Some consider I am addicted to meat and its true as I love meat, and all kinds. If I could own a butcher’s shop it would modelled after the look of Hatecke. Difficult to find, but probably not intentional, when I entered I felt the Engadine reverence. This chic purveyor of selected mountain tastes has style and more an expression of an artisanal way of life.
A sleek tasteful space, scattered with a few tables and a small bar is the social part, as he offers me a taste of his cured meats and numerous other mountain treats. My son turns and asks, is that cheese pointing to a single block of cheese is hidden at the back of the meat vitrine. Is it a personal stash, not really but the cheese is fantastic (named Ftaner Bergkase) a cross between an honest cheddar and an aged cheese from the Swiss mountains.
It hardly feels like a butchers shop, more like a modern culinary space, or a New York museum cafe. The owner Herr. Ludwig Hatecke is discreet, in his mid-fifties, well dressed and is working behind the counter. I asked him, who is the owner and he gently whispers I am.
I heard about this butcher from a friend who lives in the Swiss Alps, and he warned me about Hatecke as a newcomer in Zürich to watch. But this butcher is not new to the Swiss scene and has a long-standing record in St.Moritz: https://www.hatecke.ch
His mountain grass-fed beef raised at altitudes of 2000m in Engadin’s Alpine meadows and is rich in natural minerals and vitamins. The beef is lean, and has a smoothness to it, and Hatecke’s origin from the engiadina ables him access to some of the finest cows. The theme is mostly seasoned and spiced meats left to hang and be air dried for months, a good solution to intensifying flavours.
Herr Ludwig Hatecke is moving around his shop serving clients and explaining his products passionately. I asked him questions about the background of the cows as he brings details to his explanations.
A second visit for a taste at the cafe, the son of Ludwig Hatecke David is just as charming and devoted to the business. We had a chance to test the cafe and try the carpaccio, a thick cut tenderloin finger patted and dressed with some Madagascar white pepper, parmesan, oil and sea salt. It reminded me of the infamous Fassone, one of my favourite meats: https://mesubim.com/2014/10/21/fassone-crudo-con-tartufo-video/ and I am quite sure truffles would do it justice.