‘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.’
To offer my diners an alternative to the cheese platter, I created a Beaufort mousse sprinkled with mountain herbs, beetroot coulis and Grenoble walnuts. My goal was to accentuate the gustatory qualities of this cheese by giving it a light texture while retaining its flavor. I wanted to capture the character of the mountain pastures.
The flavors of these cheeses bear witness to genuine know-how. I source my cheeses from producers who have a unique expertise in their field, like Gaël Machet for Beaufort and Philippe Ginollin for Vacherin, among others. I like to highlight their work because they are the guardians of the Savoyard terroir, which I hold especially dear.