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Hameau Albert Ier.

Restaurant and hotel in the mountains. France,Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Pierre Maillet

Hameau Albert Ier Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 74402

Great grandfather, Joseph Carrier, grocer and owner of a coaching inn witnessed the arrival of the railway to Chamonix in 1902: he staked his fortune on the hotel trade. 4th generation Pierre, took over command in 1979. After a year at the Louis XV, I turned up, attracted by the snowclad slopes, to take the post of commis chef. My meeting with Perrine, Pierre’s daughter, meant that we both gradually became part of the operation. We form a solid threesome. Pierre, the team leader, has left me in charge of the kitchens and Perrine provides the welcoming smile.

We share a love for meticulous cuisine, a respect for fine produce and the combined experience of the generations of chefs who have gone before us.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
We used camping gas stoves to make a gourmet menu which we served and savoured at the summit of Mont Blanc, after a majestic sunset: chicken stuffed under the skin with truffles, truffle risotto, farmhouse Reblochon, walnut dacquois, all washed down with copious amounts of wine. After a night bivouacking at 4,807m, we skied from the peak of the mountain all the way down to Chamonix.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
Once when I was chef de partie and Pierre Carrier was at the service hatch, I inadvertently took right in the middle of the service took the chef’s towel. He turned to me and said “You’ve already taken my daughter, at least give me back my towel!” We had just told him that we were together, so you can imagine the fright it gave me! Then he burst out laughing.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Don’t try to put on a performance, keep it simple and most especially take time at table to talk to your guests. True pleasure is always shared.

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