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Restaurant Jean Sulpice.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux in the mountains. France,Val Thorens

Jean Sulpice

Chef
Restaurant Jean Sulpice Val Thorens 73440

‘The Savoie... I am from Aix-les-Bains and the region has made me what I am. First of all, there were the men of the region, such as my grandfather, Marcel Rivolli. He was a hotelier and every Sunday or public holiday he would share with us a family meal or a gourmet meal. That really awakened my interest in taste. Then there was practical experience and teaching. This I owe to chef Marc Veyrat whom I joined in 1997 as a trainee and ended up sous chef. In 2002, I moved with my wife Magali to Restaurant L’Oxalys, the highest restaurant in Europe. It offered me an environment at an altitude of more than 2 300 m in which I felt perfectly at home. I love the mountains and sports. I really enjoy getting off the beaten track and becoming one with nature. And that is what I look for in my cuisine – it has to be instinctive, fearless, balanced, unpretentious, and must be prepared with ingredients from the Savoie terroir in tune with the culinary traditions of this area. These are the values and the flavours which I, in turn, am now trying to pass down to my little boy and his friends when I prepare the meals for the crèche at Val Thorens. Things have come full circle.’


What was your most moving culinary experience?
When, in 1998, at an end-of-season dinner at Marc Veyrat’s, I rediscovered the ingredients from our terroir through his inventive, unique dishes which combine herbs and flowers, different textures and flavours. This experience left a major impression on me and will remain etched in my memory for ever. It has proved a major inspiration for my cuisine.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
When I arrived at Val Thorens, I had to adapt my cuisine to the physical laws of altitude. My first boiled egg at an altitude of 2 300 m was a real challenge! Up here, water boils at 95°C and not at 100°C!

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Try to keep things simple, go for top-quality seasonal products and enjoy cooking them.