The Ultimate in Bespoke Ski Experiences – An Interview with Amin Momen
The ultimate getaway for snow sports enthusiasts and foodies alike, the Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience is a weekend like no other. Guests on this one-of-a-kind trip hosted by Momentum Ski can expect heavenly skiing, delicious food and the company of exceptional British chefs Tom Kerridge and Claude Bosi. Celebrating its fifth year in 2019, the Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience is held in the Italian alpine resort of Courmayeur, showcasing a lucky group of guests some of the very best dishes and of course, pistes, on offer. The Sybarite sat down with Momentum Ski’s founder Amin Momen to talk about the story behind his bespoke ski experiences, and the plan for future luxury getaways across the globe.
The origin of the Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience starts with a collaboration with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. After Blumenthal spent a week in Courmayeur dining and soaking up the atmosphere at several of Amin’s recommended spots, a much bigger idea was born. “We wanted to do something a little bit more special, so thought, why don’t we bring some chefs out? Heston invited a couple of chef mates, like Marcus Wareing and Sat Bains, and we did two unique dinners up on the mountain.” Recognising the demand for bespoke ski experiences from both snow sports enthusiasts and foodies, Momentum Ski developed a weekend getaway bringing in some of the best chefs from the UK to cook for guests, combining their own individual culinary styles with established local chefs’, creating a truly unique dining experience you will not find anywhere else.
“If you’re a foodie, these are the rock stars. You don’t meet them at the restaurants in London… and here they are over the weekend having a glass of wine with you”. 2019’s Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience welcomes Tom Kerridge and Claude Bosi, and will see Kerridge skiing for the very first time on Courmayeur’s beautiful winding slopes. The journey starts in Heathrow, where the guests meet before they’ve even left UK soil, allowing the group to form friendships from the outset. Across the three night stay, culinary offerings will vary from a gourmet tasting dinner crafted by Tom and Claude, to a traditional mountain restaurant meal provided by local chefs.
There are very few tailor-made ski operators, and Momentum Ski is the first company to curate and provide experiences of this calibre, cornering the market on entirely bespoke ski experiences. “Really the essence of everything we wanted to do was flexibility.” Amin explains. As the demand for shorter breaks and experience-based trips increases, Momentum have provided the perfect solution; guests need only take a Friday off work and can still enjoy a whole weekend to recharge. On top of this increased convenience, Momentum go above and beyond to provide a unique service including local restaurant and bar recommendations, and organising your accommodation to be in the perfect spot, saving guests from requiring a hire car and ultimately bringing larger groups together for an unforgettable, personalised experience. “I was always putting friends together to try things that I thought were incredible, and I think that idea then really carried forward…to share our knowledge and experience with clients.”
As well as providing a bespoke ski and culinary escape that is entirely unique, Momentum also strives to bring guests together through the skiing experience. ”Over the years, due to the financial crisis, world tragedies and a general atmosphere of uncertainty overall, people were cautious about travelling. But interestingly enough, this didn’t stop people from going skiing. During the first Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience it wasn’t possible to reserve tables for 2 for all the couples who were there because it was so busy. I was thinking ‘I can’t put them all together on the same table’…socially you wouldn’t dream that these people would mix, yet they did. They were pushing their tables together and it was amazing.”
The Mountain Gourmet Experience is no longer confined to Courmayeur and the mountains of Europe. Amin wants to take this successful model across the pond to North America, with plans to invite chefs to cook dinner in an authentic cowboy bar for a group of lucky guests. This year, there will also be an opportunity to test the Olympic skeleton track in Innsbruck with Amy Williams, and the thrill-seeking won’t stop there. “I would love to do the same thing for driving, where you could go point-to-point driving a few nice roads in the alps, but bringing in some of the top chefs to cook up some incredible dinners too.”
So why is Courmayeur the destination for Amin’s exciting bespoke ski experiences? “What sets this resort apart from every other resort in the Alps are the mountain restaurants and the ability to order simple, beautifully cooked food with wonderful wine. This is something that is just not possible in the UK or indeed in many ski resorts and should be cherished by anyone with gastronomic ambitions.”
“That’s why the chefs go to Courmayeur; they love it there. It’s the perfect balance. At these establishments you are greeted with a warm welcome and breathtaking scenery, and you’re likely to struggle against a serious desire to linger there all afternoon”.
To find out more about the upcoming March 2019 Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience featuring Tom Kerridge and Claude Bosi, click here.