A gourmet pause with duo Marco Garfagnini, Airelles Culinary Artist, and Sébastien Hoffmann, Pastry Chef at Les Airelles

What are your premium products?

M.G.: I attach great importance to the flavour of each ingredient in its natural form, even more so if it is fresh and of excellent quality. I am, however, very sensitive to the taste that a good olive-oil can produce. The depth of its savour, its texture on the palate. It offers a thousand new possibilities in cooking.

S.H.: I have to confess my own little sin: all kinds of fruit! They are an endless source of inspiration. Pears, whose juice is a real elixir, mangoes, but also citrus fruits. When picked at maturity, they are real treats for the tastebuds: a dessert of roasted clementines, for example, marinated grapefruit, mint and pepper, proposed on the Carrara menu.

And your most spontaneous inspirations?

M.G.: Chefs often find inspiration in nature or our fondest memories. For me, they are harbours in Italy, the Mediterranean, my grandparents’ gardens, though walks in the mountains too. I find the richness of nature fascinating and inspiring.

S.H.: In my creations, you also find inspiration from the south and the Mediterranean. I also like to work with produce from the land and herbs from kitchen gardens such as tarragon and thyme. They ensure superb harmony among tastes and wonderful lightness for desserts.

Nearby producers guarantee the quality of your dishes?

M.G.: Respect and trust characterize our relationships with our partners. The quality of their produce must be on a par with our demands so that we satisfy our guests.

S.H.: For many years, we have enjoyed privileged partnerships with producers in the region. These ties based on trust allow us to obtain high-quality ingredients throughout the season. It is a real joy for a chef to imagine and conjure up recipes in concert with local producers.

Tell us about carrara, the new restaurant at Les Airelles.

M.G.: It is a unique restaurant, refined and harmonious, offering a real culinary symphony. It is also a place for sharing and warm congeniality, always sunny, as in Carrara, my home town.

S.H.: Those lucky enough to have visited Carrara in Tuscany have savoured the delightful lifestyle in this little town between sea and mountains, known worldwide for its quarries of white marble. Our restaurant remains faithful to this spirit. For me, Carrara represents the well-executed simplicity of Italian tables, densely packed and ultra-friendly.

Finally, how are you approaching this new winter season?

M.G.: We are pursuing our discovery of the charms of simplicity. The authenticity of the Alpine environment continues to inspire us, and we add rays of sunshine to guarantee truly radiant meals for our guests.

S.H.: This season will be marked by comforting, gourmet savours in great classics recalling childhood, but in re-tweaked versions!

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