Publié le 27/01/2020

Philippe Chevrier:
The Master of Swiss Cuisine

The Domaine de Châteauvieux, a stone’s throw from downtown Geneva, continues to warm guests’ hearts with gracious hospitality and incomparable cuisine.

Philippe Chevrier: |The Master of Swiss Cuisine

The Domaine de Châteauvieux, a stone’s throw from downtown Geneva, continues to warm guests’ hearts with gracious hospitality and incomparable cuisine.

For more than three decades, the Domaine de Châteauvieux has remained a steadfast landmark in the Genevan landscape. With phlegmatic composure—beneath which smolders a passion for perfection—, this unostentatious, elegant gem has survived the passage of time and trends.

At its helm, celebrated chef Philippe Chevrier and his faithful sidekicks, Damien Coche in the kitchens and Esteban Valle in the dining room, continue to prepare and present unstinting, inventive, and devilishly delicious cuisine.
 


Settled cozily outside Satigny, not far from the town center, this peaceful oasis serenely watches over the vineyards of Geneva, their vines bared by the latest harvests. While the Jura peaks are whitened with a first dusting of snow, each culinary period offers its own delectable treats that inevitably find their way onto the menu.

Mushrooms are featured in autumn—black truffles have a menu all their own, which is a must in winter. Asparagus and morels are edible celebrations of spring, while summer foods are light, yet luscious—Lake Geneva crawfish, for example, can be savored on the patio overlooking the Geneva countryside.
 


The dining room was just renovated, adding finesse and subtlety while retaining the establishment’s soul, warmth, and relaxed ambiance. A few modern touches were added, inspired by the latest contemporary influences.

“We reevaluate everything we do on a daily basis to ensure our establishment keeps evolving. Our guests love it, because it’s part of their history,” says the chef.
 


Though he serves contemporary cuisine, the chef has kept the classics that are the foundation of the restaurant’s reputation. The symphony opens with scarlet shrimp seared a la plancha and served on a bed of parsnip and grilled hazelnuts, accompanied by a few strips of white Alba truffle. The modern touch comes in the form of a pollack marbré: The fish is first marinated in beetroot, then steamed and served with a raspberry-vinegar emulsion.
 


The Scottish grouse is irresistible: A boneless breast is cooked at low temperature, the drumsticks are confited and shredded, stuffed in a cromesquis … with the gizzards topping small toasts alongside candied figs, it is an ode to gourmandise, all served with vegetable broth and quail’s egg. The roast venison filet comes with pear poached in spiced red wine, a few horn of plenty mushrooms, and mashed yams.

For sweet tooths, the pastry chef serves caramelized butternut squash accompanied by a refreshing sorbet and an orange parfait. 
 

 

Philippe Chevrier: meet the chef

Chef Philippe Chevrier at the center surrounded by his executive chef Damien Coche on the right and by the restaurant director Esteban Valle on the left.

Philippe Chevrier, please tell us about yourself.

I was born in Geneva and I’m the youngest of three brothers. I never had any doubts that I would become a cook. The chef I apprenticed with was a Meilleur Ouvrier de France and started my career with three months of dishwashing. I had no choice—I learned the business the hard way! I became the owner of the Domaine de Châteauvieux in 1986 and never left. Though I also run a 200-seat steakhouse and various bistros all over the canton, my mothership is still here in Satigny. I care about this place very deeply.
 

What’s your view of the Swiss terroir?

This terroir is a treasure trove of ingredients and wines. Our country has tremendous diversity: Though we have our own identity, we took inspiration from the neighboring regions, be they French, Italian, or German. We have mountains and cheeses, lakes and fish, fields and vegetables for every season. We’re so blessed to have this cultural eclecticism that’s rooted in the land. Our craftsmanship and savoir-faire are what make the difference. With our local wine resources, culture, and respect for ingredients, we’ve become a renowned dining destination.
 

Tell us about Swiss viticulture.

It’s never been more magnificent than it is now. Be it the Dardagny Chardonnays in the Canton of Geneva, the Chasselas in the Canton of Vaud, the Syrahs in the Canton of Valais, or the Graubünden Pinots Noirs in German-speaking Switzerland, we’re truly spoiled by all the high-quality winegrowing! As a Genevan, I really appreciate the Gamaret grape variety—it produces a wine that’s very fruity, with extraordinary color.
 

Favorite ingredients?

I like fera, but I really prefer arctic char with crayfish from Lake Geneva. They’re fabulous fish in both quality and finesse. I’m a big fan of tableside fileting and preparation. It’s really a shame that this practice is disappearing, because guests are always eager to witness the preparation of their hare à la royale or see a demonstration of flambéing crepes.
 

In what direction is your cuisine heading?

I want to keep it as cuisine for true food-lovers—bourgeois, generous, gourmet. Culinary classicism pretty much suits me. I like whole pieces, spotlighting the ingredient with a minimum of distortion. The real stars of any restaurant are the ingredients. I very much believe in beauty, while remaining absolutely stringent about goodness. A food’s texture and flavor should be the priority.

 

Related articles in our Magazine
The Christmas cakes of Europe
The Christmas cakes of Europe
Click here to read
Uniting Farm and Table |with Finesse in Texas
Uniting Farm and Table with Finesse in Texas
Click here to read