Chefs au Sommet d’Auron welcomed Christophe Billau, chef of L’Auberge Quintessence in Roubion, and pastry chef Jean-François Lefèvre from Casino Croisette in Cannes for a gastronomic dinner at La Bergerie.
From January 19 to 25, 2019, the Chefs au Sommet d’Auron – 8th Edition – offered memorable gastronomic experiences to tourists and locals. In addition to the chefs’ show-cookings at the ice rink, renowned chefs officiate each evening in the restaurants of the Haute Tinée resort and offer sumptuous gourmet dinners at a unique and privileged price of € 45 per person. Chef Christophe Billau from L’Auberge Quintessence in Roubion and pastry chef Jean-François Lefèvre from Casino Croisette in Cannes, delighted the taste buds of gourmets at La Bergerie restaurant.
Haute gastronomy at the foot of the tracks
For eight years, the Festival of Mountain Gastronomy has been bringing together many talented chefs and pastry chefs from the French Riviera who share an authentic moment of culinary pleasure and conviviality in the heart of the sumptuous Mercantour mountains. During the Festival, big names in the culinary world perform every night of real gastronomic feats by performing dinners on “pianos” unknown before. On Thursday, January 24, 2019, Christophe Billau and Jean-François Lefèvre transposed the delicious culinary experiences of L’Auberge Quintessence and Casino Croisette in the warm wooded and mountain chalet decor of La Bergerie restaurant at the foot of the slopes.
Christophe Billau, organic, locavore and product king
The culinary philosophy of Christophe Billau is clear, like the pure air of the altitudes: “Every day is a new challenge and the respect of the customer passes by the respect of the product!” These are the major virtues of two passionate restaurateurs, Pauline and Christophe Billau; who opened in 2017 a hotel-restaurant in the wilderness, in the middle of the magnificent landscapes of the alpine mountains: the Auberge Quintessence. In this former refuge built in 1962 by a shepherd from the region, Christophe and Pauline are striving to maintain the hostel spirit in simplicity and authenticity, while offering contemporary comfort.
A new star floats over the high country
Christophe Billau trained with talented chefs such as MOF Franck Ferigutti at Le Chapon Fin in Bordeaux, then at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva. He then joined Philippe Chevrier‘s brigade at Domaine de Châteauvieux in Satigny. In the USA, he was deputy chef of L’Ortolan in Los Angeles. At 26, he was appointed executive chef at Le Moulin de l’Abbaye in Brantôme before taking over in 2009 the communal inn Le Robur, in Roure. It is in this idyllic place between sea and mountain, in the heart of the Mercantour Park, that he knows the consecration in 2014 by winning his first star. The Michelin guide confirms his talent since Christophe has just seen L’Auberge Quintessence crowned with a star at the beginning of the Chefs au Sommet d’Auron 2019.
Jean-François Lefèvre, exceptional pastry chef
Originally from the Dordogne, Jean-François Lefèvre fell very early in the pot thanks to his grandfather restaurateur in Périgueux, a region where good food is taken very seriously. After a CAP Pastry and Chocolatier at the Hotel School of Lille, this exceptional pastry chef begins his training at Yanka in Lille. Ihe then works in shops in Bordeaux and Périgueux. He arrived in Cannes and joined the Barrière Group in 1994 at Casino Croisette. His signature dessert: a lemon praline dessert with a sesame and hazelnut dacquoise.
Freshness and seasonality
For Christophe Billau, each producer or supplier is a true partner with whom he shares the love of the good product and the sense of exchange. In the wild, the chef picks up the herbs and flowers that will enter his current mountain-inspired cuisine. His solid technique allows him to exalt the beautiful perfumes of the products he sublimates like the mountain piglet from the Chamsor Valley in the 05, accompanied by its mashed butternut from Agnès Papone, topped with hazelnut from Piedmont. The trout that he put on the menu of Chefs au Sommet d’Auron, swam in the mountains at 1000 m of altitude in the fish farm Faure in Chateauroux les Alpes before marinating with the juniper from our mountains with citrus fruits and bathing in the delights of a sauce with the sorrel from the organic farm Agnès and Renaud Papone.
The tasted dishes (photos YesICannes.com)
Amuse bouche: Once upon a time, the Mountain Urchin. A trilogy of chestnut from Roubion, winter fruit par excellence, with its perfumed and delicate taste between hazelnut and potato, which one discovers in the form of crémeux, cromesquis and chisps.
Entrance: Trout from Châteauroux les Alpes with juniper from our mountains and citrus fruits, vegetables from the organic farm Lavancia. The high in taste sorrel gives all its aromatic dimension to this trout cooked to perfection, melting and tasty.
Plat: Farmer’s Milk Pig from the Champsaur Valley, stuffed with Vegetables from Agnès and Renaud Papone, Quintessence Jus with Impératoire. The cochonnet cooked at low temperature, its tender and tasty flesh delivers all the authentic flavors of an animal living in the open air and king of the locavore.
Dessert: Enchanted Forest. An exquisite mellow dessert, consisting of a 70% Valrhona Guanaja melting mousse, Jelly of sour Cherries “grillotines” macerated in Kirsch, under a chocolate icing sprinkled with gold. A pure masterpiece!
La Bergerie, the oldest restaurant in the resort
At the foot of the slopes of the very popular resort of Auron, in the heart of the Mercantour mountains, La Bergerie opens its terrace onto the tracks, very pleasant in winter when the sun comes to lunch. It is the oldest table of the station, a real sheepfold transformed into a restaurant. Chef Alain Monge offers 100% “homemade” cuisine, from fresh pasta to roast meats or Niçois specialties. The wine list gives pride of place to the nectars from Provence.
Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron
From 19 to 26/01/2019
Restaurants in Auron, St Etienne de Tinée et St Dalmas-le-Selvage
Information: Office de Tourisme d’Auron
+33 (0)4 93 23 02 66
Chefs au Sommet d’Auron, Christophe Billau and Jean-François Lefèvre at La Bergerie
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