A prestigious gourmet guide has named a Lugano-based "olive oil virtuoso" Chef of the Year for Switzerland. It's the first time a chef in canton Ticino has been awarded the title by the GaultMillau Guide.
On Monday the guide announced that its 2001 edition had bestowed the title on Martin Dalsass, of the Ristorante Santabbondio in Lugano-Sorengo. His "virtuosity" with olive oil was singled out for praise.
Forty four-year old Dalsass has been running "Santabbondio" for the past 15 years with his wife Lorena. The chef's specialities include fresh trout, poultry, risotto, and a range of pasta dishes.
The gourmets who appraised a selection of 747 restaurants for GaultMillau gave Dalsass' cuisine 18 out of a maximum of 20 points. Seven other Swiss restaurants received 19 points, five of them in the French-speaking part of the country.
Dalsass, who hails from South Tirol, takes over the title from Hans-Peter Hussong of the "Wirtschaft zum Wiesengrund" restaurant in Ütikon am See, near Zürich.
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