‘My peers. I am grateful to them for teaching me the attention to detail and that professional approach that all Grands Chefs must have. Starting with Louis Outhier at the Oasis at La Napoule, and then Frédy Girardet at the Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Crissier. However, my own personal professional career reminds me, above all, of women. I grew up in Switzerland, in Aïre, in the commune of Vernier, surrounded by women. My grandmother, my mother, my aunt… They were the ones who who brought me up; they too gave me sustenance with their flavourful home cooking and their lively ideas; they awoke in me an interest in food made to order. It may be a profession, but, much more than that, it is an Art of Living, a means of being creative and connecting with other people. This is the philosophy that led me, when I was 27 years old, to take charge of the Le Domaine de Châteauvieux. I was convinced that the strength, character and history of that place along with the team I had created would guarantee an experience that spoke to all the senses, driven by my cuisine. My dishes are streets away from fleeting fashions and fripperies, and aim, by engaging with the ingredients uncompromisingly and with the utmost respect, to bring out the very best in them.’
Spiny cardoon is one of the finest vegetables, with a tender texture and delicious either hot or cold. It’s eaten from December through March, and has “AOC” protected designation of origin status. The most flavorful variety, spiny silver Plainpalais cardoon, is grown in the countryside around Geneva. We source it from a produce farmer who works with us for all of our seasonal fruits and vegetables. Out of respect for the environment, we like to put the emphasis on local products.
We make it au gratin, in a millefeuille with mushrooms, or simply cold with an herbal vinaigrette. But I think it’s best combined with black truffle.