Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron welcomed starred chef Aurélien Véquaud and pastry chef Steve Moracchini from La Passagère, Hôtel Belles Rives in Antibes, for a gastronomic dinner at Le Gratusier.
From 18 to 24 January 2020, Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron – 9th edition – offered memorable gastronomic experiences to tourists and locals alike. Every evening, after the 5 to 7 gourmet cooking shows by the chefs at the central area, renowned chefs officiate in the restaurants of the Haute Tinée resort and offer sumptuous gastronomic dinners at a unique and privileged price of 45€ per person. The starred chef Aurélien Véquaud and pastry chef Steve Moracchini from La Passagère – Hôtel Belles Rives in Antibes, made a dinner at the restaurant Le Gratusier in Auron.
High gastronomy at the foot of the trails
For the past nine years the Mountain Gastronomy Festival has been bringing together duos of great chefs and talented pastry chefs from the French Riviera who share at the foot of the trails an authentic moment of culinary pleasures and conviviality in the heart of the sumptuous Mercantour mountains. During the Festival, great names from the culinary world perform real gastronomic feats every evening by creating four-handed dinners on unknown “pianos”. On Friday, January 24, Aurélien Véquaud* and Steve Moracchini transposed the delicious culinary experiences of La Passagère, the restaurant at the Hôtel Belles Rives in Antibes, into the warm, wooded, mountain chalet setting of the restaurant Le Gratusier at the foot of the slopes.
Aurélien Véquaud, a prestigious career
Since May 2017, Aurélien Véquaud has been Chef of the starred restaurant La Passagère in Cap d’Antibes, restaurant of the mythical Hôtel Belles Rives where the spirit of Gatsby the Magnificent is still floating. Originally from the Vendée, the young chef has perfected his talents in prestigious restaurants such as La Marine de Noirmoutier, 2*, with Alexandre Couillon, La Table des Rois de La Réserve de Beaulieu, with Olivier Brulard, MOF. In 2008, he joined Arnaud Donckele at La Pinède de Saint-Tropez (3*). In 2011, he is Chef of the Arena d’Oro restaurant at the Palm Beach in Ajaccio before returning to La Réserve de Beaulieu (1*) in 2014 with Chef Yannick Franques, MOF. Aurélien Véquaud loves to a sublimate local Mediterranean products.
Steve Moracchini, Gault & Millau Pastry Chef of the Year 2016
In charge of desserts and pastries for the Belles Rives Group since January 2012, Steve Moracchini supervises the dessert menu of La Passagère and that of the Bistrot Terrasse of Hotel Juana in Juan Les Pins. After a few years spent in pastries and boutiques, he joined the Groupe Partouche and Hotel 3.14. He then became Pastry Chef for the restaurant group Le Baoli and Le Baoli Beach in Cannes. He then flew to Florida and joined the kitchens of Le Vita in Miami before returning to the French Riviera. Steve Moracchini is a member of APRECA (Association of Restaurants Pastry Chefs of Côte d’Azur). In October 2015, he was elected 2016 Pastry Chef of the Year by Gault & Millau . This well-deserved distinction now makes him one of the greatest.
Riounet as an aperitif
The evening opened as an aperitif with the invigorating notes of the tasty Riounet, the cocktail of the talented and endearing Victor Delpierre, Barista/Cocktail World Champion, who created this beverage, which has become the official drink of the resort, during Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron 2018. This harmonious summit drink can be sipped cold after a nice summer walk in the mountains, or enjoyed in a grog or mulled wine version after a day on the snowy slopes, or as an after-ski comfort drink. Completed at 50% with a bubble, Champagne, Crémant or Prosecco, the cocktail becomes a great aperitif to accompany the nicest festive moments.
The chefs’ menu (photos YesICannes.com)
Amuse bouche: Mushroom from Maison Boselli and hazelnut cassette
Starter: The Imperial Rouffe of the Mediterranean, Buddha’s hand and “Belles Rives roses”.
Dish: Red mullet flambéed and rock broth flavoured with lemongrass
Dessert: Lemon confit with fennel chips in sugar shells
Mignardises: the delicious macaroons from Mic Mac Mac Macarons, signed Bruno Laffargue.
Le Gratusier and its solarium terrace
In the heart of the Mercantour mountains, on the snow front of the popular resort of Auron, Le Gratusier spreads out its deckchairs on the slopes to welcome skiers wishing to eat in the sun, after a morning spent hurtling down the trails. This family restaurant planted in the middle of the snowfields was created in the 90s. Its warm and intimate architecture, designed as a charming mountain chalet, houses a restaurant room that opens majestically onto the beauty of the landscapes and peaks that surround its solarium terrace. Throughout the winter season, Le Gratusier (named after the “cheese graters” adorning the walls of the alpine establishment) offers fresh and traditional cuisine, featuring its tartiflette and its unmistakable and sublime “profiterole gargantua”.
Authenticity, conviviality and sharing
The Mountain Gastronomy Festival Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron reflects all what the hinterland of Nice and the Mercantour offer with generosity, in addition to the splendid mountain scenery: authenticity, conviviality and sharing. These are values to which the chefs are sensitive because they provide them daily. This is why a faithful team of starred and renowned chefs come to celebrate gastronomy in the setting of the magnificent snow-covered mountains of the Alps, delighting the gourmets’ taste buds and holidaymakers on the ski slopes.
Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron
18 – 24 January 2020
Restaurants in Auron, St Etienne de Tinée and St Dalmas-le-Selvage
Information: Auron Tourist Office
+33 (0)4 93 23 02 66
Les Chefs au Sommet d’Auron, Aurélien Véquaud and Steve Moracchini at the Gratusier in pictures
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