in Gstaad and I’ve yet to get up close and personal with one of the Saanenland’s famous goats. More than just a mascot, the Saanen breed is just one of the many fellow species with whom we share this beautiful landscape – especially in the summer, when we are most likely to encounter one high up at 2,000 metres and beyond. But as this hectic season winds down, I for one am looking forward to catching up on some much-needed R & R – Rest and Randonnée. First, a quick look at what might be our wildest edition yet. It’s a zoo in here In this issue, Journalist J. Piromallo talks to Saanenland resident Alessandra Vicedomini, who heads up a family business built on the most exclusive luxury goats can produce – they don’t call her the Queen of Cashmere for nothing. In our Profile interview, the Gstaad Palace’s Andrea Scherz gives us the lowdown on how he earned his crown (hint: the hard way). But running a legendary hotel is no joke for this Scherz – it’s a lifetime commitment. His kingdom for a horse? He’s not likely to abdicate anytime soon, but perhaps for a polo pony? No summer in the Saanenland would be


complete without the spectacular Hublot Polo Gold Cup. This year’s matches saw the sport’s famous ponies get hot to trot; champion Team Gstaad Palace’s last-minute goals made 2013 one of the most thrilling tournaments in the event’s two decade history here. But polo isn’t the only animal-related summer event here in the Saanenland. Dog lover Tess Larosse tells us all about the Canine Alpine Challenge, a fun and furry hike up Wasserngrat with our four-legged friends. All proceeds go to charity and are used to help find loving homes for stray dogs in need. Betting the farm on it If iconic dairy farms dotting the Swiss hillsides are more your cup of tea, read about aspiring cowgirl Andrea Clarkson’s attempt at leading cows up to their summer alpine grazing areas. But if you’re looking for real cowgirls, you’ll have to wait until September 20th to 22nd, when Country Night Gstaad hosts a three-day honky-tonk extravaganza. Last but not least, columnist M. Theodoracopulos takes on organic farming in You Are Where You Eat. From fresh herbs to pickled vegetables,

she does it all – and lets us know exactly why you should, too. The summer of 2013 and beyond As your official zookeeper, I’d like to thank you, our readers, for your support during this summer season. GSTAADLIFE has seen quite a few changes in its print edition, changes we hope you’ve come to appreciate over the past few months. Our traditional off-season lasts through November, when our first issue of the winter will arrive. This year, however, we aim to keep you wellfed, even during Gstaad’s lean months. You’ll find all the news that’s fit to print on our website www.gstaadlife.com instead, where you can receive daily updates delivered straight to your inbox. What’s more, we’ll spend the fall tailoring a newly designed platform to make your GSTAADLIFE experience more user-friendly than ever. Until we meet again – and the cows come home – enjoy the good life as it’s only experienced here in the Saanenland. Best regards, Alexis Munier – Editor in Chief

at www.gstaadlife.com

Twitter: @GSTAADLIFE · Facebook: Gstaad Life · Youtube: GstaadLife GSTAADLIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 7, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, info@gstaadlife.ch, www.gstaadlife.com, www.gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller Publisher: Frank Müller, frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier Contributors: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos, Januaria Piromallo, Tess Larosse, Andrea Clarkson Layout: Arlette Bütschi, Désirée Bach Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider, peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, Phone: 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner, flurina.mutzner@mdruck.ch, Phone: 033 748 88 74


“I’ve chucked out everything up to 2006. They were way past their sell-by-date.”

Contents 5



Letter from the Editor


Cartoon – Oliver Preston


Local News Come Fatto Da Mamma


Breathing Room at Innocence in Danger’s Summer Camp


Profile Andrea Scherz – The Hôtellerie Gene


Lifestyle On the Cashmere Catwalk with Alessandra Vicedomini


High-Altitude Fashion Hits Gstaad



Traditions Bidding on Bessie: Cash Cows at Alp Gumm’s Annual Auction


Greener Pastures: My Day as a Cowgirl


Holy Cow, Roger!


Sports & Leisure Canine Alpine Challenge


Gstaad Yacht Club Breezes Through Summer Season


The Sport of Kings, à la Gstaad



Gstaad Living First-Rate, Second-Hand Market


New Group AIms to Unite Divided Healthcare Issue


Arts & Culture Music Soars at Menuhin Festival Gstaad


Playing Catch-Up With Hamburger Pianist Sebastian Knauer


Entertainment Off-Season Events


Events Calendar


Last Word M. Theodoracopulos – You Are Where You Eat


Cover Photo: Peter Knup undknup ag • werbung, fotografie, gestaltung Eibenstrasse 9 • CH-8045 Zürich T +41 44 450 85 85 • info@undknup.com



Special Advertising Section

Résidences “Au Coeur de Gstaad”

Construction has recently begun on a new luxury apartment complex right in the heart of Gstaad. This location is perfect for those who’d like to be within easy walking distance of Gstaad’s many fine restaurants and shops – the Promenade and train station are only two minutes by foot. The village and the worldwide known hotels Palace and The Alpina can be contemplated from all apartments. The appropriately named “Au Cœur de Gstaad” complex is comprised of three cha-

lets in the typical Saanenland architectural style. The 21 high-end apartments will offer contemporary amenities: Balcony or terrace with view of the village, underground parking, private cellar, and laundry room, as well as ski and bike rooms. What’s more, fitness buffs may purchase access to the basement’s on-site gym, and all interior finishes can be chosen by the buyer.

The project – the brainchild of Max Rieder, owner of Rieder Architektur AG – began to take shape in his mind in the spring of 2008. Since then Rieder has finalised and refined the project with great attention to detail and quality to achieve state-of-the art homes which reflect his own intrinsic signature style. “Au Coeur de Gstaad” is a rare opportunity, as it’s one of the last second home constructions in the municipality of Saanen. All apartments may be purchased as holiday homes. The Résidences “Au Coeur de Gstaad” should be finished at the end of 2015.

For further information, please contact: Rieder Architektur AG Bahnhofstrasse 5 3792 Saanen Caroline Ritter caroline.ritter@rieder-architektur.ch 033 748 40 59 View from the Résidences.


Local News

Come Fatto Da Mamma: Family-Style Italian Trattoria Opens in Rougemont BY: GSTAADLIFE

There’s no need to scour the Alpine forests in search of this poacher – Le Braconnier is alive and well in the heart of Rougemont. Recently renovated and under new ownership, this cheery trattoria offers authentic Italian specialities from recipes handed down through generations of nonnas. The owners, Emidio Medda and Fabrizio Contu, bring their wealth of experience at Gstaad’s premier hotels to Rougemont’s quaint main

street. With a “Come fatto da mamma” (like mom does it) philosophy, Medda and Contu go out of their way to provide a warm, friendly atmosphere and simple, delicious meals. From one of the scenic terrace’s many tables or at the cosy bar, you’ll hear waiters switch happily from Italian to French to English to German and back again, often all in the same conversation. Need a wine recommendation or just want to chat about the current state of Italian politics? All banter is welcome here, where waiters are more than happy to wel-

come you as a guest of honour into their very delightful, very Italian world. Despite a tiny, open kitchen, Le Braconnier serves up several plats du jour as well as tasty appetizers like Parma ham with juicy melon wedges and homemade potato gnocchi. With prices ranging from 8 to 35 francs, an evening full of food and fun won’t break the bank. Le Braconnier, rue du Village 20, Rougemont, is open daily from 8 am to 11 pm.

Breathing Room at Innocence in Danger’s Summer Camp BY: GSTAADLIFE

This year marked the tenth annual summer camp for sexually abused children hosted by the charity Innocence in Danger. Thirteen children aged 4 to 16, and five mothers attended the camp, which ran ten days in August. The camp was held in Gstaad thanks to Le Rosey’s generous offering of Chalet Roberti. Various workshops took place throughout the week, including this year’s first-time offering of yoga by renowned yogi Yogeswari. The yoga classes were held outdoors, where the children and mothers could spread their mats on grassy meadows for some serious stretching – and healing.

“One mother could only breathe superficially,” says Steffi Siebenthal, Camp Supervisor. “During these ten days of yoga, she learned to breathe deeply again.” The camp is designed to help children live happy, healthy lives despite the devastating abuse they have suffered. Counsellors and psychologists are on hand so that both the children and their mothers may work through past events. “Because all participants have a similar past, nobody needs to hide here. Children and adults can freely exchange ideas,” says Siebenthal.

Photo: Blanca Burri

First, breathe Many sufferers of abuse displace their mem-

ories as a form of self-protection. But yoga relaxes and opens up the body and mind, allowing even the worst memories to resurface – and the healing process to begin in earnest.

Letting go of shame The main goal of the camp is to alleviate the shame that typically accompanies sexual abuse. All participants are survivors, so they are encouraged to speak openly if they so choose. The camp provides a safe place for the children to relax and have fun, which can activate self-healing. Run mostly by local volunteers, the various workshops ranged from t-shirt spray-painting and rock climbing to a trip to Glacier 3000. At one point during the week, the group travelled to a well-kept, spacious property in Château d’Oex, thanks to the generosity of a devoted supporter. For the first time, the camp was held only in French, with participants hailing from Suisse-Romande and France. German–speaking sexually abused children from Switzerland visited Innocence in Danger’s camps in Germany this year instead. A monolingual group permitted the children to feel even more comfortable and at home at the camp.

The Innocence in Danger Mission

IID’s Founder Homayra Sellier (middle) with Steffi Siebenthal (left) and Carina Jones (right).

Innocence in Danger (IID) is one of the largest privately funded non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the world. With a presence in six countries – Switzerland, France, Germany, the USA, the UK and Colombia – IID provides legal, medical and social services to victims and their parents. In addition, IID concentrates on fostering real political change and awareness through its many advocacy and lobbying activities.




Andrea Scherz Third-Generation Hotelier Takes the Historic Gstaad Palace into the 21st Century INTERVIEW BY: ALEXIS MUNIER PHOTO: GSTAAD PALACE

The legendary 100-year-old Gstaad Palace has been in the sure hands of the Scherz family for most of its celebrated history – starting with Ernst Scherz and his wife Silvia who came to manage the hotel in 1938 from the Hotel Carlton in St. Moritz. Now, having survived the tumultuous 20th century with aplomb under the management of the Scherzes and their successors son Ernst Andrea and his wife Shiwa, this extraordinary establishment now relies on a third generation to survive and thrive over its next hundred years. Grandson Andrea Scherz took over the running of the fabled hotel in 2001 after first

managing the rooms division for five years. Scherz has hôtellerie in his blood – and he’ll need it to ensure that the Gstaad Palace enjoys a future as bright and bold as that of its lauded past. In a recent interview with GSTAADLIFE, Andrea shared the secrets of the hotel’s success – and his plans to build on that same success.

do, our maître d’hôtel, who has been with us since 1968! And there’s Peter Wyss, our chef, who has been serving up exquisite international and regional cuisine for 38 years. Guests come back to the Palace knowing exactly what to expect … they say it’s like visiting an old friend.

GL: How did your family come to Gstaad? GSTAADLIFE: What makes the Palace special? Andrea Scherz: This is a good question for our guests, 80 per cent of whom are repeat customers. The Palace is like a family – and not just our family. Several members of our staff have been here for decades. Take Gil-

AS: It’s a funny story. My grandfather Ernst actually came to Gstaad as a Boy Scout in February 1922. To earn a little pocket money, he and the other boys sang scout carols on the old village square near Chesery, while gazing on the high-up Palace. This sight bewitched him forever. He was fascinated by

Profile the magical Palace, a fairy tale castle that he hoped to come back to someday. Years later, while running the Hotel Carlton in St. Moritz, he saw the Palace was recruiting a manager – and the rest is history.

GL: So the Gstaad Palace is home for you? AS: Yes, indeed! My younger brother Thierry and I grew up in a chalet near the hotel grounds. Yet, my father was very strict; we were not allowed in the hotel except for occasional lunches with my parents. Usually, we spend midday meals with my grandparents, who also lived in an adjoining chalet. But during the off-season, that all changed. We used to sneak in and cycle in the halls of the empty hotel, playing hide-and-go-seek and screaming our heads off.

GL: Were you expected to take over the family hotel someday or was it an entirely personal choice? AS: It was certainly not expected. I remember my father’s words when I told him I wanted to attend the International Hotel School in Lausanne: “It won’t be a Scherz who ruins the Palace.” Meaning, of course, that I couldn’t come to work for the hotel unless I knew what I was doing! After finishing my degree, I came home sooner than anticipated to manage the hotel, as my mother had passed away and my father was absorbed rebuilding his life. Plus he needed a replacement for Rooms Division Manager Victor Ferrari, who had recently left the hotel.

GL: How has luxury changed since your grandfather first managed the hotel in 1938? AS: I can’t speak for the whole luxury hotel sector, but in our case the Palace has changed very little. Yes, today’s guests demand the latest in technology and a premiere spa experience, so of course we have kept the hotel as up-to-date as necessary. We installed wi-fi, for example, and spent 20 million francs on a complete renovation of the spa in 2007. It now includes a first-rate wellness and health centre as well as our “Hammam Experience” and a Pilates studio. But despite the continual updates and cosmetic improvements, the spirit of the hotel hasn’t changed, which is quite rare for a lux-

Guests come back to the Palace knowing exactly what to expect … they say it’s like visiting an old friend. ANDREA SCHERZ

ability. During this period we raise our rates by about 20% and impose a minimum stay of 12 nights. The real estate agents like us very much, as we’re their prime suppliers of customers for chalets and apartments. We lose one or two top customers annual when they buy property in Gstaad. Nevertheless we are even good friends with some of the long-established agents and share a mutual understanding for our respective businesses

GL: Rumour has it that you’re a workaholic. Is there any truth to that? ury hotel of its stature. GreenGo, our nightclub, still boasts the same exact interior design that it did upon opening in 1971. In fact, it’s the oldest nightclub in Switzerland that is still in its completely original state.

GL: How has the profile of the luxury traveller changed since the crisis? AS: Last-minute has taken over hotel bookings. Even luxury travellers with money to spare book using the Internet and although their holidays are planned months in advance, they still prefer to scour last-minute deals just before heading out.

GL: Obviously keeping up with technology is a priority for you. What is your secret to maintaining a whopping 12.525 likes on your Facebook page? AS: The hotel has fully embraced 21st century communications, including Facebook and twitter. It makes sense to be active on the social networks – the Palace is like a friend, and we all know that Facebook friends are an important part of today’s lifestyle. On our page, guests can read about current events and specials, comment on activities, and stay in touch with each other as well.

GL: What about accusations of price gauging by Gstaad hotels – how do you see the hotel sector’s relationship with chalet providers and the town’s many private rental agencies? AS: Price gauging? In the hotel industry we call it yield management. Yes, it is true that we adapt our prices according to demand. For example, at Christmas and New Year’s we have three times more demand then avail-

AS: I’ve never bothered to look up the definition of workaholic. I love my job and am passionate about what I do. Running the Palace is a dream come true for me – from early morning to late evening I am often managing the day to day activities of the hotel and entertaining guests. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also sit on the board of the Leading Hotels of the World and the Swiss Deluxe Hotels, which takes up a fair chunk of my time and leads me to discover new hotels and gain a deep insight into our industry.

GL: As for your two children, Alexandre and Sabrina, do they hope to follow in your footsteps and become the fourth generation of Scherzes to run the hotel? AS: I think at 12 and 13, they’re as yet undecided about their future careers. The only advice I can give them is what my father gave me: “Do something you’re passionate about.” And if they are passionate about the hotel business, then so be it. If not, I’m sure they’ll make their mark in their chosen fields.

GL: You were born and raised in the Palace and it’s clear that you’re here for the long haul. That said, if you were forced to uproot and leave Gstaad, where would you go? AS: This may sound silly, but I’d set up shop in Yvorne or on the shores of Lake Geneva, just 40 km from here over the Col du Pillon. I have always loved the Léman region, and discovered Yvorne while working with a winemaker on our 100th anniversary vintage. It is made in Yvorne, where Philippe Gex produced a bespoke Chasselas that is exceptionally light and joyful, perfect for the occasion.




On the Cashmere Catwalk with Alessandra Vicedomini BY: JANUARIA PIROMALLO PHOTOS: MAURIZIO MONTANI

Alessandra Vicedomini is as beautiful, smart and stylish as you’d expect the reigning Queen of Cvashmere to be. Former model for Blumarine and Dolce & Gabbana, the 39-year-old Penelope Cruz look-alike heads the small fashion empire originally founded by her father some 50 years ago. Under Alessandra’s stewardship, the embattled Vicedomini brand is experiencing a glamorous renaissance. Her collection graces stores in the most exclusive shopping malls of the planet – from Paris to Moscow and of course in the five-star Alpina Gstaad. She’ll open her first single-brand boutique in London’s trendy Chelsea district this year; she has also opened an intimate new showroom in Via Montenapoleone, in Milano’s high fashion district. The Milanese beauty left the catwalk to take over the company ten years ago – and within a few seasons became the number one designer in Gstaad. Her first (and still loyal) clients read like a who’s who in the Saanenland: Laura Scherz, aka Lady Palace; Kirsty

Bertarelli; Christine Juffali; Carol Asscher; and Nora Al Howaish. So popular is the young designer that she’s been christened “Chanel of the Saanenland”. Born to the cloth Alessandra was born the youngest child of Giuseppe and Orietta Vicedomini, a power couple known for their ambition and style. The lovely Orietta made her living as a model after World War II. Giuseppe came from a military family on the front lines of political and armed conflicts, but he left the military to pursue a career in fashion. A clever businessman with a nose for talent, he partnered with designer Lino Pellizzoni in 1962, creating the iconic tubino – sheath – dress that remains a wardrobe staple for chic women everywhere even today. The overwhelming success of the tubino prompted Giuseppe to create his own line. The first Vicedomini collection consisted of only twelve pieces – a versatile mix of hand-embroidered tops and separates that revolutionized ready-to-wear. With the crème de la crème of Milano society and Harrods in London begging for more, a true fashion brand was born.

With a staff of more than 100 employees and artisans and spreads in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Giuseppe was well on his way when he met the beautiful Orietta, a finalist in the Miss Italy beauty pageant. It was love at first sight. He hired her as his house model and they were immediately married. The design phoenix rises The house of Vicedomini suffered a complicated downturn in 1984, when a blizzard damaged the factory, ruining most of the machinery, archives, and inventory. This setback drove Giuseppe to consider retirement – and then tragedy struck again in the 1990s, this time in the form of a car accident that severely injured his wife Orietta. This heartbreak shook both the family business and Alessandra’s teenage years. By the time the young model began her studies at university, she had taken over the brand so that her father could devote himself to her mother. Alessandra began with a few simple knits – and over the years she built on those basics, creating the luxury knit collection we know today. Happily married to Italian aristocrat Amedeo Serra, Vicedomini combines raising

Lifestyle With homes in both Geneva and Gstaad, Vicedomini manages to juggle her roles as businesswoman, designer, mother, wife, friend and confidant with aplomb. Just more proof that she has mastered the ups and downs of hemlines – and of life. “I just try to keep my head above the stormy weather we all must pass through,” Alessandra says with a smile. Indeed.

Pool Party in White

her two boys with running her growing domain. Family is important to her, both at home and at work, a legacy she attributes to her father.

“My father was respected and truly loved by his staff. Even at ninety, he was often visited by some of the head tailors who worked for him,” recalls Vicedomini.

To celebrate her success, dear friend Libana Obayda (socialite and granddaughter of the former president of Lebanon) recently hosted a party in Alessandra Vicedomini’s honour. The “Pool Party in White” featured Obayda’s eldest son Jean, a gifted DJ whose talent on the turntable was evident in the soundtrack designed to complement the glamorous bestsellers of the season and accessories like handbags, clutches and skin belts.


The time arrived to don a dirndl dress, lace up the lederhosen and head to the annual August 1st Fashion Show hosted by Lorenz Bach. What better way to celebrate Swiss National Day than on a beautiful farm overlooking the twinkling lights of Gstaad below?

The 200+ party guests enjoyed a welcome aperitif while fashion models creatively weaved their way through the crowd. “Alpine Chic” was the theme, brought to life by Bach’s new collection of finely detailed jackets and soft, colourful cashmeres that invoke a cosy winter season.

music filled the crisp air. Soon after, a great bonfire was ignited and fireworks lit up the starry sky. As the evening went on, steaming cups of hot (and cheerfully spiked) coffee were passed around and the dancing continued into the early hours.

By sunset, a feast of roasted veal and flame-melted Raclette was served while live

Bach’s modern-meets-traditional designs are available at Maison Lorenz Bach in Gstaad.

Party guests included (left to right) Sabrina Gobeli, Joséphine Bach and Katja Scarry.

A peak at Lorenz Bach’s Fall 2013 line.




Bidding on Bessie: Cash Cows at Alp Gumm’s Annual Auction BY: ALEXIS MUNIER PHOTOS: ANDREA CLARKSON

Lerissa is a real beauty: medium-height and build, good muscle tone, creamy white udders and eyes that could melt the heart of any farmer in the Saanenland. Add her excellent milk output and sweet-as-pie demeanour, and it’s no wonder she outsold all the other heifers at auction. With a selling price of 8000 francs, Lerissa took top honours at Alp Gumm’s annual cow sale Saturday, August 3. But Lerissa was just one of approximately 50 young cows that were sold at the auction, held each year by Ueli Bach of Feutersoey.

The Bach’s auction traditionally marks the opening of the cow auction series in the Saanenland and the Simmental. A farmer with a head for business, Bach buys up heifers (young cows who have yet to give birth) in the winter and early spring for his dairy farm high up at Alp Gumm. Until the cows come home The 130 cows and some three dozen heifers spend the summer months grazing on sweet grass and herbs on Gumm’s meadows, producing vast amounts of milk. The cheese produced from this milk, known as Alpkäse, is typically aged three years to produce the region’s famous Hobelkäse. Alp Gumm is indeed one of the largest producers of cheese in the Saanenland, with 8 – 10 tonnes produced and sold to the Molkerei Gstaad at the end of each summer season. This year, due to a later summer season – snow until June – only about 6 tonnes were produced. “It’s a tradition that started very small with my grandfather,” says Ueli Bach. “Over time, I’ve expanded the business to produce more cheese than any other local Alp.” As the summer comes to a close, the cows are sold at auction to eager farmers. Some of the cows will remain on Alp Gumm until the

‘Ausfahrt’ at the end of August, while others will be immediately transported to their new homes. Cows that don’t sell at the auction will generally find buyers in the autumn. If the 3000-franc average price tag seems steep, there’s a bonus – nearly all the cows are pregnant, making it a ‘two-for-one’ special of sorts. Bach spends much of the spring before the cows are taken to the Alp purchasing the best local bull sperm to insure Alp Gumm carries on producing fine lines of dairy cows. As for the Bach family line, will his three grown daughters who all work in other fields follow in his footsteps? “I’d like to think at least one of them will,” laughs Bach, “but maybe one of them will find a man with a little cowboy in him!”

Going Once, Going Twice … Cow auctions are held at several of the Saanenland’s alphuts each summer, including Alp Gumm and Alp Hornberg. More than just business events, the festivities often include a barbeque, drinks and traditional music. Families are welcome to come up and join in the fun by experiencing the auction firsthand, with or without purchase of a bovine.


Greener Pastures: My Day as a Cowgirl TEXT AND PHOTO BY: ANDREA CLARKSON

Recently, I was invited to help move 30 cows up a mountain to a high-altitude farm. As a foreigner, I was touched that I might be valued for my cattle-moving skills. I even naively pictured myself as a modern-day Heidi, casually strolling up a mountain, cows in tow, picking daisies and popping the odd wild strawberry into my mouth along the way. But I was about to learn the finer points of moving cows the hard way. For 700 years, the Bach family have quietly observed the passing of the seasons, moving the cows up following the rhythm of nature and growth of the new grass. The high-altitude herbs and grasses are what give Maison Lorenz Bach’s Alpine Rose cheese (available at Molkerei Gstaad and Pernet Comestibles) produced here its unique flavour. The path to the farm was a steep and unforgiving passage through a natural avalanche zone. Each spring when the first rays of the sun warm the valley, the entire mountain top of snow empties down, reshaping the landscape with enough force to change the course of the river. Navigating this path is a tricky business, for cows and humans alike.

Holy Cow, Roger! BY: GSTAADLIFE

Following tradition, Swiss tennis star Roger Federer recieved a cow upon his return to the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open last month. Despite his early loss in the tournament, Federe is determined not to be put out to pasture. The same cannot be said for his bovine, Désirée, which Federer allowed to be auctioned off at Alp Gumm’s August 3rd cow sale. The three-year-old Simmentaler might not have fetched the highest sum, but the 3,800 francs raised will be donated to the Roger Federer Foundation, which works to alleviate poverty.

Photo: Keystone

After wading through a field of stinging nettles, I found myself overlooking Gstaad at 2000 metres high. My braided hair in tangles, a sweaty and humbled Heidi, I realized how much dedication and hard work goes into keeping a tradition alive.



Sports & Leisure

Canine Alpine Challenge ner’s Club and lives with Matti in Brazil. He enjoys swimming and chasing balls, as well as frightening off any large dogs who dare to bully him. Gstaad has always been a place where fourlegged friends are made to feel welcome, and indeed part of the family. A well-behaved and trained dog is a fantastic addition to any household, and the Canine Alpine Challenge has at least 19 dogs that are former strays. As the charity strives to help many more animals in need, please feel welcome to join the hike for this good cause.

Swiss Dogs A car full of rescues. BY: TESS LAROSSE PHOTO: GABRIELA MATTI

Calling all dog-lovers! Grab your pups, hiking boots and friends, and head up to the Wasserngrat Ski Lift on Sun., Aug 25th at 10 am! Many of you may recall last year’s event where over 50 dogs and their owners hiked up the mountain in aid of the Nuggat and Pirata fund for abused animals. It was such a hit that the C.A.C team decided to hold it once again this year at the Berghaus terrace kindly lent by the Buchs Brothers. A barbeque and tombola will take place, with prizes handed out by a special guest judge.

This will only be the icing on the cake to the process that has already seen so many positive success stories. Nuggat and Pirata are committed to improving the lives of abandoned dogs – these strays are often rescued from death, despair or extreme cruelty – and work tirelessly to find them compatible owners. The latest addition the charity’s pack is the the feisty and courageous ‘Mastino’, who was thrown into a deep garbage container and would most certainly have perished if member Arani Matti had not rescued him. Thanks to a lot of hard work, intrepid Mastino is now a member of the Doggy Lotto Win-

This year the organisers have taken the programming a step further: The idea behind this is to raise awareness about what being a responsible dog-owner actually means. Afterall, a well-trained dog equals a happy and sociable animal, and therefore a more relaxed owner. Alongside a canine agility test, legendary UK ’Dog Whisperer’ Bruce Clanford will be on-site to treat problematic pooches. Clanford will go above and beyond to assist with the rescue and re-homing process the charity provides. He’ll provide clear and concise directions and tips to individuals and groups, so that they can help develop better lifestyles for their dogs.

25. August 2013 13

Dog owners are extremely privileged here in Switzerland – most public places, including hotels, bars and restaurants accept dogs on the premises. Hosts often arrive at the table with a bowl of water for pets even before taking the owner’s drink order! This is a big plus compared to countries such as the US and Great Britain, where dogs are not allowed near establishments serving food. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to take our dog along to work. I personally wouldn’t be able to do this if my dog wasn’t suitably trained – not that my dog is perfect, I still have to work with him on his desire to rid the world of cats, and therefore, I will be signing Eddie up to one of Bruce’s ’social behaviour classes’ for naughty terriers !

Sports & Leisure

Gstaad Yacht Club Summer Season Highlights World Championship Bronze The Gstaad Yacht Club’s summer calendar illustrates the shared passions of its members – sailing, rallying, socializing and attending cultural events – from the clubhouse to Swiss waters and beyond. Here you’ll find an overview of the most exciting events of the season. Top teams from around the globe sailed in Scheveningen for the first World Champion-

Arts & Culture Highlights

ship title in this young Olympic boat class. After two days without wind, all teams had to sail five races in a row to finish the Qualifying Round. With an excellent performance (3/5/1/2), Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger set the cornerstone for their later win. In the three final races, they fell back to 9th position, before they finally reached the podium with a brilliant 2nd place in the last race. Unfortunately the concluding medal race of the best ten boats couldn’t be sailed due to lack of sufficient wind.

“We’re very happy with this result and proud of the bronze medal at this first Nacra 17 World Championship,” says champion Matías Bühler. “We hope to carry this momentum through and win a medal in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.” This is an impressive win considering the two GYC members have only trained with coaches Sebastian Godefroid (BEL) and Laurent Voiron (FRA) since November 2012.

Photo: GYC


Committed to cultural events of the highest degree, the GYC welcomed a very special star to its clubhouse on August 14th, 2013 – Spanish pianist Enrique Pérez de Guzmán. Perez de Guzman gave a concert entitled “Celebrating Wagner and Verdi Through Liszt’s Magic” to an appreciative audience of GYC members. Born in Madrid, Enrique Pérez de Guzmán studied at the Madrid Conservatory of Music before winning several international competitions set him on the path to an international career. He has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and the National Orchestra of Spain, amongst others. The programme of the evening celebrated the bicentenaries of the two greatest opera composers of the 19th century and the 120th anniversary of Tschaikovsky’s death. Pérez de Guzmán expressed delight at returning to Gstaad. The concert was followed by a dinner, during which he shared insights from his repertoire and details on the life of his international career as a concert pianist.

Excellent Conditions for Classic Car Rally & Yachting The GYC held its seventh annual Classic Car Rally & Yachting on August 10th, in a joint venture with the Gstaad Automobile Club (GAC). To maintain the suspense and challenge all co-pilots equally, the road book was given out Saturday morning just ten minutes before the start of the race. Among the automobiles dating from 1982 back to the 50’s were numerous Bentleys (Turbo R, S1 Fastback, and Continental Graber), Porsches, Aston Martins (DB 5 and 6) and a selection of other rarer makes. Perfect weather conditions allowed convertibles to drive topless on some of the Bernese Oberland’s most scenic back roads from Gstaad to the Menigpass. Here, the first two challenges (parking skills and distance-measuring ability) were waiting. All participants continued their journey through the beautiful countryside down to the Diemtigtal.

Onward to Leissigen, the third challenge checked adherence to speed limits. Next, the route wound down along Lake Thun to Interlaken and then high up to Beatenberg. With incredible views down to the water, the drivers descended to reach their final destination of Hilterfingen, where the restaurant Stella del Lago offered a wonderful lunch right on the lake – its pontoon a perfect location for the sailing portion of the event. Wind conditions were superb and allowed participants to complete two quick races in groups of four boats. The final results combined the scores from the driving, check points, photo quiz and sailing portions of the day. The trophy went to Caspar Stürm and his co-pilot Dieter Musfeld, who drove a Bentley R Continental Graber. Second place went to Ondrej Müller and his son Tobias who were followed by Jeremy Frampton and his co-pilot Sinem Sentürk.



Sports & Leisure

The Sport of Kings, à la Gstaad BY: GSTAADLIFE PHOTO: ZVG

Since the inception of the Gold Cup Gstaad in 1996, polo has been a beloved local tradition. Alongside beach volleyball and tennis, the four-day event makes up the holy trinity of sports events in the Saanenland. This year, the tournament continued in high fashion, with four teams battling for top honours. The Sunday, August 18th final saw Team Gstaad Palace triumph with an 8-7 win over Team Hublot. The action continued until the very last moments, with Eduardo Menendez scoring a goal off the back of a penalty for the win. Third place went to Team Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA, who rode to a tight victory over Team Star Design, at 7-6.

Sturdza was so honoured in the amateur category. The Palace also won “Pony of the Match,” awarded to Menendez’s prized Belon. Marcos Riglos of Team Sturdza, who scored a whopping 30 goals during the event, was the obvious choice for “Top Goal Scorer.” People-watching at the well-attended event was as entertaining as the polo-watching. The Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad lived up to its reputation, attracting a chic and lively crowd of onlookers. It was see and be seen at

the VIP tent and raised seating area, with its de rigueur designer frocks and pricey cigars. A family affair Despite the glitz and glamour, the organizers ensure that polo is enjoyed by young and old, rich and poor. Entry to the event is free, making it a welcome activity for families. This year, the kids’ village boasted pony rides, face painting, a climbing wall and two inflatable jumping areas – not to mention drinks and cotton candy.

“The most memorable part of match for me?” says Team Captain Gstaad Palace Gualtiero Giori. “When we fought so hard to defend an attack from Team Hublot right on the line – we just about managed to get the ball away and in doing so we managed to score ourselves!” The bold and the beautiful Santi Cernadas of Team Gstaad Palace took home the “Man of the Match” award in the Pro category, while Cedric Schweri of Team

Team Gstaad Palace wins the Hublot Gold Cup Gstaad 2013.

Gstaad Living


A tradition since 2004, Saanen held the 10th edition of its famed brocante August 3rd. The main streets were closed to traffic, hosting 130 antiques dealers, wheeler-dealers and folks who just wanted to empty their attics. From vintage 1960’s crocodile purses once owned by a late Swiss Ambassador’s wife to nearly new bicycle helmets, there was something for everyone. With warm, sunny skies,

the crowds came from as far as Geneva and Zürich to join in on the fun. An experienced bargainer, I personally found several incredible deals: a rare first edition of Yves Saint Laurent’s 1994 Champagne perfume for just five francs; a leather hunting backpack for 30 francs; and a pair of original silver Art Deco bookends for 200 francs.

Photo: Blanca Burri

First-Rate, Second-Hand Market

Mark your calendars; the next market will be held August 9, 2014.


After minor adjustments to the association articles, the organization Primary Care Simmental-Saanenland, Medizinische Grundversorgung Simmental-Saanenland, was officially founded this month. It’s an organisation that just might diminish some of the challenges surrounding the issue of local health care.

Photo: Michael Föhn

New Group Aiming to Unite Divided Healthcare Issue Forms

“The purpose of our group is ensuring the continuity of both outpatient and inpatient medical care,” says Hans Zimmerli, who led the meeting. “We’ll serve to optimize medical care in the entire region.” Healthcare around the water cooler The issue of medical care has been a hot topic for the region since the only hospital in the area closed its doors in November 2012. Since that time, Gstaad residents have had no choice but to make the 20-minute drive to Zweisimmen Hospital. Attempts to create a shared practice in the former Saanen hospital building – which would house several local doctors with varying specialities – are already underway. As of yet, no terms have been finalised. This future practice would not provide emergency care, but rather simply gather individual practitioners under one common roof. In the past year, some parties have shown concern that such a joint practice would endanger the Zweisimmen Hospital, but the meeting attendees sought to clarify that such a project would not sabotage the hospital in any way. At the meeting, members discussed the issues of mutual respect and appreciation in depth,

deeming both qualities vital to bolstering any hopes for unification. Come one, come all Many general practitioners and city officials from municipalities including Saanen, Gsteig, Lauenen, Lenk, Zweisimmen, St. Stephan, Boltigen, Erlenbach and Diemtigen attended the meeting, which was held in Zweisimmen City Hall. Representatives from home care organisations, emergency services, and retirement homes were also present. Eleven board members were unanimously elected, including President Dr Beat Michel. Christian Gafner (Municipality of Saanen), Dr Philippe Ganz (Wimmis), Bruno Guggisberg (Spital STS AG), Dr Beat Hählen (Lenk), Irene Kung (Alterszentrum Lindenmatte Erlenbach and Pro Senectute Niedersimmental), Rolf Michel (Municipality of Zweisimmen), Gerhard Schuck (Spitexverein Saanen), André Streit (Alterswohnen STS AG), Anne Stucki (Municipality of Diemtigen) and Dr. Daniel Trötschler (Zweisimmen Hospital) make up the other ten seats.

First order of business The group’s first task was voting on member-funding mechanisms. The members unanimously decided that, annually, the municipalities would pay fees of one franc per inhabitant, while the retirement homes would pay 10 francs per bed. Physicians and rescue organisations would pay a flat fee of 200 francs, home care organisations 250 francs, and Spital STS AG the largest chunk at 15,000 francs. In total, the organisation has 60,000 franc annual budget. Johann Zahler of the retirement home (Alterspflegeheim) in Matten was selected as auditor and several urgent tasks and projects for the new group were laid out. This includes hiring a business director, Geschäftsführer, who would oversee administration. With the organisation up and running, the prospect for health care in the Gstaad area seems a little brighter. Time will tell.



Arts & Culture

Music Soars at Menuhin Festival Gstaad Ning’s Notes of Perfection Royal Academy of Music in London (a first in two centuries) he went on to win the 2006 Paganini Competition.


Ning seemed to possess a limitless energy that resonated in each of his expert strokes of the bow. He is clearly at ease in the Russian/Eastern European repertoire; notable moments were Ning’s remarkable playing of Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No.1 op. 80. In the Allegro brusco, Ning brought a striking beauty that is not often heard to the coarse nature of the piece.

Upcoming Concerts in the Main Tent Fri., Aug 23: Moldau & Sea Composer in residence Fazil Say on the piano with Kristjan Järvi conducting Sat. Aug 24: Russian Seduction Starring Juan Diego Florez under the direction of Michael Pletnev Fri., Aug 30: Cello Bliss Featuring cellist Sol Gabetta Sat., Aug 31: Verdi Celebration Soprano Kristine Opolais sings Verdi


On August 8 , renowned violinist Ning Feng wowed the packed pews with sonatas by Janacek, Prokofiev and Beethoven.

At his side was pianist Igor Levit, who played with finesse, despite a touch wellearned fatigue that crept in towards the end of boisterous Prokofiev.

Sun., Sept 1: Chldren & Family Concert The Bandits

It’s easy to see, and hear, why the Chinese-born Ning has a growing international career. From 100% marks on his exams at the

Should he make a return appearance next year, be sure to reserve your tickets in advance – Ning Feng is simply not to be missed.

Sat., Sept 7: Calm Sea & River Idyll Closing concert with cellist Mischa Maisky


Fri., Sept 6: Setting the Sails Oceanic Film Music

The Rial Deal – Soprano Stars with Leipzig String Quartet BY: ALEXIS MUNIER PHOTO: RAPHAEL FAUX

It’s no surprise that the Menuhin Festival Gstaad stays true to its roots with an abundance of string concerts, as founder Yehudi Menuhin is considered one of the finest violinists of the 20th century. While vocal music doesn’t make an appearance in the majority of concerts, August 9th

featured a well-blended mélange of Sturm und Drang-inspired works for voice and string quartet. But a soprano is no violin; illness and travel can wreak havoc on a singer’s instrument, leaving for last-minute program changes. Basel-based Nuria Rial had been expected to sing Schubert’s Mignon Lieder in a performance with the Leipzig String Quartet. However due to vocal difficulties, the pro-

gram was altered to feature songs with a lower tessitura. This new programming may have been a blessing in disguise, as it included the quartet’s lovely rendition of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. This was a rare treat, since Wagner does not often (if ever!) make the program at the Menuhin concerts. But the crowd at Lauenen Church awaited Ms Rial with impatience; the performance lasted just 12 short minutes and left her public wanting more. Despite any illness, the Catalonian soprano brought typical Latin flair to this otherwise steadfast German music, using her graceful arms to convey key dramatic moments in Heine and Geothe’s poetry. While Rial used her surprisingly rich middle and light upper register with ease, some of the top notes lacked support, likely due to her less-than-perfect health. Overall, her gorgeous, sweet tone would be a welcome addition to any future Menuhin Festival programming.


Playing Catch-Up With Hamburger Pianist Sebastian Knauer INTERVIEW BY: ALEXIS MUNIER PHOTO: SEBASTIAN SCHMIDT

German pianist Sebastian Knauer is a familiar face at the Menuhin Festival. Following his recital on August 14th, he was kind enough to sit for an interview with GSTAADLIFE. GSTAADLIFE: After more than a decade of concerts at the Menuhin Festival, what keeps you coming back year after year? Sebastian Knauer: I’m fortunate enough to be invited back! The first several years I played in chamber ensembles, but it’s now my third year playing solo piano recitals at the festival. Old friends and fans always greet me warmly, and I feel quite at home here.

GL: Where do you stay while you’re in town and are you able to enjoy any holidays here your performances? SK: I stayed two days at Le Grand Chalet and three days at the Grand Hotel Park – it’s quite luxurious compared to my usual choice of hotel, and a rare treat. I know the Saanenland well, as I spent a good deal of time in my family’s chalet in the mountains near Vevey as a boy. In winter I’m an avid skier and often came to Gstaad for the excellent slopes.

GL: How do you feel about performing in the church of Lauenen? SK: Playing in churches can be a bit tricky; the acoustics are sometimes too strong. But

this church, with its warm and inviting atmosphere, is an exception to the rule. With around 300 seats, it’s just big enough. Not to mention that it’s exceptionally beautiful and playing in such a holy place has special meaning.

violin concerto, for example, but there are many fantastic works just waiting to be discovered. His music has a reputation of being pleasant and perfunctory, but I believe it has great depth and soul. His melodies are very singable, while his unusual harmonies are anything but ’just nice’.

GL: You’re mostly dedicated to chamber music … why? SK: If by chamber music then you mean performing with other musicians, then yes, I am. It is always a pleasure to be on stage with friends and colleagues. Of course I also play many solo recitals and have branched out into other hybrid projects as well; I often perform with actors who give dramatic readings woven between pieces of music, which is a change from the standard repertoire.

GL: Your programme tonight included only the most well-known pieces for piano. Why, and why the theme Alla Turca? SK: You’re right … I just heard one of the Schubert Impromptu’s in an elevator. While I am a fan of promoting lesser-known music to audiences and expanding their musical horizons, there is something nice about playing music everyone knows and loves.

I’d like to invite the audience, and GSTAADLIFE readers, to hear me August 31st to September 14th in Augsburg, Germany. There I serve as Artistic Director of the Mozart @ Augsburg festival (www.mozartaugsburg. com) , where I’ll perform, among many other concerts, with violinist Daniel Hope and actor Klaus Maria Brandauer in a programme featuring readings of Mozart letters.

Remember these pieces have stood the test of time for a very good reason. The theme Alla Turca was chosen as it’s the last movement of the first piece on the programme, Mozart’s Sonata KV 331, and one that is instantly recognizable.

GL: You’re clearly a Mendelssohn buff, and played his Lied ohne Worte op. 85, 4 as one of your encores. What attracts you to his music?

SK: I like to say I’m an ’honest’ musician – for me, the composer is king. I am not on stage as Sebatian Knauer, artist, but rather Sebastian Knauer, interpreter of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Above all, the music is the star here – I simply try my best to present the music in a way that would make the composer proud.

SK: Don’t forget that Mendelssohn is from Hamburg, like me! No, seriously, Mendelssohn’s piano music is not as famous as his

GL: What do you bring to these pieces personally, and as an artist?



Special Advertising Section

La Bagatelle Takes Top Wine Honours Le Grand Chalet’s restaurant La Bagatelle has won the “Best Wine List for Gourmet Restaurants 2013,” awarded by the Association of Sommeliers of Switzerland – following right on the heels of the restaurant’s prestigious Wine Spectator 2013 Award of Excellence.

Photo: Pierre Khim-Tit Artphoto Gstaad 2013

La Bagatelle offers wine lovers an exceptionally fine range of wines – from the humblest Fendant to the priciest Bordeaux – with a legendary cellar that holds over 15,000 bottles. The unique wine list, lovingly printed on handmade Himalayan paper, offers more than 1100 different wines. Most are French or Swiss, reflecting Ferreira’s

commitment to staying ‘local’, but alongside their important selection of Burgundies and varieties from Italy’s Piemonte region, you’ll find wines from around the world.

But Ferreira says that what sets La Bagatelle’s wine cellar apart is not just its number of bottles, but its collection of true rarities and wines by great ‘character’ winemakers.

“Anybody who comes to Le Grand Chalet will find the right wine for their taste – and budget,” says Hotel Director Pedro Ferreira.

Most important, La Bagatelle offers the outstanding cuisine that the very best in wine deserves. Feast on classic French fare like langoustines sautéed in garlic butter or the grilled rack of Sisteron lamb drizzled in thyme juice. The large terrace offering an amazing panoramic of the Alps is open daily during both the winter and summer seasons.

Ferreira’s devotion to wine has shaped every choice on the extensive wine list. He seeks out the soul of each wine, personally visiting most winemakers for first-hand tastings. According to Ferreira, it’s the only way to judge a winemaker’s philosophy and commitment to the environment. “When you visit the winemakers, you can see if it’s all about business or if there’s passion behind the wine,” says Ferreira. “You feel the energy, the truth, and the authenticity of a wine!”

After enjoying a glass or two from La Bagatelle’s wine list, be sure to ask for a personal tour of the cellar – Ferreira couldn’t be happier than when he’s sharing his passion for wine with interested guests. Neueretstrasse 43, 3780 Gstaad 033 748 76 76 7:30 am–10:00 pm www.grandchalet.ch

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The Saanenland’s Off-Season? What Off-Season? BY: GSTAADLIFE

Some of Gstaad’s best non-sporting events are held in September and October. This fall will see plenty of off-season action, including the Gstaadermesse, Country Night and Gstaad Classic Audemars Piguet rally. Country Night Gstaad brings country music’s hottest stars to the town’s famous tent, where more than 10,000 expected fans will two-step to the sound of headliners LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, The Time Jump-

ers featuring Vince Gill and Hoosier band The Flynnville Train. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the festival is the brainchild of country music fan and local businessman Marcel Bach, who founded the Country Night in 1989. The concerts will be held Friday to Sunday, September 20th to 22nd; all performers play Friday and Saturday nights, while Sunday hosts a slew lesser known and local performers during the daylong family-friendly fĂŞte. www.countrynight-gstaad.ch

September 25th to 28th will see vintage cars tour the Saanenland with the annual Gstaad Classic Audemars Piguet rally. These old-timers, which date from the 1970’s and earlier, will roll in ‘regularity’ mode, which means it’s no race to the finish – quite the contrary. Timekeeping loops are fixed in advance by rally officials and drivers must adhere to these times as precisely as possible. This system allows for even modest performers to come out on top. Please see www.gstaadclassic.com for more details on the event.

Photo: zvg

Gstaad’s busy networking event, the Gstaadermesse, is a perfect chance to discover the Saanenland’s businesses. More than 50 exhibitors will host stands at the Sportzertrum, in addition to crowd-pleasing food, drinks and entertainment. The Gstaadermesse, which runs October 24th to 27th is held bi-annually – miss it and you’ll have to wait until 2015 to get a glimpse into the heart of local business sector. www.gstaadermesse.ch

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Entertainment Events Calendar Friday, August 23, 2013 through Saturday, September 21, 2013 Fri. Aug 23, 30 Lauenen Folklore Evening with Yodelling Folklore Evening with Swiss music. Every Friday through August.

Sun. Aug 25 Zweisimmen «Dorfet» in the Lothar Stall Bar Something from the grill, a chat with friends and acquaintances and good music

Fri. Aug 2 – Sat. Sept 7 Gstaad 57th Menuhin Festival Gstaad A classical music festival with world-famous artists. www.menuhinfestivalgstaad.ch

Thu. Sep 5 Zweisimmen Theme night SAC «Capricorns» Lecture in Swiss German with Traugott Stalder. Everyone’s welcome!

Sun. August 25 Saanenmöser Art Exhibition Paintings by Oskar Fuchs and sculptures by Martin Hill.

Sat. Sep 7 Saanen Live-Jazz on the Grubenberg Live-Jazz in the lodge of the Grubenberg with Stephan Kurmann.

Sun. Aug 25 Gstaad Wispile Events The «mountain breakfast» is served every Sunday from June to October.

Sat. Sep 7 Saanen Red-Bull Alpen Brevet It’s time again: 800 guys and girls rattle on scooters at the fourth Red Bull «Alpenbrevet».

Fri. Aug 2 – Sat. Sept 7 Gstaad 57th Menuhin Festival Gstaad A classical music festival with world-famous artists. www.menuhinfestivalgstaad.ch

Sat. 7 Sep. 13 Zweisimmen Legends of the Simmental Mystically legends of the Simmental inlcuding Hans Zahler (1873–1927).

Thu. Aug 29, Sep 6 Lauenen Guided Tour of Lauenensee Interesting tour with a local hiking guide through the nature reserve.

Sun. Sep 8 Gsteig Autumn Feast of Folk Music Artists:• Ländlerkapelle Kurt Schmid • d’Lasenberg • Kapelle Moillen-FavrePosterye

Sat. Aug 24, Sep 7 Lauenen Concert at the Hotel Alpenland Aug 24: Kapelle Chantal Reusser-Kurt Schmid Sept. 7: Orchestre Floriana of Château-d’Oex

Fri. Sep 13 Zweisimmen Harp Concert Latin American harp with Daniela Lorenz, harp.

Sat. Aug 24 Zweisimmen Concert with «Dodo Hug» Dodo Hug, the vocal wonder celebrates its fortieth anniversary on stage.

Fri. Sep 13 Saanen Assembly of the Community Saanen All citizens are invited to attend the community meeting.

Sat. Aug 24 Zweisimmen Old-Young Party The retirement home Alterswohnen AG welcomes you to their party for young and old.

Fri. Sep 13 – Sun. 15 Sep 15 Gstaad Automne Littéraire Gstaad Autumne Littéraire Gstaad is a forum for contemporary lierature.

Sat. Aug 24, Sat. Sept 22 Gsteig Concerts Sat. Aug 24: Cult band «Dörrti Fruits», Saanenland, Sat. Sept 22:„Akkordeonduo Martin Suter Jun. & Sen.», Rothenthurm

Sat. Sep 14 Zweisimmen Concert with «Churchill» Churchill, Swiss Rap & Reggae. Dinner at 6.15 pm.

Sun. Aug. 25 Feutersoey Football competition Gsteig - Feutersoey Local clubs fight for goals.

Sat. Sep 14 Gstaad Gstaad Promenade Party III The third Gstaad Promenade Party will offer a competition and a procession of cows.

Sun. Aug. 25 Lauenen Blatti Suufsunntig Traditional feast on the Alp Blatti. The alp is reachable by foot or off-road vehicle only.

Sun. Sep 15 Zweisimmen Bergpredigt Mountain mass on the Rinderberg at the Restaurant Rinderberg Spitz.

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Wed. Sep 18


Senior Day on the Rellerli Special rates for seniors – bring your insurance-identity-card. Fri. Sep 20 to Sun. Sep 22


Clubs Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christian Sieber (026 / 924 45 25) Program: Rot. Pascal Rey (026 / 925 10 00)

Country Night Gstaad Country Night Gstaad is a leading country music event. Sat. Sep 21


Gondel-Night-Dinner Food, culture and music, “Gondeliromantik“ at the Hamilton Lodge/Derby Restaurant. Sat. Sep 21


Shooting Event

Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 pm for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa-Hotel, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Philippe Werren, president, 033 748 84 00, philippe.werren@werrenag.ch, https://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch

Shooting Event at the “Feldschützen“ in


Abländschen. Sat. Sep 21


Cheese Market Alp-Cheese-Market in Saanen. Musical entertainment with: Kinderjodlerchörli Saanen.

Church Services St Peter’s Anglican Church English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch

Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 729 26 26 Dental Care Center 033 744 15 45 Police station 033 356 84 31 Car accident 033 744 88 80 Zweisimmen Hospital 033 729 26 26 Château-d’Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian 033 748 08 58/ 033 744 06 61 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/useful-numbers.html

GSTAADLIFE is available in these Hotels **** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch

** * HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch

**** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch

** * HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, info@gstaad4.com

**** * GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch

*** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch

**** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch

*** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch

***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE +41 (0)33 748 04 30, reservation@ermitage.ch

*** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch

*** * HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch

*** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch

*** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch

*** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch

**** GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch

** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch

**** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, info@arc-en-ciel.ch

*** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch

**** HOTEL BERNERHOF +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch

*** SAANEWALD LODGE +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@saanewald-lodge.ch

**** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch

*** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch

**** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, info@gstaaderhof.ch

** LE PETIT RELAIS +41 (0)33 744 35 65, info@lepetitrelais.ch

**** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com

HOTEL BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, hotel@baerengsteig.ch

**** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch

GASTHOF GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 22, info@gasthof-geltenhorn.ch

**** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch

HOTEL VIKTORIA +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch

** * HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch

HOTEL WILDHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 12, info@hotel-wildhorn.ch

Photo: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos

Last Word


I never much thought about ordering regional specialties until an American friend of mine brought her Italian husband to a roadside diner in Rhode Island, where he was ridiculed for requesting the local wine. Despite his absurd request, it makes perfect sense to order the local fare. That is of course unless you live in a mindless urban bubble or enjoy flying lobster on your private jet from Maine to Gstaad. Eating local and organic produce isn’t so difficult if you have a garden or make the effort not to shop in ginormous chain supermarkets. Yet so-called “food-conscious” people still go nuts about organic produce and are willing to pay double for it. Never mind where it comes from so long as it is labeled “organic.” Everyone is up in arms about Monsanto, but I am more concerned with people thinking they can eat anything they want at any time of year. The idea that we have to eat food with horrendous chemicals or genetic modifications grown on another continent is absurd, even for people who can’t necessarily afford anything that hasn’t been touched by Monsanto. Even in most cities, local farmers bring in regional fruits and vegetables and sell them at farmers’ markets. Pesticide-free products are widely available because people and farmers grow them just about everywhere. The trick is patronizing small farms, growing your

own if you have a bit of soil, learning how to preserve things for consumption out of season, and not wanting to eat an avocado in Europe in the middle of winter.

I have also made basil oil, pesto and have turned my peppers into a variety of salsas which can be frozen and later eaten with almost anything.

Growing your own seems the most reasonable. According to Cicero, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” I have both and I couldn’t be happier. My garden is recently acquired, and thanks to Maria my Ibicenco caretaker and expert gardener, I have it all: tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, radishes, lettuce, potatoes, onions, figs, almonds, asparagus, lemons, oranges, olives and cherries. All this is in addition to the rosemary, sage, thyme, bay, oregano and basil that grow wild or in pots. Everything is absolutely delicious and a far cry from the tasteless tomatoes one gets in America.

The beauty of having a garden, even a very small one, is that it allows you to eat healthfully without really needing anything but the occasional fish or hunk of beef. This is what I call luxury! It is also very healthy without being obsessively vegetarian. Now I scoff at every “organic” sign I pass along the road and curse the savvy food salesmen that have encouraged people to forget that old slogan, “Think globally, act locally.”

I have a 100-year-old outdoor stone oven and can make bread, pizza and just about anything else – much like people used to do before eating out in fancy restaurants became the epitome of luxury. I have spent much of this summer eating directly from my garden and canning tomatoes, peppers and zucchini for the winter. I have become somewhat of an expert in recipes that include zucchini. Fried zucchini flowers are my favorite. My tomato sauce is outstanding and can be used in pastas, soups, on bread and much more. I dare you to challenge it! Sometimes I even eat it by itself straight out of the jar after it has been chopped and reduced in a big pot.

Here in Gstaad my mother grows her own organic vegetables on a minuscule patch of land outside her kitchen. For everything else we need, the list of amazing local foods is long. Switzerland has cheese, chocolate and almost everything in between. My favorite is the local wine from grapes grown by a friend near Lake Geneva. Need a spot of protein? There is no shortage of beef. Plus we have our local trout farmer. To hell with tropical fruits and some Atlantic delicacy; we are in the Alps!

They say you are what you eat. Perhaps it is more apt to say you are where you eat. And right now I feel distinctly Swiss.



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GstaadLife, 23 August 2013  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad

GstaadLife, 23 August 2013  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad

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