Introduction By Brigid Dorsey
Virtually everything is made on premises, including stocks, breads and pastries; he grows herbs and edible flowers along the patio, in use well into the mild autumn this year.
At the Swiss Hutte in Hillsdale, Chef Gert Alper has been crafting traditional European meals with a distinctive fresh American flair for over 25 years. His wife, Cindy, runs the front of the house and together they also manage the four-season inn, overlooking Catamount Mountain.
Gert trained at the Hotel School Montana in Luzern (Lucerne). After stints in Wallingford, UK; and in Zurich, an ad for the Hopkins Inn in the Litchfield hills caught his eye, and he has never looked back. He met Cindy, a registered nurse, while at the Arch in Brewster, New York. By his 30th birthday they were closing on the Swiss Hutte.
We visited at peak foliage and the view from the dining rooms and bar was extraordinary. Soon there will be snow and skiers to watch while having a drink and raclette at the bar next to the fire.
Gert’s training is apparent in his high standards and attention to detail throughout. Virtually everything is made on premises, including stocks, breads and pastries; he grows herbs and edible flowers along the patio, in use well into the mild autumn this year. His philosophy is homemade, fresh, local—he sources in season from Markristo Farm, just down the road, as well as from Herondale, Coach, Highlawn and other area farms for produce, dairy and meats.
The Swiss Hutte is an Old World gem with a New World heart just 10 minutes from Great Barrington, five from Hillsdale. Stop in and enjoy Cindy and Gert’s hospitality. Bon appétit.
Brigid Dorsey is a freelance writer and editor living in Columbia County
Brigid Dorsey writes and cooks in Columbia County. She honed her knowledge of food, life and driving in Paris. Read more of her work, and see her locally sourced jelly and preserves, les collines, at thelifeipicked.com