Exploring the hidden gem of Brig: Restaurant Alpina

Exploring the hidden gem of Brig: Restaurant Alpina

Come explore Restaurant Alpina, where students from Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland craft a menu that brilliantly fuses local ingredients with global culinary techniques and hospitality students from César Ritz Colleges create a welcoming atmosphere, ensuring smooth operations and attentive service.


By Swiss Education Group

4 minutes
Rib Eye at Restaurant Alpina Brig


Tucked away in the scenic town of Brig, Restaurant Alpina stands as a little-known treasure, mainly frequented by locals and open only for a select few months each year. This restaurant offers an extraordinary opportunity for the final-year students of two world-renowned institutions— César Ritz Colleges Switzerland and Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland(CAAS)—to showcase their skills in a professional setting. 

At Restaurant Alpina, hospitality students from César Ritz Colleges excel in creating a welcoming atmosphere, ensuring smooth operations and attentive service, while culinary students from the CAAS craft a menu that brilliantly fuses local ingredients with global culinary techniques and expertise.

About Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland

Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland consistently demonstrates excellence in culinary education, ranking among the top ten hospitality schools globally for the fourth consecutive year and securing the 7th position this year. This achievement reinforces our status as a premier culinary school and highlights our distinction as the number one culinary institute in Switzerland. We are notably the only culinary school in the prestigious QS World University Rankings, underscoring our adherence to world-class standards and the esteemed Swiss approach to culinary arts education.

About César Ritz Colleges

César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, recognized as an accredited Swiss University of Applied Science Institute for its distinguished approach to hospitality and business education, has earned a place as the world's third-best hospitality and leisure management school, according to the QS World University Rankings. The college's unique philosophy, which combines traditional Swiss hospitality practices with an entrepreneurial curriculum, prepares students to excel in the ever-evolving hospitality industry. Our strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation, international partnerships, and a global alumni network prepare students to achieve leadership roles worldwide. Ritz Colleges is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of hospitality leaders with a commitment to excellence and an integrated educational approach that includes real-world opportunities like the hands-on experience found at Restaurant Alpina.

A Training Ground for Culinary and Service Excellence

Restaurant Alpina serves as a real-world 50-seat training restaurant where the students are not just learning but also applying their advanced skills honed through their studies and prior internships in prestigious kitchens across the globe. Each student brings their specialized expertise to the team, which is reflected in every aspect of the restaurant's operation, from the nuanced service to the innovative dishes presented.

students at work at Restaurant Alpina Brig
The students at work in Restaurant Alpina.

Welcoming Ambiance and Meticulous Menu Creation

Upon entering Restaurant Alpina's charming Alpine setting, the welcoming hospitality atmosphere is immediately noticeable. I was warmly greeted and professionally escorted to my reserved table by a poised young woman from César Ritz Colleges, exemplifying the high standards of service training the college is known for.

At Restaurant Alpina, the collaboration between culinary and hospitality students creates a dynamic dining experience. The menu showcases the innovation and skill of two teams of final-year culinary students from Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland, who rotate throughout the week. Each team designs a unique menu that reflects their culinary vision and expertise.

This rotating system offers guests a varied experience with each visit and ensures comprehensive exposure and practical experience for all students. The teams are also comprised of hospitality students from César Ritz Colleges who manage the dining service, complementing the culinary efforts with impeccable table service, guest management, and operational smoothness. Their involvement is crucial, as they ensure that the service quality matches the high standard of the dishes served.

During my visit, the menu I experienced was a testament to the culinary students' sophisticated understanding of gastronomy—thoughtfully prepared dishes that combined local ingredients with innovative techniques to deliver a gourmet brasserie experience. Simultaneously, the seamless service the hospitality students from César Ritz Colleges provided enhanced the meal, making the entire experience delicious, delightfully smooth, and professional.

This effective partnership between the culinary creators and service managers at Restaurant Alpina illustrates the holistic educational approach of both institutions. It prepares students for future careers by providing real-world practice in creating and serving exceptional culinary art.

Alpina winter menu montage
A sampling of one of the two winter menus for 2024 at Restaurant Alpina.

Culinary Delights: A Reflection of Aspiring Mastery

On the day of my visit, the menu was particularly impressive, offering a choice of starter: French Onion Soup, Salmon Gravlax, or Beetroot Mille-Feuille, followed by a choice of mains: Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Pan-Seared Beef Ribeye, and Pumpkin Mascarpone Gnocchi. Opting for the French onion soup, due to chilly weather, I was struck by its rich, unadulterated flavor—free from the bouillon cubes typical of lesser quality establishments—and perfectly complemented by a crispy, Gruyère-topped Boulanger's toast.

The Beef Ribeye was another highlight: impeccably prepared and elegantly served with parsnip wedges, charred Brussels sprouts, and a duo of purées, it showcased the students' precision and passion. 

Behind-the-Scenes Insight

Post-meal, a tour of the kitchen allowed for a deeper understanding of the workings of the culinary team. Guided by the appointed executive Chef Lucas Schers, a CAAS student, I learned how team members leverage their internship experiences to enhance their role, ensuring a kitchen brimming with passion and proficiency. The team was very proud of the experience and the facility in which they worked, showing me each station, from prep to pastry. Their enthusiasm for their work was enviable. Only some people find their passion so young, and I was delighted to witness it. 

CAAS kitchen
One of the two kitchen teams for winter term at Restaurant Alpina.

The True Essence of Hospitality: More Than Service

My visit to Restaurant Alpina also revealed the profound impact of genuine passion in the hospitality industry. It's not merely about serving food but about creating an unforgettable experience. The students here have studied and internalized the art of hospitality, transforming service from a task to an art form. This dedication is evident in every interaction, making guests feel valued and cared for.

The adage "Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life" resonates in every encounter at Restaurant Alpina. Here, the chefs laboring diligently in the kitchen and the waitstaff attending to diners showcase the profound difference that passion can make. In the world of hospitality, where artistry meets service, true professionals understand that their work is among the most fulfilling. 

A guest can immediately sense dispassionate service, resulting in an impersonal experience. However, when hospitality is pursued not merely as a job but as a calling, the genuine intent to deliver an outstanding and memorable experience shines through. This sincere dedication to the art of hospitality is palpable at Restaurant Alpina, where the students' training and passion are evident in every interaction.

A Must-Visit Culinary Experience

Restaurant Alpina is more than just a dining venue; it's a showcase of future leaders in hospitality, delivering exceptional culinary experiences at an incredible value. It's a place where every meal supports the professional growth of talented students, making it a favorite secret among locals. To participate in this unique culinary adventure, visit their website for reservations and more information about their seasonal operations.

Interested in becoming a world-class chef? Learn more about Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland. Download our brochure. 

Download our brochure


By Swiss Education Group