At the Kronenstübli, the 40-year-old Piemontese continues the gourmet tradition at the highest level. The undisputed highlight is his "Canard à la Presse", which is presented at the table with a silver duck press. The duck is first cooked in the oven and roasted with its skin. Then the carcass, heart, and liver are pressed in a screw press, becoming the base of a unique sauce. The dish is originally from Tour d'Argent in Paris, France's oldest restaurant. In addition to traditional recipes, Piantanida deems regional ingredients important: "Char from the Engadine, lamb from the Puschlav or potatoes from the Albula Pass." He finds it interesting to see how Alpine gastronomy has developed over the years: "It has become more varied and playful. In the past, for example, there wasn’t much more than a standard cheese fondue. Today, there are various mixtures with truffles, champagne, or mountain herbs."
But how are new dishes created at the Kronenhof? "I read many cookbooks and talk to other chefs. That gives me inspiration for new ideas," says Piantanida. Last summer, for example, he collected pine cones in the forest of Starz. "We used their aroma for a special salt crust around a beef fillet. Worked great." We are certainly curious as to what Piantanida is going to conjure up next to captivate his patrons. Whatever it is, it will without a doubt contribute to exquisite fine dining in Pontresina.