15 February 2016

JEAN SULPICE, VAL THORENS

It's early days but I've already had one of the best meals of 2016: after a day on the slopes in the Alps, we went to the two Michelin-starred Restaurant de Jean Sulpice in Val Thorens for a wonderful ten course tasting menu with paired wines.  Jean Sulpice became the youngest chef in France to receive a Michelin star, winning his first at only 26 and going on to win a second in 2010 when he was 31.  And so with high expectations, we sat down with a glass of Bollinger at the highest gastronomic restaurant in the world, ready for dinner...

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Raised in Aix-les-Bains by a family of restaurant owners, Jean moved to Val Thorens with his wife Magali in 2002 with the idea of bringing gastronomy and fine cuisine to the mountains, a destination traditionally associated with heavy dishes such as tartiflette, fondue and raclette. Passionate about provenance and reinventing regional dishes, Sulpice's focus is on sourcing natural, seasonal ingredients from local farmers and has created an inventive menu which balances delicate flavours and textures in new ways.  Each dish demonstrates Jean’s mastery, especially considering the challenge of cooking at 2,300m as cooking techniques need to be adjusted to the altitude.  Magali is the sommelier and on the same mission of changing guests' perceptions of Savoie wine, introducing a rich yellow Gringet, peppery red and light dessert wine in contrast to the acidic whites usually associated with the region.

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

First up was a savoury version of the sweet rissole dish with a light Beaufort mousse - a local cheese usually used in fondue - and crisps sprinkled with chopped chives and seasonal mountain herbs. Next was a delicious eggs dish with ceps picked from the nearby Belleville valley, served in an egg shell. Then there was a celeriac risotto served with white fish followed by the lightest tartiflette I've ever had, with thin slices of potato, onion broth, cheese crisps and a foamy reblochon mousse.

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

I loved the chestnut veloutĂ© soup, served with parmesan, grated truffles and crispy chestnut bread - a dish which won his first Michelin star - followed by white trout with raw carrots and a pine tree sauce made with milk and pine firs. Tender lamb fell off the bone with Jean Sulpice-branded Opinel wooden knives, served with a peppery red wine and caraway sauce and topped with Grenoble AOP nuts. Next was a lovely light salad served with Beaufort cheese, Grenoble nuts, caraway and beetroot before we moved onto the desserts.

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Jean Sulpice, Michelin-starred restaurant in Val Thorens, French Alps - fine dining in France

Magali proposed a glass of the sweet Savoie dessert wine Bergeron to go with the first: a chocolate ball and blackberry ice cream with green chartreuse set alight poured over it. I preferred the final dish of chopped apple, local honey and licorice presented in a meringue shell like an apple.  Afterwards, we were invited into the kitchen to see the charming chef in action and thank him for a wonderful meal.  The food was excellent, the service was flawless and our supper was the best dining experience I've ever had in the mountains. If you're lucky enough to be visiting les trois vallĂ©es, I insist you go.

Jean Sulpice, 73440 Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, France
Share:

No comments

Related Posts Plugin for Blogger...
© Emma Louise Layla | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig