The gourmet hiker is in for special lunchtime treats in the Dolomites, where top chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants have created dishes using traditional ingredients for eight alpine rifugi or mountain huts . It’s all part of the “In Vetta con Gusto”- Peaks of Gastronomy – initiative that makes hiking in the dolomites with lunch at a mountain hut a truly sublime experience.
The chef’s dishes, which feature many South Tyrolean food products of the Dolomites, are paired with a local wine, a great way to taste some of Alto Adige’s lesser known wines.
After a magnificent walk through alpine meadows full of wildflowers in the Dolomites, we lunched at the Rifugio Pralongià where I was too hungry to notice the gourmet dish, and opted for an immediate and steaming bowl of barley soup, but sharp-eyed hiker Robert Gardos went for the chef’s dish: Fresh sheep’s milk cheese wrapped in warm Speck ham with mountain honey, served with an Alto Adige Sauvignon.
Other rifugi that are participating and are convenient for wildflower walks from San Cassiano (and the luxurious hotel Rosa Alpina, a Relais & Chateaux):
Rifugio Bioch: Chef Norbert Niederkofler of the 2-star Michelin St. Hubertus at the Rosa Alpina, proposes a tortelli pasta stuffed with Speck ham paté and buffalo ricotta cheese on a bed of green beans, paired with an Alto Adige Bianco.
Rifugio I Tablá: Chef Arturo Spicocchi of the 1-star Michelin La Stüa de Michil suggests pork shank in honey and black pepper, with thyme-seasoned polenta and chanterelles accompanied by an Alto Adige Pinot Nero.
For more information about the Peaks of Gastronomy initiative, click here.
To learn more about where I go hiking and walking in the Dolomites, click here.