Instead of "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll" I'm looking for "Snow, Rocks 'n Food" when I'm heading for a snowboard trip in Italy!
Usually I'm one of the first on the lift, looking to do a few first tracks or at least enjoy the pistes as long there aren't too many others around. Lunch time is a sandwich, which I'll eat on the lift going uphill.
No time to waste...
That is different in Alta Badia!
Damn... there it's tough to get out of the huts, especially if you like excellent food!
Try the Gourmet Skisafari, where 5 Michelin Star chefs are taking care of 5 delicious meals in 5 mountain huts!
The Dolomites provide an outstanding landscape, which you will enjoy getting from hut to hut.
Before that, you could already start your day with an Early Morning breakfast on 2000 meters altitude, heading there around 7 am. A snowcat gets you up there and you would be able to ski down to take the first lift up. :)
Like that you will create the first bread-marmelade-bacon-egg-coffee track of the day!
Head up again, do several more tracks and then ski to the first hut where you can get your lunch ticket (€45 per person). Be there at 11 a.m. as you "only" have until 3.30 p.m. to reach the other 4 huts to get some more awesome food!
Food, rocks and snow isn't enough? No worries, the South Tyrolean sommeliers have paired the dishes with local wines!
Let's meet the chefs:
- Norbert Niederkofler
He will be cooking sweetcorn cream and braised lamb shank, onion salad and finely chopped parsley at the Col Alt hut. Usually you'll find Norbert at the St. Hubertus Restaurant c/o Relais & Chateaux Hotel Rosa Alpina in Alta Badia (2 Michelin stars).
- Matteo Metullio
He will serve you Friuli Venezia Giulia at the Piz Arlara hut: a bean broth, potato chips, sauerkraut, Speck oil and lemon shrimp tartar. Matteo is also the youngest star-studded chef in Italy and you'll find him in the La Siriola Restaurant c/o Hotel Ciasa Salares in Alta Badia.
- Otto Pitscheider
Otto is the owner of the Bamby Hut and will have a parboiled organic beef carpaccio recipe, accompanied by a turnip and parsley cream, artichokes in olive oil and rye bread wafer waiting for you.
- Claudio Sadler
Claudio will take care of the dish at the I Tablá hut, a cod escalope cooked in Prosecco with dried olives and Storo polenta. Usually he is not here, but at the Sadler Restaurant in Milano (2 Michelin stars).
- Giancarlo Morelli
Giancarlo cooks at the Bioch hut and serves us a buckwheat tortellino with bitto cheese, organic potatoes, slightly smoked white onion fondue and crunchy chanterelles. You find him as well at the Pomiroeu Restaurant in Seregno, 1 Michelin star.
I stayed the weekend with Powder Byrne at the Gran Paradiso hotel. The rooms and the hotel are in the typical Tyrolean style. I loved their wellness area with a really nice pool and several saunas. Just perfect after an excellent day of snowboarding and enjoying some good food.
Both, Powder Byrne and the Gran Paradiso hotel have specialized on family trips. The youngsters can enjoy the different ski programms, while you head from hut to hut. If the weather is good, there is big garden with a playground outside as well.
How to get to Alta Badia:
You reach Alta Badia via Venice (3 hour ride) or Innsbruck (1,5 hours by car). Even Innsbruck looks like the better option, you should get your flight to Venice, as the drive from Innsbruck to Alta Badia could be troublesome if there is too much snow.
My flight back was at 8 pm from Venice and it felt awkward to spend the day getting lost and wandering around all the canals, especially after being surrounded by the Dolomites earlier that day.
But what a great combination, first the Snow Rocks 'n Food, then the canals of Venice!
You can get a luxury 3 night Ski Weekend from £925 per adult staying in a double room on half board at the 4 star Hotel Gran Paradiso. That would include the Powder Byrne concierge service, return flights from Gatwick to Venice with British Airways and a private transfers to and from the airport.