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The French and Italian Alps bring their cuisine to Andorra


Alpine chefs Clément Bouvier and Michele Lazzarini demonstrated on stage that cooking in high mountains is composed of spirit and courage, irrespective of geographic locations.  

This year's guest territory, the Alps, was represented at Andorra Taste by Clément Bouvier, chef at Ursus* (Tignes, Val d’Isère, France). The French chef took congress-goers from an altitude of 1,000 metres in Escaldes-Engordany to the 3,000 metres of the Savoie Alps, where his restaurant is located. And he did so using the aromas of cuisine with strong ties to his territory, with a particular emphasis on one of the herbs found in the Alps, known as "queen of the meadow". “A herb with an immense aroma and the taste of almonds. “In fact, in France it's common practice to use it in pastrymaking as an almond substitute, but I prefer to work with it in my cooking and combine it with other mountain produce", explained Clément Bouvier. Bouvier used it to present two recipes - the first, green beans with fig "Sabayon", followed by trout and rice aromatised with queen of the meadow. 

Bouvier's cooking as presented on stage at the Prat del Roure auditorium, pays tribute to local produce – “95% of what we use comes from the region”- and is inspired by the mountain and woods. “These are the surroundings where we get the ideas for our recipes, and this gives meaning to our cuisine", admitted the chef, who is in such awe of the mountains around him that he turned the Ursus dining room into a forest with almost 400 trees amid the restaurant's 12 tables.  

Wood in the dining room, and also in the kitchen, where the element of fire is a strong feature as a characteristic of cookery high up in the Alps, and of course Bouvier also makes use of it at Ursus. 

Fire producing a link between cooking in the French Alps and its counterpart in the Italian Alps, where Michele Lazzarini also bases a large portion of his fare on this typical mountain technique. And it is not just fire that is a point of contact, but also the utilisation of local products, a concept which Contrada Bricconi takes to an even higher level. Lazzarini's restaurant is the final phase of the rehabilitation of a farmhouse in Val Seriana (Bergamasque Alps) by a group of young people, and so 80% of supplies to the restaurant is produced locally. They are gaining ground with their livestock and plantation but, as Lazzarini explained, "we don't want to be self-sufficient, though, because relations with small local producers are important too".

The gastronomic fare of Contrada Bricconi with its distinct mountain emphasis is, above all, "a return to origins, a return to the land and to sustainable agriculture". This is why Lazzarini, who learned "to love mountain cuisine" with Norbert Niederkofler at St. Hubertus*** (San Cassiano, Bolzano), is keen to point out that in the mountains it isn't the chef who decides what's to be cooked, but nature herself", thereby creating synergies to bring about the best possible result with any produce that may be available.   Produce which "is natural, and so it changes constantly, and we have to adapt our recipes in accordance with the possible ingredients". 

Michele's talk included three recipes summing up the spirit of Contrada Bricconi, which focuses on "maintaining roasted meals and tradition, but also the future, and that's why it's very important to work sustainably and exercise a mountain culture: using everything, including the more humble products". 



Vocento Gastronomía y GSR Andorra Turisme

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Pyrénées Andorra

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Gran Plaza Hotel and Wellness Andorra