The gourmet confessions of Emmanuel Renaut, 3-star chef at Flocons de Sel, in Megève

The gourmet confessions of Emmanuel Renaut, 3-star chef at Flocons de Sel, in Megève

The only Michelin 3-star of Savoie was attributed a 19.5 grade by Gault & Millau, a consecration he shares with us.

Are you proud of the 19.5 grade you received from the Gault Millau guide ?

Rather, yes ! This grading system that rewards 3 chefs each year, after an exceptional meal, is attributed for only one year. It's an added plus for our house that is highlighted by the media, but it changes nothing in terms of my work that is regular on a daily basis—I am mainly happy for our teams.

Now you need to be graded 20/20…

No, I don't think this is possible because we have already been attributed 5 stars in this guide. But there is always room for improvement, and being in the kitchen is a constant challenge

So how does one go about producing a lighter mountain cuisine ?

Heavy mountain food is a cliché ! Polenta can be very airy, light, and my clients do not come here to eat raclette or a cheese fondue.

Flocons de Sel hotel - Megève
To come stay in the 5-star venue of the chef, it will be necessary to climb up to 1 100 meters of altitude. © DR

Which recipes showcasing Savoyard products and recipes are you working on ?

In all of my menus one finds inspiration from the Mont Blanc region : fish from Lake Léman, vegetables from the gardens in my valley, Swiss cheese and products from Italy. The tracabitlity of all our products is total.

Saying that mountain cooking is too heavy is a total cliché »

Emmanuel Renaut.

How willl you celebrate the 20 years of your restaurant ?

I am going to invite my chef friends to organize four-hand dinners. Christophe Bacquier, Mauro Colagreco, Eric Frechon, Christian Constant, Edouard Loubet and Yves Camdeborde will come spend an evening here, they will have the possibility of concocting dishes that will appeal to our clients. The main theme will be the respective regions of each chef, but no big party is planned—even though 20 years is an important landmark, for us  every day is a party.

What about your collab' with Boco ?

I signed 3 recipes for Boco, a coquillettes pasta risotto, a spinach-mushroom polenta and a shepherd's pie with pig meat. My only concern is that the recipes be properly reproduced. Because while it's easy to cook for 20 persons, when it's for 500 persons, that's a whole other ballpark and an entirely different trade.

Do you eat high gastronomy every day?

For sure I produce it and taste it all the time. I did not want to create other restaurants in Paris or in other capitals so as not to miss a single service in the kitchen. I am there all the time and my clients appreciate it.

You have cumulated trophies and rewards…

No, I dont' pile up awards, things just happen this way. Meilleur Ouvrier de France with the blue, white and red collar around my neck, it's very respectable because we represent our country. Compagnon du Tour de France, Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, Grandes Tables du Monde, all this is a lot of work and what counts most is that we pass down our know-how.

As a former Parisian, do you miss the capital ?

Not at all, I enjoy going to Paris for a few days, but I am very happy to come back home, to Megève. Maybe I have become some sort of a bear, I really feel that the quality of life in the mountains is so magical !

Dishes from Flocons de Sel hotel - Megève
This Winter, filet of deer and beet parsnips are some of the house signature dishes. © Anne-Emmanuelle Thion

The art of gourmet living in Haute-Savoie