Courchevel at 1850 meters of altitude is France’s glitziest ski resort, because of a choose variety of oligarchs making it their go-to for enjoyable on (and off) the slopes. In consequence, the Alpine enclave, which boasts a flurry of designer shops (Hermès and Dior have offshoots within the village the place there’s additionally a buying arcade for diamonds), can also be recognized for having a few of France’s heavy hitters relating to lodges and eating. And this season, elbowing his method onto the stage is the two-Michelin-star Sylvestre Wahid, whom, in contrast to at many venues, you will really discover in the kitchen of his unique new digs, doing a few of his greatest cooking for individuals who can get a reserving.
A culinary wunderkind who’s gathered a complete of six stars through the years, Pakistan-born Wahid, whose manta is “being in the best place on the proper time,” arrived in France aged 9 not talking the language, he tells us in between programs at his restaurant. Desirous to observe in his father’s footsteps, whom on the time was a cook dinner at navy barracks within the small commune of Castelnaudary within the South of France, he knew from an early age that he wished to cook dinner for others.
At simply 15 years previous, Michelin star chef Thierry Marx took Wahid on at his restaurant Cheval Blanc in Nîmes earlier than he went on to work alongside chef and sommelier Patrick Pagès, adopted by a stint on the Raffles-Royal Monceau in Paris. He labored with Alain Ducasse in Paris, together with on the Plaza Athénée, earlier than working for the chef in New York. In 2005, chef Jean-André Charial tapped Wahid for his restaurant at L’Oustau de Beaumanière in Provence the place he earned two Michelin stars, after which he took over the restaurant at Le Strato Resort in Courchevel and received two stars.
Following his time within the Alps, in 2015 he returned to Paris to take over from chef Jean-François Piège at Resort Thoumieux the place he once more, earned two stars. Nonetheless, when the restaurant closed its doorways in 2020 as a result of pandemic, Wahid was at a loss. Upset and not sure of his subsequent step, he returned residence to Saint Rémy de Provence, throughout which period he did a few of his greatest cooking, he tells us. And when restrictions lifted, he gathered his inspiration, and labored on a brand new undertaking: the extraordinarily unique Restaurant Sylvestre in Courchevel, which he signed for seven years.
You may discover the chef’s restaurant on the Grandes Alpes Hotel & Spa on the town in a model new house designed like a cocoon of sunshine flowing materials coiffed by a lick of white organically molded ceiling recalling the shell of a crab or sea urchin, an ode to nature, co-created by Wahid, designers Tristan Auer and Jérôme Bugara.
The chef serves up a tasting menu of seven or fifteen programs that take diners on a journey between land and sea and again once more along with his meticulously executed dishes. The reality is within the element right here. Each plate, each utensil, each merchandise of cutlery has been fastidiously studied and sourced by the chef to assist harness his precise intention with every course. Each ingredient has been cherry-picked by Wahid who prides himself on bringing out the perfect every season has to convey (being in the best place on the proper time). You have bought the caviar, the lobster, foie gras, and unimaginable truffle Wahid grates on the desk, however they do not steal the limelight from different unimaginable produce you’ll find in France, which means the expertise will also be a studying curve concerning the nation’s fascinating terroir, and past with salts and spices from everywhere in the globe, if you would like it to be.
In winter, style his deer skewers with pickled pine needles recalling the Alps and white miso he lays on the desk over coals as they’re nonetheless cooking, adopted by snacked lobster, duckling served crispy on the skin from Madame Burgaud in Challans (Loire), famend for her geese which are meaty however lean, and the chef’s signature Tourteau de Roscoff, delicately laid out fleshy crab with a finely chopped tangy vegetable salad. End with the flurry of desserts – I think Wahid has a little bit of candy tooth as a result of there are a minimum of three. Excellent should you’re the sort of diner who hates having to decide on.
Company can glimpse the chef and his small group rustling up numerous dishes within the open kitchen and there is a stellar group of specialists overseen by the Maître d’hôtel Florent with Baptiste the sommelier, main diners on an exploration of vineyards internationally, heightening the expertise by being available to clarify each step. Beware although, as a result of with simply 4 tables, you have to guide early should you do not need to miss out – and on this case, it is nicely value planning forward.