Pioneer amongst high-altitude Michelin-starred chefs, Michel Rochedy is a young man who just celebrated his 80th birthday. He runs Chabichou, a unique Relais et Châteaux establishment at the ski resort of 3 Vallées. Here are his 5 best tips.
1 - My favourite slope
"I always ski and I love this vast area which covers both glaciers and forests. What I should tell you is that my favourite slope is the one named Chabichou, but for me Courchevel's most emblematic run is the Combe de la Saulire. From up top, at 2,700 m, the view is sublime. Some of the hotel's guests, such as Michel Sardou, are crazy about skiing, but others, like Margaret Thatcher, who we welcomed for four seasons in row, come here without ever skiing."
2 - My favourite room
"We have 42 rooms and suites at Chabichou. I love those with fireplaces, but they are few in number - only four. I also have a weakness for number 77, not far from the spa. It is a cocoon lined with wood; and the doorway is low, so you have to lower your head to enter if you're tall. It has a little terrace which leads directly out to the slopes, like a secret entrance."
3 - My favourite dish
"Above all, I love to work with the simplest ingredients. Such is the case with this leek served lukewarm with oysters in a variety of styles. This beautiful vegetable, which comes from a local producer, is cooked sous-vide for a long time and at a low temperature in a truffle jus. It is a dish developed with Stéphane Buron that has helped me keep the two Michelin stars that we have been displaying for over 30 years."
4 - My iconic photo
"When my wife Maryse and I took over the reigns of the Chabichou, in 1963, this it what it looked like. It only had nine rooms, four of which were in the attic. We stayed there, but when it was full of guests we waited until the end of service to make a makeshift bed for ourselves in the dining room. On those nights, we we far from unhappy when people chose not to linger at the tables..."
5 - My souvenir to take home
"A tasty piece of Beaufort: this is a truly delicious souvenir of your stay in Savoy. You can purchase it from the Coopérative Laitière de La Région de Moutiers, which has two stores at the ski resort. And to cut it, why not an Opinel knife with a black handle, which we have exclusively made for Chabichou?"