Some people feel that basic fuel is the only thing necessary to propel themselves down the slopes of Europe’s finest ski resorts. Fortunately there are enough of us about who want something a bit more special. As such there is a large market for fine dining at altitude. Europe is blessed with some of the best skiing in the world, and the slopes have the cuisine to match.
Les fermes de Marie
Megève is an idyllic French village which sits in the shadow of the awesome Mont Blanc. As with most French ski resorts, there are plenty of slope side restaurants where you can get a good simple saussise au frites, but for those looking for something a little more self indulgent, there is Les fermes de Marie. The Sibuet family has been providing fantastic holidays with some of the finest food available in the Alps for years. Today they employ Christophe Côte as their head chef, and he has been able to maintain their exceptional cuisine through the use of local produce alongside his modern cooking methods. Dishes such as the mouth watering oven roasted beef fillet topped with a rustic ragout of Morel mushrooms exhibits flair alongside an ability to replicate traditional regional dishes.
Les fermes de Marie delivers a wonderfully varied menu of fairly traditional French fare, with a welcome modern twist. Thanks to a laid back atmosphere the dress code is relaxed, which means you can come straight off the slopes and fill up with some truly fine food!
La Maison Pic
If you don’t mind heading out of the mountains for the evening, then La Maison Pic has to be worth a trip. Situated approximately 60 miles from Grenoble, this three Michelin starred restaurant is worth driving for. Chef Anne-Sophie Pic is the first woman to be awarded three of the famous French stars in 56 years, which should tell you just how good this restaurant is. Expect attention to detail and a subtlety of flavour that will leave you in awe of this groundbreaking chef.
Le 1947 at The Cheval Blanc
Heading back into the French Alps, the prestigious 1947 at The Cheval Blanc, named after the finest year of the famous Bordeaux first growth, offers an incredible fine dining experience in Courchevel. The award winning Chef Yannick Alleno presides over a wonderfully diverse menu which will beguile all those who can stretch to the $95 set menu and beyond.
C21 at Champery
A mere hop, ski and a jump over the border from France takes you to Switzerland, and into some wonderful skiing territory. Satisfyingly, there is no need to lower your expectations when it comes to the food either. The jaw droppingly beautiful village of Champery is home to C21, a wonderfully modern restaurant where molecular cuisine is the order of the day. Combining ingredients previously untried by most, Chef Denis Martin creates dishes which leave you speechless. The Cauliflower pannacotta with Gruyere cheese, Bellota ham and truffle oil is a surprise success of epic proportions.
Add to the ultra modern cuisine an extensive Malt list and a wine list that has been awarded a Michelin Grappe, and you have what is without doubt one of the finest restaurants in the whole of Switzerland.
Stube at Wulfenia Hotel
Austria is not a country normally known for its haute cuisine, but the Austrian Alps are an exception. With great snow records, Austria attracts a wide spread of skiers and there is clearly a market for fine dining given the amount of excellent restaurants that can be found lining the slopes!
Top of the pile must be the Stube, situated in The Wulfenia Hotel at the Nassfeld ski resort. This is the highest two star Michelin restaurant in Austria, and is worth the climb for anyone interested in gourmet eating! With an excellently priced $110 taster menu, and a wonderful wine list extending to over 900 different bottles, this is a place to come back to time and time again. The restaurant is run by the well known Arnold Pucher, who has been awarded 94 points in the A la carte 2012th.
Skiing and eating should go hand in hand. Europe’s ski resorts are littered with fine dining, and you will be particularly spoilt for choice when in the Alps. If you are a gourmand on the slopes, then you might just want to stay in the mountains forever!