Guest of Executive Chef Matthias Schmidberger
Grand Hotel Des Bains Kempinski*****-W-
1 February - 5 February 2022
2 Michelin stars
18 GaultMillau points
"Discover the taste of French-speaking Switzerland!", is how Stéphane Décotterd sees his personal style of cooking, which will also delight guests at the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. Awarded 18 GaultMillau points and two Michelin stars, the native of French-speaking Switzerland has been celebrating second to none “a terroir cuisine” in his restaurant Le Pont de Brent for 10 years. Together with his wife Stéphanie, he has turned the picturesque village house at the end of a hundred-year-old bridge set amongst the vineyards above Montreux into a Mecca for gourmets from all over the world. Also at the new location, the luxurious Maison Décotterd in Glion/Montreux with a fantastic lake view, Décotterd remains true to his concept: In his dishes, absolute priority is given to the original flavour of each product sourced from the surrounding vineyards, forests, mountains, and Lake Geneva - “without any kind of artefact whatsoever", the top chef emphasises. A plant-based flavour in the shape of herbs or vegetables is also indispensable as far as he is concerned, as is the refined interplay with different textures. His summer dish "Le Biscuit moelleux et croustillant de poissons du Lac Léman, Émulsion de Berce et Oxalis" (Tender crispy biscuit of fish from Lake Geneva, with an emulsion of hogweed and wood sorrel) is a typical example of his way of elaborating taste. In this dish, Décotterd combines little known fish such as tench, monkfish, bream and pike. The wild herbs of hogweed and wood sorrel bring out the freshness and acidity of these aquatic treasures. "I love fish from Lake Geneva! Highlighting them requires a lot of finesse, because their taste is very subtle", says Décotterd. The menu changes exceptionally often, in harmony with nature. "For instance, I only offer porcini mushrooms for about ten days a year, and only if they grow in this region. Our game and venison is also exclusively hunted nearby, and we value all parts of the animal, not just the finest pieces,” describes Décotterd his approach, and continues, "after all, I use wild herbs a lot in my cooking. I have a herb collector who picks them twice a week in the surrounding mountains for my dishes". The top chef maintains close relationships with all his suppliers - the farmers, fishermen, pickers, breeders and winegrowers around his restaurant. He consistently avoids middlemen, "in the interest of ecologically responsible cuisine with perfect traceability", as his premise goes. Décotterd's exemplary commitment to top-class gastronomy was awarded the "Ethical Cuisine Trophy 2020" by the association "Relais & Châteaux".
Décotterd completed his training as a chef in 1991 at the restaurant Le Petit in Saint-Légier under André Minder. Professional stints followed, among others in St. Moritz and in Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu near Montreal. In the meantime, his culinary skills have been awarded numerous prizes. In 1998, for example, he won the "Cuisinier d'Or" competition as best chef and in 2005 he came fifth at the world final of the "Bocuse d'Or" in Lyon. Before taking over as sole director of the Pont de Brent, the 44-year-old worked alongside his predecessor, Gérard Rabaey, for ten years. "His very rigorous and uncompromising approach has had a major impact on me. Basically, I am inspired by all those colleagues who tell stories about their own region via their cuisine, thus providing their guests with unique experiences", says Décotterd.