When I imagine foods that are served in small alpine towns, I think of traditional Swiss dishes such as veal steak or mashed potatoes.
Passugg was the last place where I would have expected to find a futuristic dining experience. But I did, because I arrived just in time for the opening of the EHL Passugg concept restaurant. A digital classroom during the day, Elysium is open to the public only once in a while.
And tonight, our group of journalists is in for a treat!
After all I have read about Elysium, I have an appetite for a new dining experience. The four-course meal will be tickling my senses of sight, sound and taste. And the narration will take my thoughts to the vastness of the universe and to the depths of the ocean.
About the Elysium concept restaurant in Passugg
In short: Elysium is a journey into the future of culinary experiences. It dishes up a combination of modern technology, culinary arts and storytelling (in German). During the course of the evening, there are animations projected from an overhead projector onto the plate in front of me.
The evening starts out with a round of appetizers from the student kitchen:
After being seated inside the restaurant, the show starts. I find myself interacting with the projections and anticipating what is next. For a few seconds, the menu and wine pairing of each course is projected onto the plate in front of me. Seconds later, the student waiters would walk in and serve the dish.
This piece of salmon sourced from an innovative fish farm left a lasting impression...
The plating is gorgeous and there is ample light to see all the colors of each dish:
The long table is quite literally a white canvas which takes on different appearances. At one point, the table is a lunar surface, then a cityscape or a world under the sea with fish swimming by.
Could this be the future of immersive dining?
This concept restaurant is an example of a "stage" that allows the hospitality students to try out new concepts and ideas. Since Elysium is a pop-up experiment rather than a permanent restaurant, it has been set up in a section of the lobby bar. But who knows? Maybe the demand for immersive experiences in F&B is going to increase and Elysium will receive a permanent address?
As part of their hospitality curriculum, the students learn to direct and run their own restaurant. During my meal at Elysium, I could tell that much was going smooth: the service was coordinated and in sync, the food was tasty and the technical elements worked flawlessly.
In between, there was a sort of show where some students appeared in monk-like costumes. I found it a bit out of place, but it shows that the university is asking their pupils to apply all the crafts they have learned - from acting to storytelling.
The next public openings of Elysium will be at 6:30 PM on Friday, Feb 7, 2020, and Friday, Feb 28, 2020. Reserve online (298 francs per person for a four-course dinner, incl. all beverages)
Now, check out my behind-the-scenes post about EHL Passugg, a campus belonging to the world's top hospitality management school.