A top destination for gastronomy, Crans-Montana welcomed the annual general meeting of Les Grandes Tables de Suisse association this weekend. No less than 50 chefs from all over Switzerland, all with 17 or more points in Gault&Millau and at least one star in the Michelin guide, met to review the year in gastronomy. It was our ambassador Frank Reynaud, a member of the Grandes Tables association for almost 20 years, and a committee member as of this year, who took the initiative to invite the chefs to Crans-Montana, and who cooked for them in collaboration with Didier De Courten and Samuel Destaing. The chef from L'Hostellerie du Pas de l'Ours, which has one Michelin star and 18/20 in Gault&Millau, is delighted about the meeting : « It's a real pleasure for me to cook for true connaisseurs who appreciate the quality of the work. We aimed for excellence, highlighting local produce and serving dishes on a spring and mountain theme. »
The quality of the produce, and notably local produce, are core concerns in the world of high-end gastronomy. « We owe it to ourselves to serve the best available produce. In our restaurant, Valais wines are a particular feature. We recommend combinations with all of our menus, and our guests very much appreciate this », confirms Ivo Adam, who has 2 Michelin stars at his restaurant The After Seven in Zermatt. Valais will also be present in his new project at the Bern Casino, where his menu will include specialities such as cheese, dried meats and apricots from Valais. Similar comments came from a chef who has been elected the best in the world by Elite Traveler magazine : « I feel good in the mountains, it's a healthy and calming environment. Also the tracability of produce is very important to me, and often it's even more apparent in mountain regions. This is why Valais wine and vegetables are very much present on my menus. » states Franck Giovannini, who has three stars and 19/20 points at his famous Hôtel de Ville restaurant in Crissier.
« We're very priviliged here in Crans-Montana. There is a very strong culture of local produce and there are winemakers that propose very sophisticated products. I also like to flavour my dishes with wild mountain herbs, which the rich and varied natural surroundings in the area allow in summer », adds Frank Reynaud. The link between tourism and haute cuisine has strengthened in recent years. « The welcome, generosity and sharing are values that we share, and we want to offer complete experiences to our guests, highlighting our produce and our local partners », explains Pierre-André Ayer, president of the Grandes Tables association, and a Michelin star chef based at Le Pérolles restaurant in Fribourg. « Clients don't just want to have a good meal when they come to us, they want emotion. This emotion is also very much linked to the atmsphere and the place, as well as the service », adds Ivo Adam. With this in mind, Crans-Montana organises the Guest Tables each year, an event which aims to boost gastronomy and to make it more accessible by taking it to unusual locations. « Several chefs from Crans-Montana meet to prepare an open-air gastronomic meal, either in the form of a food journey, or in an iconic location in or around the resort. It is very inspiring for the chefs, and an incredible experience for guests, who appreciate the change of scenery » concludes Frank Reynaud. This summer, golf will be showcased at this Guest Table even, which is due to take place on 4 August in the Rue du Prado.