Chefs au Sommet d’Auron welcomed Chef Justin Schmitt from Château Eza* in Eze and Pastry Chef Maxime Simonot from Giry Traiteur in Cannes for a haute gastronomy dinner at Les Pivotes, the restaurant of hotel L’Écureuil***.
Chefs au Sommet d’Auron 2024 : from January 24 to 29, 2024, the twelfth edition of the Mountain Gastronomy Festival offered memorable gastronomic experiences to tourists and residents of the emblematic Mercantour resort. In addition to culinary workshops and cooking shows after skiing, every evening, starred or renowned chefs are dedicating their talents in the restaurants of the Haute Tinée resort and offer sumptuous gourmet dinners at a unique and privileged price of €55 per person. On Friday January 26, chef Justin Schmitt* from Château Eza***** in the medieval village of Eze and pastry chef Maxime Simonot from Giry Traiteur in Cannes delighted the taste buds of fine gourmets at Les Pivotes, the restaurant of Hôtel L’Écureuil***.
Twelve years of passion for gastronomy!
The Mountain Gastronomy Festival is celebrating its twelfth anniversary. This flagship event brings together again this year many great chefs and talented pastry chefs from the Côte d’Azur to share an authentic moment of culinary pleasures and conviviality in the heart of the sumptuous Mercantour mountains. Concocted by the chefs in kitchens made ephemeral for the event, the menus composed of an amuse-bouche, a starter, a main course and a dessert tantalise the taste buds of fine gourmets every evening.
Gastronomic dinner at Les Pivotes
On Friday January 26, 2024, chef Justin Schmitt and pastry chef Maxime Simonot transposed their delicious culinary experiences from the slopes of the hilltop village of Eze overlooking the enchanted shores of the Grand Bleu and from those of the Croisette to the warm, wooded setting and mountain scenery of Les Pivotes restaurant in the center of Auron. The exquisite refinement of this young chef’s dinner took guests on a journey into the most majestic dimensions of great French cuisine, with dishes that combine technical skill with creativity, offering an original and brilliant interpretation of France’s gastronomic heritage. Maxime Simonot’s dessert perfectly crowned this parade of masterpieces with its unctuous yet light notes in a symphony of flavours and textures.
Justin Schmitt, French gastronomic heritage
An Alsatian with a passion for cooking, Justin Schmitt honed his talents with great chefs like Michel Guérard, Guy Martin and Mauro Colagreco. He started as an apprentice at the Gaya Rive Gauche restaurant, then at Lucas Carton, with Alain Senderens. He then moved on to prestigious restaurants: Les Prés d’Eugénie with Michel Guérard, Le Grand Véfour with Guy Martin, La Grande Cascade with Frédéric Robert, and Le Bristol Paris alongside Éric Frechon. In 2008, he was sous-chef to Christopher Hache for the reopening of Les Ambassadeurs restaurant at Hôtel de Crillon. 2014 saw him experimenting with his talents around the world, in London, Australia, Jordan, the United States and Denmark. He replaces chefs for the Rosewood Group at the Carlyle in New York, Rosewood London and The Georgia Hotel Vancouver.
Seeking new ideas every day
In 2017, Justin Schmitt returned to Le Crillon as chef of the Brasserie d’Aumont before becoming executive chef of the emblematic Laurent restaurant, in Paris, where the Gault&Millau gave him a score of 16/20 (3 toques). In 2022, on the advice of his friend Mauro Colagreco, he took the road south towards a timeless place on the Côte d’Azur, the romantic Château Eza***** clinging to the side of the village of Èze, as executive chef, where Gault&Millau awarded him a score of 15/20 (3 toques). Developed with starred and international restaurants, the Chef’s culinary art combined with his desire to constantly surpass himself in a daily search for new ideas have earned him a first Michelin star at the age of 37 in 2023.
Maxime Simonot, “transmitter of taste”
With a CAP in cooking and a CAP in pastry, Maxime Simonot is crowned 2009 Champion de France of dessert à l’assiette ! After his apprenticeship at Félix on the Croisette in Cannes then with Pascal Picasse in the brigade of chef Sébastien Broda at Park 45 also on La Croisette, his talents in sweets led him to practice his art at Le Mesclun in Cannes or Le Bessem in Mandelieu-la-Napoule before joining the prestigious chef Bruno Oger at Villa Archange 2** in Le Cannet under the orders of Sylvain Mathy. When the latter opened Mimi Faktory by Sylvain Mathy, his bakery and pastry shop in Le Cannet, Bruno Auger asked Maxime to replace him. Today, Maxime has put his talent at the service of the famous Giry Traiteur in Cannes.
Menu tasted at Les Pivotes (photos YesICannes.com)
Hôtel L’Écureuil, nuts of charm and gourmandise
In the heart of the popular resort of Auron, the chosen town of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, the three-star mountain Hotel L’Écureuil provides a warm chalet atmosphere, offering a friendly and attentive welcome all year round for enjoying a green in summer and white in winter mountain. Every evening, Les Pivotes restaurant comes alive around its wood stove (during winter evenings) and offers its seasonal semi-gastronomic, “à l’ardoise” cuisine, offering the great classics of mountain specialties but also revisited dishes from our childhood. The Hotel restaurant L’Écureuil is managed by Catherine and Michel Guillot, President of the Stations de la Tinée Tourist Office and organizer of the Chefs au Sommet d’Auron.
Les Pivotes – Hôtel l’Écureuil
Place Centrale – 06660 Auron
+33 (0)4 93 23 34 90
Chefs au Sommet d’Auron, an original recipe
Against the backdrop of the sumptuous peaks of the Mercantour, Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron follows an original recipe for culinary delights and sharing. Take a line-up of famous chefs, season it with the authentic flavours from our mountain produce, spice it up with a gourmet touch with cooking and pastry-making workshops for adults and children, and add a big ladleful of relaxation, happiness and well-being. Warm up with it the heat of the Toques Brûlées‘ friendly embers and add one of their grains of madness at the start of cooking. Finally, sprinkle with snowflakes (or rays of sunshine) and leave to simmer for six days on the summits of the Mediterranean Alps.
Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron
From 24 to 29 January 2024
Restaurants in Auron, Saint Dalmas le Selvage & St Etienne de Tinée
Information: Auron Tourist Office
+33 (0)4 93 23 02 66