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Inspiration

A taste of Lake Annecy through local delights

Apr 2022
4 min.

3 dishes, 3 chefs, and a unique take on gourmet cuisine

Capturing the identity, essence, and culture of a region includes a taste of local foods and cuisine.

Through three dishes, we offer you the chance to explore Lake Annecy and the surrounding area through this classic yet always delicious approach.

STARTER ///

“Spring salad”

Meet Chef Auriane Longuet

The Black Bass is a gourmet bistro located in the quaint town of Sévrier, along the west shore of Lake Annecy. Since 2020, Chef Auriane Longuet has made her mark, with influences from such faraway places as Oceania and New Zealand, where she worked before settling down in Annecy. She maintains a unique dual culinary identity that alternates between the ocean and the lake, from local specialties to Pacific inspirations.

 

Chef Auriane Longuet's dish

© Remy Bry / Chef Auriane Longuet's dish

While Chef Longuet may specialize in fish, from both mountain lakes and the deep blue sea, here she offers us a gustatory journey through a spring salad that mixes baby lettuce, fruit, vegetables, grains, bee pollen, and flower vinegar.

This colorful composition rolls with the seasons, with a dressing and flavoring that may also change on a moment’s inspiration. Chef Longuet makes the current elderberry vinegar from trees that grow near the restaurant. It doesn’t get any more local than that!

Most of the herbs, lettuce, and flowers are grown in the Drome region of France, and the olive oils and honeys that Auriane uses come from Chris & Olive based in Menthon-St-Bernard (they work with most of the high-end restaurants in Annecy).

In this spring salad seasoned with Kimchi, Chinese cabbage fermented with garlic and ginger, and enhanced with candied lemon, Chef Auriane Longuet launches seasonal vegetables into another world, one filled with adventure and creativity.

A great place to enjoy a meal!

MAIN DISH ///

“Steamed northern pike with seaweed, sea beans, and fish soup from Arcachon Bay”

Meet Chef Eric Prowalski – 1 Michelin star

Since 2011, Chef Eric Prowalski has made a name for himself at the La Rotonde des Trésoms restaurant, one of Annecy’s gourmet mainstays. His distinctive style of cooking offers the perfect mix of regional influences: Southwest France where he grew up, and Annecy, his adoptive home.

Chef Eric Prowalski's dish

© Denis Pourcher / Chef Eric Prowalski's dish

Made with northern pike, a fish from Lake Annecy that does not typically appear on society’s list of fine fish, this is one of Chef Eric Prowalski’s signature dishes. Cooking with pike offers a unique challenge. Typically used for fish quenelle or mousseline, Chef Prowalski looks for the best way to elevate this fish to gourmet status, peeling away its tough reputation, making it the centerpiece in a lighter, more elegant dish.

Steamed in seaweed butter and served rolled, the pike is surrounded by sea beans and shellfish whose salty taste is enhanced by a fish soup from Arcachon Bay and a few oyster leaves grown by Hortus Crokus (an organic farm in the nearby town of Alex).

This subtle approach balances the pike’s powerful, almost earthy character with the fleeting and feminine touch provided by the other slightly salty flavors. The harmonious ensemble offers the perfect blend of lake and ocean, the chef’s two limitless sources of inspiration.

Chef Prowalski only uses locally-sourced ingredients, which means the pike come from Lake Annecy and Lake Geneva. The dish follows the fishing season and appears on the menu based on the time of year when one of Lake Annecy’s last remaining professional fishermen, Emmanuel Clerc, is permitted to catch the lake-bottom fish in one of his nets.

Through this dish you will learn about the mindset of a chef looking to create the perfect combination of flavor, expertise, personal convictions, and local culture.

DESSERT ///

“Chocolate, Praline, and Dandelion Dessert”

Meet Chef Vincent Favre-Félix – 1 Michelin star

Michelin-star chef Vincent Favre-Félix opened his restaurant in 2019 in “La Cour de l’Abbaye”, an amazingly well-preserved garden in Annecy-le-Vieux. Here is where Chef Favre-Felix finds his inspiration to cook what he describes as “uncomplicated” cuisine to showcase the area’s high-quality seasonal produce.

After cutting his teeth (so to speak…) as a seasonal worker in his family’s restaurant at Col de la Forclaz Pass, he trained alongside legendary chef Marc Veyrat.

A local boy, devoted to and unconditionally in love with the area, he is the official ambassador for Tome des Bauges cheese and loves cooking fish from the lake as much as he loves cooking with mushrooms (for which he has true culinary soft spot).

Chef Vincent Favre-Félix's dessert

© Vincent Favre-Félix / Chef Vincent Favre-Félix's dessert

For this particular occasion, Chef Vincent Favre-Félix plans to prepare a unique dessert that combines chocolate with dandelions. An idea born from a discussion with head pastry chef Romain Garcia, this dessert brings back fond childhood memories Chef Favre-Félix has of gathering dandelions for salad during those unforgettable moments at the beginning of spring.

This rather bold dessert combines chocolate’s sweet goodness with the dandelion’s more bitter overtones. Cocoa Valley, an artisan chocolate maker based in Annecy, makes the 70% cocoa dark chocolate specifically for Chef Favre-Félix, and the dandelions are gathered in the hills around the lake (but we can’t say where, even though the area’s “secret spots” are a little less secret than for mushroom picking) or come from local Savoyard market farmers.

For this incredibly surprising dessert, the delicious gourmet chocolate comes in several forms: creamy, crumbled, and tiles made from crushed cocoa. Savor the vinaigrette made especially for the dandelion salad, topped off with a dandelion sorbet for an extra-special touch. While the first flowers to bloom in spring are a reminder of arugula’s deliciously bitter taste, the chocolate plays its comforting role to perfection. Chocolate zabaglione and vanilla ice cream offer sweet accompaniments to this originally creative mix.

Artistic and unique.

Copyright:

  • © Denis Pourcher

Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue

Translation: Darin Reisman