by Sandro Zinggeler & Philipp Grob

at Marmite Food Lab - Zurich


When one plus one equals C - thats Foodpairing. Combining flavours and ingredients to create something completely new. A bit like Kitchenchemistry - giving different properties to the food through combination processes. 

I am a fan of Foodpairing and always up for an exiting opportunity to experience it. Campari and food being certainly one of them. The task was given in to the hands of creative young Chef Sandro Zinggeler, who has made quite a name for himself for being very open minded and innovative in the way he cooks. Together with charismatic and sightly eccentric Bartender Philipp Grob, they have created a 5 course Menu paired with highly intriguing Campari infused drinks that was a real pleasure to eat and drink. Already the name Campari raised my interest, as it is of very unique and bitter taste that makes it both exiting but tricky to combine in ways that bring out its different qualities of flavour without letting every drink taste the same. The task is even more complex when faced with the challenge to create a drink to accompany each course and not just to complement - but also to enhance (!) the flavour of that food. That was what i had come to the Food Lab along with my friend Nives Arrigoni that night to see! 

And the culinary duo managed. In his introduction Sandro Zinggeler explained that the way they developed this was through a 'backwards' strategy where Sandro actually let Philipp create the drinks first and he then created his menu in harmony to those flavours. Like the smoke infused applejuice campari drink we had as a starter was paired with apple snow and a peanutbutter chip - the combination of flavours built up as Philipp designed the drink in a way that the Campari was stuck in a shotglass inside the tallglass and only released gradually into the apple mixture. The intensity of the Campari increased with each sip as we continued to taste our food. The second drink by Philipp was a true masterpiece - my favourite one in the series - carrying the colour of almost purplish red wine, it was fruity and spicy I have no idea what is inside it anymore, but it was high in alcohol but tasted like a spicy smoothie. It contained red wine, vanilla, lemon and Campari and was called 'Negroni What?' I wanted a second - but was assured by Philipp that it was a bad idea. So I enjoyed a second slice of the amazingly tender deer cut Sandro had prepared accompanied by brussel sprouts, black rice and tender roasted vegetables. The maincourse was a dream indeed! 

Before we moved to Dessert, Philipp gave us a little tutorial of the classic - Negroni! And then it was time to indulge in perhaps the most creative drink of the night: Campari combined with Ayran! I knew Ayran from my visits to Turkey where the salty jogurt drink is very popular, and I often used to make Ayran at home, especially in Summer pairing it with fresh cucumber. I would have never dreamed to team it with Campari though - but the baby blush pink colored drink, appropriately named 'Pink Panther' that evolved from this combination was quite unique. I am not sure everyone liked it - when I spied through the rows I saw glasses either completely full or completely empty. But I kind of enjoyed that peculiar taste and the saltyness which was complementing well the light destructed cheesecake that Sandro served up for dessert. Sipping a slightly salty slightly bitter cool drink along with a light and fruit infused cheesecake was the combination I must say! 

We finished with a tiny campari blended vanilla infused coldpressed coffee shot going by the name of 'Never Sleeps' and a mini pancake served with some campari orange (*recipe below*) which was so good I was savouring every last bite. 

With good filled bellies and feeling a nice buzz from the drinks Nives, me and the other 15 invited Foodbloggers headed out into the pre-christmas winter night with a head filled with ideas about flavours and tastes. Be sure to check back on my blog in a weeks time as I plan to take on some home cocktail drink mixing myself & share the experience with you here, on snapchat and on instagram. 

Merry Pre Christmas :)  


** Campari Orange Recipe: What is referred to as a 'Campari Orange' here is not the classic cocktail but an actual Orange soaked overnight in spice infused Campari hence taking on a red colour on the outside and vibrant orange on the inside. Its a very aromatic and easy to do recipe that can upgrade many desserts in Christmas time - I can't wait to try it out at home! 

Category FOOD



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