From a seagull swoop to a first-class culinary experience

tasty February 14, 2018 15:58

By The Nation

2,263 Viewed

Movenpick Hotels and Resorts brand marks 70 years of culinary innovation with a selection of special seven dishes inspired by gastronomic trends from around the world.

The “70 years of culinary excellence” promotion, which will be available in restaurants at all Movenpick properties globally from March 10 to April 20, introduces seven inventive dishes that pay tribute to Ueli Prager, who when founding the Movenpick brand in 1948, redefined the European restaurant scene and paved the way for a new style of modern hospitality, based on a simple premise: “doing normal things in an extraordinary manner”. 

As Prager introduced diners to unpretentious cuisine with a twist, such as curry-based Riz Casimir – a first in Europe – so 70 years on, Movenpick chefs have created an inspiring menu of uncomplicated but surprising creations, all of which use fresh, authentic and health-promoting ingredients. 

They include Scallops & avocado tartare – a reinvention of Movenpick’s popular beef tartare, influenced by Mediterranean cuisine, salade belle fermiere - a lively interpretation of Salade Francois made famous in the 1948 American musical film.

Easter Parade is mille feuille saumon & caviar d’olive combining delicate smoked salmon, puff pastry and golden olive caviar, mushrooms and vegetables Zurich style - a meat-free version of Zurich-style veal that pairs aromatic root vegetables and smoky Shitake mushrooms.

Also on offer is 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 Cafe de Paris - a prime beef cut paired with crispy ultra-thin parmesan-dusted fries; and carrot waffle – a quirky reinterpretation of classic Swiss carrot cake. 

These dishes not only take inspiration from Prager’s visionary 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 – the name for which came when he least expected. 

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

Prager’s first restaurant, Claridenhof, opened in Zurich in July 1948, offering simple dishes that could be ordered a la carte – a refreshing alternative to conventional set menus and the first of many Movenpick innovations. 

Twenty-five years later, in 1973, Prager capitalised on the brand’s reputation for quality food, affordability, staff training standards and innovation by opening the company's first two hotels. This marked the official launch of Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and today, his values penetrate every aspect of Movenpick Group's business, including Movenpick Gastronomy, Movenpick Wine and Movenpick Fine Foods. 

“Movenpick's story is astonishing, founded on a commitment to service, authenticity, culinary excellence and innovation, and in 2018 we celebrate these values and our rich heritage in the way we know best – by treating our guests around the world to an inspiring gastronomic experience,” said Olivier Chavy. 

“The ‘70 years of culinary excellence’ promotion is a fitting tribute to Ueli Prager who was truly ahead of his time when he founded our company, and we continue to build on his legacy with experimental cuisine and new concepts that keep his original vision in mind – doing normal things in an extraordinary manner.”

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