About Me

Hi! I am Frédéric Taugwalder 
Engineer, cook and occasional blogger

Join me in sharing recipes, travel stories with photos, and hopefully more over time. Most content requires registration!

I was lucky enough to grow up in Valais/Switzerland, between Sion, where I did my primary and secondary education, and Zermatt, where my father's family is from. My mother was born in Paris to a German mother and a French astronomer. My older brother and I were brought up in this nature-rich environment, between lively discussions with my lawyer and hunter father and the love and tenderness of my physicist and super cook mother.

Valère Castel and Basilica on left, Matterhorn above Zermatt on the right

The years I spent in Lausanne at EPFL for my degree in microtechnology, the week at home with my childhood friend Derek in a two-room apartment were memorable and gave me the necessary formal engineering skills. During this time I transferred my passion from archery, which was too busy at the time, to astronomy. This passion led to the privilege of helping to build the OFXB observatory in St-Luc where I remember spending time in ultra-cold temperatures in winter observing galaxies with the naked eye behind a 60cm diameter telescope. Just thinking about what I saw gives me goosebumps today and I felt like I was flying in a spaceship.

After a short professional year in Neuchâtel at CSEM, I had the opportunity to go to the United States, to Caltech/JPL in Pasadena, California. I spent almost 8 years there and this experience changed my life. The discovery of new cultures, new friends and having to start from scratch while dealing with professional and personal issues so far from home opened up my curiosity and interests even more and helped me focus on my strengths while diminishing some of my difficulties. A unique experience that I would recommend to anyone.

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Leaving California to come back to Switzerland was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, it took me months to work it out. Moving from California to the Locarno/Ascona area in Ticino on Lake Maggiore provoqued another language change for me (French to English to Italian). The mentality, a bit closer to my origins, was a shock after California, but I loved being there.
I was lucky enough to meet my wife then in Florence, or as I like to joke, at a butcher's shop in Tuscany (actually, at the Antica Macelleria in Greve in Chianti).

About Me
We share our life between Ronco sopra Ascona and Tuscany as much as possible.