Mövenpick Hotels heads to the kitchen for 70th anniversary

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Photo credit: Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (The company unveiled seven new dishes to celebrate the 70 years since it was founded by Ueli Prager.)

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is kick-starting 2018 with a culinary celebration marking its 70th anniversary.

Thomas Hollenstein, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts's food & beverage director, Europe, and his team of chefs unveiled a menu of seven dishes that marry the old with the new—popular classics and reimagined guest favorites, inspired by cuisines and gastronomy trends from around the world.

The "70 years of culinary excellence" promotion, available in restaurants at all Mövenpick properties globally from March 10 to April 10, 2018, introduces seven dishes that pay tribute to Ueli Prager, who founded the Mövenpick brand in 1948 based on a simple premise: "Doing normal things in an extraordinary manner."

Just as Prager introduced diners to unpretentious cuisine with a twist, such as curry-based Riz Casimir—a first in Europe—so 70 years on, Mövenpick chefs have created a menu using fresh, health-promoting ingredients.

They are:

  • Scallops & avocado tartare: a reinvention of Mövenpick’s beef tartare, influenced by Mediterranean cuisine
  • Salade belle fermière: an interpretation of Salade François, made famous in the 1948 American musical film, “Easter Parade”
  • Mille feuille saumon & caviar d’olive: a meal combining smoked salmon, puff pastry and olive caviar
  • Mushrooms and vegetables Zurich style: a meat-free version of Zurich-style veal that pairs root vegetables and Shitake mushrooms
  • Seafood Casimir: a medley of steamed seafood, fish and salicornia (sea asparagus), and an assortment of citrus fillets, paired with wild rice
  • Bare beef burger Café de Paris: a prime beef cut paired with thin parmesan-dusted fries
  • Carrot waffle: a reinterpretation of classic Swiss carrot cake

These dishes not only take inspiration from Prager’s approach to cuisine, but his original idea for a new restaurant concept: A sophisticated yet relaxed place where guests could sample dishes at affordable prices.

As he strolled the shores of Lake Zurich with a friend and considered the possibilities, a seagull (or Möwe in German), swooped down to skilfully pick up food mid-flight. That one movement encapsulated his idea and so ‘Mövenpick’ (Möwe pick)—and Europe’s first casual dining experience—was born.

Prager’s first restaurant, Claridenhof, opened in Zurich in July 1948, offering dishes that could be ordered à la carte—an alternative to conventional set menus.

Twenty-five years later, in 1973, Prager opened the company’s first two hotels. This marked the official launch of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.