From 24 to 29 January 2024, Chefs au Sommet d’Auron – twelfth edition – turns the emblematic Mercantour ski resort into the Capital of Mountain Gastronomy hosted by renowned chefs.
Chefs au Sommet d’Auron 2024 : the twelfth edition of the Mountain Gastronomy Festival was inaugurated on Wednesday 24 January in the presence of the talented patrons duo Victor Delpierre, World Barista/Cocktail Champion, and Pastry Chef Stéphane Mangin. The Festival’s tasty and festive line-up includes some twenty starred or renowned chefs who will be demonstrating their culinary talents in restaurants in the Mercantour resort and the Vallée de la Tinée, revealing the gastronomic treasures that abound in the mountains and valleys of the Haut Pays. An exhilarating combination of taste buds and skiing pleasure in a world of richly nuanced flavours to keep you fit and in good spirits!
Affordable gastronomic meals
Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron, the high-altitude culinary event set among the spectacular snow-capped peaks of the Mercantour in the Southern Alps, celebrates mountain gastronomy with the greatest chefs from the Côte d’Azur. The restaurants in the Auron, Saint-Damas-le-Selvage and Saint-Étienne de Tinée resorts welcome the region’s leading chefs and pastry chefs into their kitchens. Every evening, different chef & pastry chef duos officiate in different restaurants to create exceptional dinners. By the fireside, in a warm and authentic atmosphere, holidaymakers, seasonal workers and local residents can enjoy sumptuous gourmet menus at the special, one-off price of 55 euros. Comprising an amuse-bouche, starter, main course and dessert, the menus are sure to delight the taste buds of fine gourmets.
Two flavour artists as patrons
Organised by the Auron Tourist Office, with the support of Auron, Saint-Étienne de Tinée, SEM des Cimes du Mercantour and the Alpes-Maritimes Chamber of Trade, this year’s Mountain Gastronomy Festival is under the patronage of Victor Delpierre and Stéphane Mangin, two flavour alchemists who have been loyal to the Mountain Gastronomy Festival for many years. Accustomed to creating original worlds of flavour together, they will be offering a week of unforgettable, gourmand and joyful moments.
Victor Delpierre, La Cuisine des Boissons
Victor Delpierre, the talented and engaging World Champion Barista/Cocktail 2013, World Champion “Coffee in good spirits”, is the creator of La Cuisine des Boissons (Cooking Beverages). A cocktail virtuoso, Victor Delpierre animates the Festival with his creations and cocktail tastings. During the Chefs au Sommet d’Auron 2018, he came up with the Le Riounet cocktail, which has become the resort’s official drink. Victor likes to provoke the unexpected and go beyond the boundaries of taste. Like chefs who cook food, the world champion enjoys ‘cooking’ liquids with or without alcohol, cream or chocolate, to create ever more daring and inventive concepts and mixes.
Stéphane Mangin, the pastry genius
Originally from Saint-Nabord (88), Stéphane Mangin is now Pastry Chef at Régis and Jacques Marcon‘s three-starred restaurant at Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid in the Ardèche. Les Frères Raimbault, Jacques Chibois, Nicolas Decherchi, and most recently Georges Blanc in Vonnas, are just some of the many starred chefs who have sought out his talent. A virtuoso with a spatula and a whisk, the 43-year-old from the Vosges region of France is a master of taste, creating stylish, elegant desserts. His overflowing imagination is always on the alert, driving him to create mountains of sweet treats with soft, creamy and aromatic textures. His stylish, elegant desserts with their ever-changing flavours are inspired by nature, its harmonies of colour and the world around him. As well as being imaginative and creative, this artisan of happiness focuses his art on rigour, precision and expertise.
Chefs and pastry chefs share their secrets
As well as the four-hands dinners every evening, the Chefs au Sommet d’Auron offer a rich programme of gourmand after-ski events, culinary workshops (at 2pm or 4pm – €7) and conferences. From 4pm, at the Salle Rovery, a host of events await local residents and food-loving tourists: savoury and sweet workshops for young and old, conferences, cookery demonstrations with the Chefs, book signing sessions… While parents are cooking in the workshops, their little imps can play at being apprentice cooks like mum and dad by making one of their favourite dishes, or attend cookery demonstrations and fun workshops in the P’tits Chefs workshops.
A launch based on passion and sharing
Being a chef or pastry chef is a job of love, passion and sharing. The generous chefs demonstrate this at the gourmet after-ski events at the Salle Rovery. The chefs share their exceptional skills and their passion for their profession, sprinkled with snow grains and friendship, to the great delight of skiers and tourists who love high mountains and good food. The launch of the Chefs au Sommet d’Auron took place in the Salle Rovery with a P’tits Chefs workshop for children based on four-spice shortbread with decoration, led by the talented and friendly chef-patissier who runs his Pains & Pâtisseries Carabacel shop in Nice.
The shortbread of childhood
Accompanied by Coralie, his partner in the bakery as in life, Marc Payeur led two workshops with the children on the theme of childhood shortbread – with spices and almond powder – coloured with food colouring, icing sugar and crunchy little pearls. The children were diligent and meticulous in making the shortbread. And above all, they were gourmand : some devoured the unfinished shortbread! Each child went home with a small box of their creations to proudly shwo them off at home before enjoying them.
Marc Payeur, a modern vision on traditional desserts
After gaining a C.A.P. in pastry-making, chocolate-making, confectionery and ice-cream-making, Marc Payeur honed his skills in a number of top establishments: L’Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo with pastry chef Pierre Foucher, L’Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de La Celle with Benoît Witz, then Fauchon in Paris with Christophe Adam before joining the Plaza Athénée in Paris with pastry chef Christophe Michalak. Returning to the Côte d’Azur in 2010, Marc worked as a pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Lou Fassum restaurant in Plascassier, before assisting pastry chef Patrick Mesiano at Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo in Monaco in 2011, alongside Joël Rebuchon. He then went on to work in two prestigious establishments on the Côte d’Azur coast, the Royal Riviera, a 5-star hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat with Marcel Ravin, and the Blue Bay, a Michelin-starred restaurant at Monte Carlo Bay.
Combining a local product with bread
Marc Payeur likes to share with gourmets his modern vision of traditional desserts, free from colouring agents and changing with the seasons. Marc Payeur opened his Pains et Pâtisseries Carabacel boutique at 9, rue Pastorelli in Nice, which is currently competing on M6 for the title of Best Bakery in France. He is also a columnist on BFM TV‘s Azur à Table programme, whose concept is to share food and wine by inviting local producers to talk about their work and their products, and to showcase the region. Marc then combines the product with a bread, for example, if the product is beer, Marc makes a beer bread, or if it’s wine, he makes a wine bread, or a truffle bread.
Discovering Burrata and Riounet cocktail
The afternoon continued with a culinary demonstration on Burrata with Fabio Merra, a chef from Pouilles, in the very village where Burrata was invented. He is the chef at Le Mood restaurant in Saint Laurent du Var. His grandfather, whom he used to help in the kitchen, gave him his vocation from the age of 13. After studying at the Lycée hôtelier de Roccaraso in Abruzzo, he made his debut in restaurants and trattorias in Abruzzo and then in Emilia (a region of Italy) in Bologna and Ferrara. In 2005, at the age of 21, he was hired as a pastry chef in Tuscany at the Trattoria Hotel l’Andana, an Auberge run by Alain Ducasse, who hired him in Monaco at L’Hôtel de Paris before offering him the chance to continue his training in Paris. After opening his restaurant Vino e Cucina, he set about opening a cheese dairy in 2015 and took up the challenge of making his own organic and local Burrata Mozzarella.
Le Riounet: one cocktail, three worlds
The launch ended with a drinks aniamtion featuring Victor Delpierre, godfather of the 2024 edition and the resort’s mascot, who offered a taste of the Riounet. The warm afternoon ended on the invigorating notes of this tasty cocktail. This harmonious beverage from the summits can be sipped cold after a lovely summer walk in the mountains, or enjoyed as a grog or mulled wine after a day on the snowy slopes, or as a comforting après ski drink. This same cocktail, topped up to 50% with bubbles, Champagne, Crémant or Prosecco, makes a great aperitif cocktail to accompany your most festive moments. Riounet is made with Triple Sec, created in 1834 by Jean-Baptiste Combier – an artisan chocolatier and confectioner, in stills set up by Gustave Eiffel, and still in use today – Chocolate Distillation, Cocoa Cream, to be mixed with squeezed Lemon and Orange Juices.
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.
YesICannes.com, Partenaire Média des Chefs au Sommet d’Auron
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