Unique cooking experience in Kriens
Terrible thunderstorm at 1:30 AM. Woke everyone in the neighbor up. How could I tell? Everyone's lights came on when I looked out the window. Timo, years ago, told us about the Swiss weather app. He and the other paragliders use it all the time to know if it safe to go up. Well, I now know what a level 3 thunderstorm means: lots of lightning, thunder, and lots and lots of rain falling in a short period of time!
I am always trying to find something different to do when Michael and I are in Switzerland. We took the train from Interlaken West to Bern. Changed trains and went to Luzern. The restaurant is a 13-minute bus ride from platform A at Luzern's main train station to the Zentrum Pilatus bus stop in Kriens. Are you going to be in Switzerland and looking for that one unique thing to do on a free evening? How about trying a cooking class with a local?
Michael and I have done this for years in different locations and it is a fun way to meet new people, eat good food, and learn a new recipe that you can take home with you.
Today we were very fortunate to take a cooking class with Marco Venzin at Schnauserei in Kriens which is near Luzern.
The restaurant is located at:
CH 6010 Kriens
Contact him directly.
Susan and Greg from Maryland joined our class of four. They flew in earlier in the day from Washington, D.C.
"Joined Marco in his professional kitchen, a space designed for teaching, to cook the dishes that we will be eating later. When he conducted the cooking class, the restaurant was shut, so it was a completely private experience. During the two-hour, hands-on cooking class we helped Marco prepare three dishes from scratch - a seasonal starter, a main and dessert. After the cooking class we joined Marco at the dining table to relish the dishes we helped prepare. We learned about authentic Swiss cheese, chocolate and other local produce while enjoying the meal that includes a platter of local meats and cheese, salad, chnöpfli (fresh noodles or dumplings) for a main, and for dessert, Swiss chocolate cake with pink peppercorn."
We started with a charcuterie of cheese, meat, and homemade bread. The drink was with juniper berries and lavender. The juniper berries were placed in a sachet and placed in tonic water. Before serving he added vodka.
The seasonal salad had endive, tomatoes, radishes, fennel, cucumber, and apple. The apples come from a very old tree. It gives the salad just a hint of acid.
Dressing and seeds on top of the salad
Susan, Greg, and I prepared the salad and the Chnöpfli. This uniquely Swiss dish, Chnöpfi" is very similar to German Spätzl in looks but not in flavor.
Making the Chnöpfli
Susan chopped fresh parsley, mint and chives
Greg chopped the meat in small pieces
I grated the cheese
While Susan, Greg, and I were chopping the ingredients, Michael was preparing the chocolate cake.
The cake had to rest a half hour before being put in the oven.
We all had a hand in making the dough.
You may need to add water to achieve the correct consistency. You want to see bubbles.
As soon as we sat down to eat, Marco put the cakes in the oven. Cakes were baked in a bowl.
We had a discussion about the different types of pepper. I just love pepper so I was fascinated.
Each pepper smelled differently. This was used with the cake.
The water must come to a rapid boil.
You have to work quickly pushing the dough through. Once the noodles come to the top, cook for a minute longer. Then strain and transfer to another pan.
Add butter to the pan.
Add the meat. Let the fat from the meat render down.You will hear the sizzle when this happens.
Add the herbs and toss
Transfer to ovenproof casserole pan. Add the cheese. Put in oven to melt cheese 100C for 10 minutes.
The restaurant is very small and quaint. Marco tells the story of how he ordered the tables and the supplier told him two days before the restaurant opening that the tables could not be delivered. Marco had to scramble and come up with an alternative in order to open the restaurant. He found some old doors, cut them, sanded them and stained them. And....voila, he had his tables. So many people have talked about them that he left them and did not go back to the ordered tables.
We enjoyed the meal with white wine and water.
Such a unique idea for a table. It is quite the conversation piece.
Forgot to take a picture of the cake before we starting eating. It was warm and oh so yummy!
We have already talked to him about taking another class next year. He teaches a class on the different types of pepper. That is the class I would like to take but we are open to other classes.
At the end of the evening, we met some great people, we had some great conversations and ate some delicious food we learned to make ourselves.
Marco was an exceptional host and a fantastic instructor.
Kriens, population 28,245, is a city that lies at the foot of the Mt.Pilatus, and is a western suburb of Luzern. Two thirds of the population are in the service sector.
Neither the origin nor the meaning of Kriens is clearly ascertainable. It probably comes from the Indo-Germanic word (s)keri, that meant something like "separate" (4th century AD). It was then probably transferred into the Celtic Crientas. In a 9th-century document the Alemannic word Chrientes is mentioned.
The historic Schauensee Castle is a landmark of the town of Kriens on a rocky outcrop above the town center. The Castle owes its name to the unique view over Kriens, the city of Luzern and Lake Luzern. The Construction of the castle dates back to the 12th century. Around 1960, the "Schlosshoger" below castle Schauensee can be built over. The community of Kriens decided, that they preferred to own the castle and voted to a purchase it. Since then, the castle is owned by the city of Kriens. The castle is available for events and can be opened at regular intervals for guided tours. The castle garden is always accessible.
"Until well into the 11th century, agriculture and forestry were the only source of income in Kriens. The Krienbach later encouraged the development of the trade where its water power is transmitted via water wheels to machines. Because the Krienbach is not always the same amount of water, as early as 1592 the so-called Ehehaftenkanal (ehehaft = legally valid) was built, which was an equalizing reservoir in Obernau Water from the Renggbach into the Krienbach. A complicated network of natural and artificial feeders and diversions made it possible to to drive water wheels. Behind the Feldmühleschulhaus a 19th century witness still stands, a "bone stomp". The rammer was used in the Obernau as tan flour mash (tan flour: crushed spruce-fir- and oak barks), the product of which is used by tanners in the city of Luzern for the processing of the leather, later as bone meal crushers for the production of fertilizer for Agriculture."
"The old town hall was the location of the Kriens administration until 2018. The construction was designed by Luzern architect Emil Vogt. The house was on the former shooting range of Kriens. The appearance of the building is Art Nouveau.There are different window types on all floors and shutters and blinds as distinguishing features. The striking roof on the sandstone building underlines the intention of the architect, tradition and modernity to connect. In Kriens, which was shaped by industrialization, the roof was at that time a reference to the rural tradition.The form and meaning of the roof was based on large farms of the time.
Church of St. Gallus dates back to the year 1100. In 1552, the church was damaged by a storm and in 1589 it was rebuilt. In 1984/85, the last exterior restoration by architect Gabriel Wey from Sursee was done. The aim was to harmonize the earlier structural changes with the to bring. Further the tower got a new white plaster. Gallus, to whom the church is dedicated, is the central figure of the Kriens coat of arms and still today for the Kriens local holiday "Gallus Day" (October 16).
The octagonal fountain had been standing on the village square since 1918. In 1964, it had to be relocated to the entrance to Bellpark. In the fountain's column are the portraits of four famous Krienserns. Friedrich Degen (Mayor and National Council, 1848-1913), Melchior Schnyder (teacher, Grand Councilor and chronicler, 1774 - 1858), August Bell (founder the big industry in Kriens, 1814 - 1870) and J.G. Krauer (Poet of the Rütli song, 1792 - 1845).