A wild sea bass accompanied by vegetable ravioli and creamed spinach with wild garlic, then a lightly smoked fillet of beef, flanked by a medley of potatoes and a bold jus, were enough to convince him. When Chef Yannick Alléno tasted an improvised starter and main course by Anissa Boulesteix, he knew right away, without having to glance at her resumé, that he had found the new executive chef of Cheval Blanc Courchevel. A chef who, though just thirty years old, had honed her skills with Thierry Marx at the Mandarin Oriental in Paris and Pierre Gagnaire in Courchevel – before taking wing, pots and pans in tow, for the Hôtel Crillon-le-Brave in the foothills of the Vaucluse region.
The effervescent rising talent, whom Yannick Alléno had encouraged early in her career, now enjoys carte blanche at Courchevel. “I chose her for her talent, her personality, and her character. I have absolute confidence in her. I want to help steer her toward her own style of excellence and leave her completely free — ideal conditions for joining Cheval Blanc, where everything is based on creativity and the pursuit of excellence. Anissa learned cuisine by cooking with others, now she will define her own,” said Chef Alléno, whose 15 stars span the world. “At the center of this project is the notion of transmission, which I loved right away. Being able to offer the best I can give and surpassing it in a never-ending quest did the rest,” said Anissa Boulesteix.
Now, the onetime contestant from season 10 of Top Chef, France is heading for the summit, a winter chalet perched in the Alps at 1,850 meters’ altitude. “Exacting standards and generosity, along with the creative freedom to promote French art de vivre, are values I cherish. What a joy it is to join a house like Cheval Blanc! I am completely honored to be the collection’s first female chef,” said Chef Boulesteix, who is now preparing to take her first bow on December 9th, 2022.
THE RESTAURANT AT CHEVAL BLANC COURCHEVEL
The House’s contemporary brasserie was designed by the New York-based architect Peter Marino as a welcoming refuge, in vibrant shades of red with discreet touches of white, that celebrates custom- tailored fare from breakfast to dinner. A dream restaurant with an innate sense of hospitality from dawn to dusk and driven by a desire to invent a daring ecosystem. “Absolute luxury is human encounters quality that adds an extra touch of spirit by making something ephemeral, unforgettable and touches the heart of each guest,” said Chef Alléno.
A tailor-made cuisine designed by Chef Boulesteix and her brigade using the power of fire from the grill, the Chinese wok, the Japanese teppanyaki, and a large brasero on the terrace opens wide the field of possibilities.
Embark on a boundless culinary immersion where the finest produce is elevated according to each guest’s taste with an instantaneous and precise gesture. Alongside great classics – salmon with sorrel, sole meunière, pot-au-feu… – to light the way, eggs, trout fished in nearby lakes, blue lobster, pasta, milk- fed veal, lamb from Savoie, wagyu beef, chocolate and seasonal fruit are accommodated to guests’ wishes as if by magic. A true experience facing snow-cloaked slopes.
LE 1947 AT CHEVAL BLANC: COURCHEVEL’S ONLY GASTRONOMIC RESTAURANT AWARDED THREE MICHELIN STARS.
After passing through a long corridor leading to a lacelike, pristine white bubble, guests step into an intimate cocoon where, for dinner only, dishes are served at five round tables discreetly illuminated by immense dome porcelain lights. A total immersion in an immaculate white decor of wood, stone, leather and porcelain by Sybille de Margerie.
In this laboratory for French haute cuisine, named 1947 in tribute to the most prestigious vintage by Château Cheval Blanc, Yannick Alléno will continue to explore the universe of extractions, a revolutionary culinary process that makes it possible to remove each ingredient’s water content, following a sous-vide immersion at just the right temperature – sometimes for forty-eight hours at 70 °C – to recover its quintessence in the form of a bouillon. These intensified flavours can be found in a brioche biscuit served with pike and celeriac, sole braised in vin jaune with a horseradish extraction, and rabbit in puff pastry with nine sauces, and a Christmas tree en gelée with a coffee glaze and warm chocolate sauce.
Ever brimming with new ideas, Yannick Alléno has made other new additions to the menu, among them, a soup inspired by farmer’s produce from Mazot, a vegetable-based dish known as Gérargouillou, a “stroll through the forest,” Arctic char with juniper butter, Bresse poultry, a reinterpretation of lacquered duck, and ravioli with squash frangipane, honey and citrus butter, and bitter almonds. An endlessly surprising gourmet adventure through the mountains and valleys of Savoie.