Gastronomic Evening with Guest Chef Emmanuel Renaut
Written by Debra C. Argen   

Chef Emmanuel Renaut - Pigeon with ChurrosAs part of the 15th St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, Chef Emmanuel Renaut of Flocons de Sel in Megève, France presented a gastronomic dinner at the Rôtisserie des Chevaliers at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz in Switzerland that was a true luxury experience.

The St. Moritz Gourmet Festival pairs international chefs with local chefs for six days of new gastronomic experiences for both the chefs as well as the guests of the event. As part of this culinary program, Chef Emmanuel Renaut, owner of Flocons de Sel, (** Michelin, 17 GaultMillau rating) was hosted by the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz in their restaurant, Rôtisserie des Chevaliers, (14 GaultMillau rating) where he was paired with Chef Hans Nussbaumer, and presented this special degustation menu from 29 January until 2 February 2008. Edward F. Nesta and I had the pleasure of experiencing this special dinner during our stay in St. Moritz, where we savored every morsel.

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers
Rôtisserie des Chevaliers

Dégustation Menu

Deux millimetres de polenta
Truffe de janvier
Cèpes hachés au couteau

Gâteau de topinambour
Bouillon beurré, parfum de girofle

Ecrevisses du lac jus de mais et coriandre

St. Jacques en croute et pomme ceramic

Pigeon fermier rôti salamander
Jus comme une bécasse
Churros tome et genièvre
Filet de chevreuil
Pomme soufflés cumin et cannelle

Fromage d'alpage

Flocons de sucre


Dégustation Menu

Two millimeters of polenta
January Truffles
Thinly chopped Cèps

Jerusalem artichoke cake
Butter broth, clove aroma

Lake crayfish with corn juice and coriander

St. Jacques en croute with "ceramic" potato

Roasted Pigeon
Woodcock Juice
Churros and Juniper
Filet of Venison
Apple soufflés with cumin and cinnamon

Cheese selection

Flocons de sucre (Dessert)

Mignardises (Small sweets)

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers was the perfect setting for Chef Emmanuel Renaut's Dégustation dinner with its salmon-colored arched dome ceiling, wainscoting on the ivory walls, sconces illuminating the room as well as the intricate black wrought-iron chandelier. The ambience is intimate, as it should be for a special evening, with tables dressed with blue linens topped with ivory linens and adorned with calla lilies, pearls, and grape vines in a small round vase.

We began the evening with an aperitif of champagne to enjoy with the Amuse Bouches of tartlets of carrot puree garnished with herbs, and chèvre with cucumbers garnished with julienne beets, followed by a greeting from Chef Emmauel Renaut, his signature thin mushroom-shaped sugar and mushroom delights, that were like eating slivers of glass that melted in your mouth.

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers - Polenta and January TrufflesOur first course of Two millimeters of polenta, January truffles, and thinly chopped cèps, was an open ravioli filled with chopped mushrooms, generously sprinkled with January truffles, and presented on an eye-shaped plate. The ravioli pastry was delicate and light, and the filling was a well-thought out complement of flavor.

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers - Jerusalem Artichoke CakeWe continued with a second course of Jerusalem artichoke cake, butter broth, and clove aroma that was presented in a deep square bowl with two cloves arranged on the corner of the bowl, with the sauce poured around the "cake" placed in the center of the bowl. The cake was a dream of textures with its Asian feel of the pastry and the Jerusalem artichoke filling that was enhanced with the rich broth. Paired with a 2005 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria, 13% alcohol, made with 60% Nero d'Avola and 40% Frappato grapes, from Sicily, with a fruity nose of red berries, cherries and spice, followed by a richness on the palate and a deliciously long finish, the first two courses were sensational.

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers - Ecrevisses du lacThe third course of Lake crayfish with corn juice and coriander was a gorgeous presentation in an illusion bowl with prawn jelly, crayfish, corn mousse, and garnishes of coriander leaves and fleur de sel, which was wonderfully flavorful.

The fourth course was St. Jacques en croute with Rôtisserie des Chevaliers - Scallops and Ceramic Potato"ceramic" potato, which were four layered scallops with a thin crust presented sliced in half and arranged around mixed greens, a potato cooked in ceramic that had an interesting texture to it, and a dollop of Hollandaise sauce decorating the plate.

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers - SoleI deviated from the dégustation menu for my fifth course, and had a perfectly seasoned and cooked sole which our waiter filleted tableside and presented with sliced peeled tomatoes, two slices of grilled lemon, and three boiled potatoes.

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers - Pigeon and ChurrosEdward continued with a fifth course from the dé
gustation menu of Roasted pigeon with woodcock juice, churros and juniper, presented on a white wavy rectangular plate with three pieces of pigeon pooled with the rich sauce and four crispy churros, which provided an interesting contrast of flavors and textures.

The cheese course was heavenly pieces of Reblochon and Mont d'Or garnished with a green grape and walnuts, and presented with a bowl with fig wasabi confit, and a bowl of orange confit. The fig wasabi confit had an exciting mouth hot feel to it, which complemented nicely with the creaminess of the cheese, while the orange confit offered sweet, cool relief for those who needed it.

Debra C. Argen and Chef Emmanuel RenautBefore the dessert course, I went to the kitchen to meet with Chef Emmanuel Renaut, whose cooking style is traditional French cuisine, and learned that his inspiration comes from his travels around the world where he teaches cooking courses when not working non-stop at his own restaurant in France. His favorite place to travel is to Japan where he always tries to climb a mountain, preferably Mount Fuji, when time and weather allow.

Rôtisserie des Chevaliers - DessertReturning to the dining room, I enjoyed the dessert of Flocons sucre, which was a lovely meringue cylinder with orange filling and half-liquid ice cream topped with a meringue "snowflake" dusted with cocoa, garnished with a long chocolate wavy twig, and presented on a round artglass plate that was decorated with progressively smaller dots of cherry sauce.

As a final parting from the chef, the waiter appeared with Mignardises, which were a selection of delicate small sweets presented on a tiered stand. From beginning to end, it was a memorable gastronomic evening.

Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, SwitzerlandRôtisserie des Chevaliers
Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
Via Veglia 18
7500 St. Moritz, Switzerland
Telephone:      +41 81-836-8000
Fax:                 +41 81-836-8001
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Read Chefs' Recipes where Chef Emmanuel Renaut graciously presents two of his recipes in English and French.

Read other articles on St. Moritz in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Gastronomy, and Adventures sections.

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