Small is Beautiful (Confession of a Food Enthusiast)

I have a confession to make.

Ok, it might not be exactly a confession since you will probably have noticed and deduced it from my blog – Switzerland has turned me into a bon vivant.

I’ve always enjoyed the taste of food. It was clear to me that I wouldn’t be able to resist in Switzerland – host of the two best hotel schools in the World according to the annual TNS Global Survey: Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and Les Roches (in Crans-Montana). I would have never thought that Switzerland had such a broad variety when it comes to restaurants. There’s a plate for each palate – from the classic fondue to molecular cuisine. Your pocket (and maybe transport) is the only limit.

I had heard that the best restaurants are often hidden gems in tiny villages that are rather difficult to spot. When my mom came to visit, we rented a car and took this chance to explore Vaud’s less obvious gastronomic treasures. This is how we found Le Guillaume Tell, in Aran-Villette, a cozy fairy-tale village with a population of less than 600 people.

We entered into a living room with not more than 8-10 tables and were kindly seated on the only remaining table (we were lucky – we should have reserved!). The decoration was warm and one immediately felt at home. No opulent adornments, lushness or luxury. I like that – it proves that the food is the star and there’s nothing that will distract you from savoring it.

To start with an amuse bouche (appetizer), we were surprised with a wasabi snowball and the below gazpacho, which was followed by our entrées: duck liver terrine and a deer and veal carpaccio.

Followed by a pigeon and its own foie and a tender beef filet with two sauces.

To finish, we had home made sorbets and a crème brûlée with orange confit.

I left the restaurant happier than ever. Not only did I had an unique dinner but I also realized that, when it comes to food – small is beautiful. Why eat 500g beef steak if you can eat less and therefore have a first course and desert (and maybe even a cheese plate) as well? The joy is in the variety of flavors and one of the main elements of haute cuisine, I guess, is finding the right combination.

What about you? Would you rather have one plate that will satisfy your hunger or have smaller portions but therefore mixing flavors?

Check out my Flickr Gallery for the full pictures of the dinner at Le Guillaume Tell!

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36 Responses to “Small is Beautiful (Confession of a Food Enthusiast)”

  1. ArianaMay 17, 2011 at 2:59 AM #

    Oh, this food is so gorgeous! I must get myself over there! And I would MUCH rather eat several small plates than one big one– this looks like an incredibly satisfying meal.

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:16 AM #

      In that case, Switzerland is where you should go!

  2. MeriMay 17, 2011 at 5:27 AM #

    Very interesting meal and dishes! I had to read what they were to figure it out haha! Sounds yummy- I like to try a few bites of lots of things!
    Meri recently posted..Youre fit but my gosh dont you know it

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:17 AM #

      I had to check and recheck the menu every time a new plate arrived… the french tend to use very descriptive words, that almost sound like a poem!

  3. Brenna [fabuleuxdestin]May 17, 2011 at 8:18 AM #

    Oh my goodness this looks amazing. I’d much rather have tiny portions and many courses! Much much rather! When I go out to eat in the US I end up taking bites of everyone’s plates (and therefore everyone hates eating out with me). I get sick of the same thing!
    Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] recently posted..Van Gogh Tour

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:18 AM #

      I do the same!! but usually don’t want people picking from my plate – very selfish, I know!

  4. HayleyMay 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

    it all looks so yummy. but i have a small stomach and get full really easily so i’m a one plate kinda gal. i think the moments in between dishes would make me feel full and i couldn’t enjoy it all.
    Hayley recently posted..colors of amsterdam

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:19 AM #

      You’re lucky on having a small stomach. Really. I’ve got a reputation at work of eating more than many of the men…

  5. JennaMay 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM #

    The food looks absolutely divine! – I may be in Switzerland for holiday in September and will def bookmark this page!

    I am def for of a small is beautiful type of person… I love getting to try severel different things in one meal :)

    Jenna recently posted..Weekend Recap and other Excitement

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:21 AM #

      That’s great! Let me know when you’re around and I can give you a few tips if you want :)

  6. yasmeen @ wandering spiceMay 17, 2011 at 1:40 PM #

    looks absolutely sensational!

    i agree — when we go out, we always order many dishes and share. there’s always an entree, several mains and desserts between several people, each person getting a sumptuous bite of each.
    yasmeen @ wandering spice recently posted..street food- south melbourne market-style

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:21 AM #

      Add some wine, and that’s my ideal night out!

  7. b. leeMay 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM #

    divine * beaut’ presentations ~
    b. lee recently posted..3 peas

  8. SabrinaMay 17, 2011 at 4:51 PM #

    Wow! I can’t believe you found that kind of food in a village with less than 600 people!! Plus, I want that sorbet. It looks delicious. :)
    Sabrina recently posted..Only in Texas- A Chicken Fried Steak Festival

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:24 AM #

      I was surprised, too! But it seems like many rather haute cuisine restaurants are opening in smaller villages… I wonder how people find these places, after all, we just drove past it accidentally.

  9. StarletMay 17, 2011 at 7:53 PM #

    WOW – can you tell I’m drooling all over my monitor? I lovee this kind of meal – small, rich in taste, and beautiful in presentation that you almost don’t want to eat it. And although I’m sure everything tastes fabulous, my favorite part is always the dessert.
    Starlet recently posted..Planter Box to Plate- Carrots &amp Cauliflowers

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:25 AM #

      I know what you mean. I’m a desert lover, too… I may have eaten a cow, but will always find some tiny space in my stomach for a desert!

  10. Debbie Beardsley @ European TravelistaMay 17, 2011 at 9:17 PM #

    Everything look wonderful from this fabulous restaurant. I really do like the small restaurants and the small plates. Lots of different tastes and textures! Yummo :)
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Baroque- The Emotional Style

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:26 AM #

      Exactly! There’s no way to get bored of a plate with so much variety.

  11. ZhuMay 17, 2011 at 9:49 PM #

    I can’t eat a lot in one setting, I get full pretty fast. Going to a buffet is useless with me, I can’t eat much. The size of the dish here in North America sometimes grosses me out. It’s just too much.

    I love the idea of eating a many small dishes. That’s how the Chinese eat actually. That said, when I cook at home, it’s often not practical, I wouldn’t have time to prepare so many delicacies! So I tend to have one dish of something, a bit of bread on the side and a dessert later on if I’m hungry.

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:29 AM #

      At home I do the same – but just because its just too much work to prepare so many different portions. For having that luxury, I guess you would either a) be married to a haute cuisine chef or b) hire your personal cook.
      And I fully agree with some portions in North America – when in NY everything was so big I only had to eat 1-2 times a day!

  12. jadeMay 18, 2011 at 6:56 PM #

    Wow- I’m drooling! I agree- I’d rather eat smaller plates of a lot of different foods than one big dish.

    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:33 AM #

      Yes! And the fun thing was also on the mixture of tastes and flavor combinations on each plate…

  13. SarahMay 18, 2011 at 10:02 PM #


    I just stumbled across your blog, and I’m so happy that I did because I live in the same area in Switzerland! It’s so good to read another blogger’s impressions of beautiful Vaud… I’ll enjoy following!


    • KatherinaMay 19, 2011 at 12:35 AM #

      Hi Sarah! How exciting – I didn’t know about other bloggers in the area – Nice meeting you! :)

  14. AyngelinaMay 19, 2011 at 5:27 AM #

    I’m with you, I prefer smaller portions. When they are gigantic you are too focused on just finishing it rather than savoring it.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Is gluttony really a sin

  15. LaurelMay 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM #

    Oh you are so much braver when it comes to food than I am, but I agree, I would rather have a smaller portion of something and be able to try a few dishes.
    Laurel recently posted..Schuttberg at Sunset in Stuttgart

  16. Michael FigueiredoMay 20, 2011 at 2:51 AM #

    That all looks so decadent! I’ve never tried pigeon, but would be interested if given the opportunity…
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..Where in the World Am I And the Answer Is…

  17. RaymondMay 20, 2011 at 4:36 AM #

    I prefer one big plate. When I’m hungry, I’m hungry now. My mom thinks I have no taste buds.
    Raymond recently posted..Travel Photo of the Week — Water Wheel in Hama Syria

  18. Muza-chanMay 20, 2011 at 8:03 AM #

    Looks delicious :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day- Seira Kagami – Never

  19. Cathy SweeneyMay 21, 2011 at 4:18 AM #

    I would like to have exactly what you had! Looks totally delicious! Le Guillaume Tell was such a great find. Next time I’m in Switzerland I want to find a fairy tale village like Aran-Villette to visit. I loved Switzerland, but have yet to experience this kind of place.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Wright Angles

  20. NancieMay 22, 2011 at 4:06 PM #

    I want one of everything!! I’m so hungry now I could eat my arm :)

    Thanks for posting to Travel Photo Thursday.
    Nancie recently posted..Through the Sandbox Lens 29- Gas Prices at the Korean Pump May 20th- 2011

  21. Kerry-AnnMay 24, 2011 at 6:52 AM #

    Goodness the food looks wonderful. Wish the internet had the ability for me to pick the food right out the screen and taste it. I think you have motivated me to find the recipes and try them out. (though might substitute the pigeon!)
    Kerry-Ann recently posted..Photo highlight- How to confuse tourists in Peru

  22. ElisaJune 18, 2011 at 5:38 PM #

    Definitely smaller plates and larger variety! That’s a no-brainer :-)

    Especially when the dishes look like that – ah, this post made me really hungry, and I doubt I have anything in my fridge that I can make into any of THAT!


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