Enjoy a slice of Lake Annecy…The art of combining lakeside living with gourmet food
Everywhere across the world, local cuisine provides insight into an area’s culture. To explore Lake Annecy’s many flavors, enjoy an appetizing and truly inspiring gourmet escape through 3 places, 3 restaurants, and 3 recipes.
Barbecue grilled fera (whitefish) rillettes
Our first stop is in Talloires Bay to enjoy a delicious lake-inspired starter.
Cool fresh aromas and tastes are on the menu at the Les Terrasses du Cottage Bise gourmet restaurant. Here, along the shores of the lake, in an idyllic setting surrounded by beautiful trees and mountains – nature at its finest – master chef and restaurateur Olivier Suire prepares inspiring seasonal dishes that combine traditional cuisine with local tastes and his own personal touch.
© Les Terrasses du Cottage Bise
The first course focuses on fera (whitefish), one of the Lake Annecy’s most iconic fish and an integral part of local cuisine. “Barbecue grilled fera rillettes,” coated with greens to enhance the fera’s exquisite aroma, serves a mouthwatering appetizer to set up the rest of the meal.
At the core of this tasty starter, the subtle yet so enticing taste of fera reveals itself in rillettes form, spiced up by a sweetly acidic Granny Smith apple and by a radish’s and horseradish’s biting flavor. Covering the mix is a fine herbaceous crust made with parsley, coriander, and dill freshly picked from the restaurant’s vegetable garden. A creative way to offer a straightforward dish and the cool freshness one expects from an appetizer; it brings every subtle flavor to light while making sure that fera remains front and center.
MAIN DISH //
Neufchatel cheese, pea purée, smoked bacon
Across the water, on the west shore of Lake Annecy in Duingt, the time has come to enjoy a meal at Le Comptoir du Lac, a modern bistro located next to Clos Marcel Hotel. In the delightful décor, the vegetable-inspired, locavore, and eminently contemporary cuisine will dazzle your taste buds.
For this particular dish, the roles are reversed. Animal protein serves as an accompaniment to highlight the dish’s centerpiece, peas. Enjoy this relatively short-lived seasonal vegetable in several tasty forms: as gnocchi, purée, and freshly-picked. Spiced up with thinly sliced pork, the peas reveal an incredibly wide range of flavors. A smoked-lard sauce puts on the finishing touch for this harmonious blend, while Neufchatel cheese tortellini provides a creamy, comforting element to such a delicious dish.
© Le Comptoir du Lac
As part of her zero-waste cooking approach, chef Sabine Pendaries-Issaurat strives to cook foods in as many ways as possible. She pays close attention to where every ingredient comes from: the pigs she cooks come from Mt. Charvin meats (a local artisanal pork-curing specialist) and she salts and smokes on every part of the pig she uses.
This astonishing recipe exudes a steadfast, authentic, and local approach. Remember to savor the lakeside setting with views of the incredibly beautiful mountains all around.
Rhubarb, rice pudding
To prepare the delightfully sweet and sugary experience we all expect from dessert, Racines, a gourmet bistro-style restaurant, volunteered. Located in the old-town center of Annecy, in a hidden alcove in Place des Cordeliers Square, the restaurant takes full advantage of its ideal location. Along the banks of the Thiou River, a stone’s throw from Old Town’s cobblestone streets, enjoy a delicious hour or two at a restaurant that changes its specials every month.
The style of cuisine Chef John Guillot and his partner Eva Filippini prepare offers a great mix of their favorite places, Haute-Savoie and Corsica, by using simple ingredients that they enhance through gourmet cooking techniques.
Today’s dessert, “Rhubarb, rice pudding,” subtly combines the acidic nature of rhubarb with the sweet and comforting authenticity of rice pudding with its touch of vanilla. The latter offers a throwback to everyone’s childhood memories of desserts to be licked off a spoon.
The recipe takes advantage of rhubarb in many different forms. Candied and marinated in sugar, this dessert also includes thin slices of fresh rhubarb covered in sweet gravy. Mixing in agar-agar enhances the gravy. A rhubarb emulsion provides a breath of fresh air while a thin vanilla lace biscuit adds a crunchy element to the ensemble.
This recipe’s many flavorful notes will tantalize your taste buds alongside the silky smooth taste of rice pudding.
- © Les Terrasses du Cottage Bise
Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue
Translation: Darin Reisman