Stretched out in your SWISS Business seat, you’re enjoying a glass of cold Fendant, a stony white wine sourced from a family-owned vineyard in Lavaux, Switzerland’s UNESCO-listed wine country. Soon, the main course—designed by a Swiss Michelin-starred chef—arrives: Sautéed cod fillet with seafood nage, potato and fennel brandade, grilled zucchini, and pepper confit, and you realize this is far from your typical airline meal.
It is, however, a typical meal in SWISS Business, which lets you sample the unique flavors of Switzerland when you take off from Zurich. Eating seasonally and locally is one of the hallmarks of flying Switzerland’s national airline. And travelers can expect a range of authentic Swiss specialties on all its flights, as well as service that includes a jolly “en guete!” (“enjoy your meal”)—Switzerland’s unique version of bon appetite.
Here’s how SWISS brings authentic, seasonal Swiss cuisine to the skies.
How to represent all the flavors of Switzerland? SWISS does it by rotating guest chefs from across the country’s 26 cantons (states) for meals in SWISS First and SWISS Business. Their SWISS Taste of Switzerland program allows the personalities of these various regional cuisines—as well as those of the country’s award-winning chefs—to really shine through. Menus, which change every three months, have included dishes like Bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and cheese mille-feuille accompanied by a parmesan sablé, artichoke purée, and pickled vegetables; or Ticino-style trout fillet with vegetable brunoise and stinging nettle cream sauce.
From now until the beginning of December, for example, you can discover the gourmet delights of Canton St. Gallen, home to the famous thermal bath resort of Bad Ragaz and its new restaurant, IGNIV. SWISS has tapped the restaurant’s 29-year-old Michelin-starred chef, Silvio Germann, who studied in the kitchen of Michelin three-starred Swiss chef Andreas Caminada, then went on to develop his own take on Swiss cuisine. Examples of his dishes include Balik salmon sashimi with dill cream and smoked fish mouse, and veal ragout braised in vegetable jus with roasted bramata.
But SWISS doesn’t stop there—even the vegetarian menus are locally focused. They’re designed by Haus Hiltl, Zurich’s famous vegetarian restaurant that’s been plating up plant-based cuisine since 1898.
Cheese and Wine
In Switzerland, comfort foods are always of a high quality. And nowhere is this more evident than in the country’s rich diversity of excellent cheese, which has been produced and exported for more than 1,000 years. On all flights in all classes, you’ll find popular Swiss cheeses like Gruyère, nutty Appenzeller, and delicate Tête de Moine, while SWISS Business passengers are treated to rarer varieties like Bernese Alpkäse, a Weichkäse from the Gerzensee, and Gorello cheese from Ticino.
And as part of the current St. Gallen promotion, premiere-class travelers departing from Zurich will be treated to the select cheeses of celebrity artisan cheesemaker Willi Schmid, who produces creamy and nuanced creations like Goat Reblochon and Jersey Blue.
The perfect accompaniment to Swiss cheese, of course, is Swiss wine. And since only 1% of Switzerland’s award-winning wines are exported, you’ll likely be discovering an amazing (though hard to find at home) vintage when you fly SWISS. Choose a hand-picked selection on each SWISS flight—it might be a crisp white sourced from Switzerland’s ancient UNESCO-listed Lavaux wine terraces, or an earthy, full-bodied Merlot from the country’s sun-kissed Italian-speaking Canton Ticino.
You’ll also have a great selection of other libations to get you in the Alpine spirit, like Appenzell beers and pear schnapps, as well as non-alcoholic Swiss classics like Apfelschorle (sparkling water and Swiss apple juice) and Swiss milk.
Seasonal Partnerships and Themes
If you’re getting the sense that the menu onboard a SWISS flight is ever-changing and always exciting, you’re correct. The airline keeps things fresh through partnerships with some of the country’s most outstanding chefs and purveyors.
One example of that is the SWISS Connoisseur Experience, a truly unique program for passengers in SWISS First, that rotates four times per year. The last event occurred this past August, when SWISS brought a steakhouse to the sky, offering passengers a menu of grilled Australian Wagyu beef striploin steaks, tender Argentine cuts, and creamy New York Cheesecake. And coming up, from November 20–December 3, the SWISS Connoisseur Experience theme will be “White Truffles”.
Wild game was the theme of another partnership, this one with Roger Zogg of Wilde 13, a local hunter and one of Silvio Germann’s purveyors for IGNIV. Zogg brought aboard dried wild game meat specialties like venison salami, and dried sausage made from wild chamois (a type of wild goat found in the Alps).
What would an authentic Swiss experience be without chocolate? After all, it was back in 1875 that milk chocolate was invented in Switzerland. This proud tradition continues today, of course, which is why all guests will be treated to high-quality Swiss chocolate, offered from a Chörbli (basket) at the end of each flight.
For your own taste of Switzerland—both on board and in-country—book a flight now on SWISS.