Owner of historic French Alps inn wins top food award

Owner of historic French Alps inn wins top food award
Photo: AFP
The 39-year-old owner of a storied lakeside inn in the French Alps was on Monday crowned France's chef of the year by the Gault & Millau gastronomic guide.
Jean Sulpice won the coveted award a year after taking over L'Auberge du Pere Bise, a century-old hotel on the shores of Lake Annecy which has played host to the likes of Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Richard Nixon.
Gault & Millau's owner Come de Cherisey praised Sulpice for his lightning rise through the rarefied world of French cuisine.
“He is working his way up a high mountain pass,” he told AFP.
On his website Sulpice describes his food as being “filled with the riches of the mountains” where he grew up.
Photo: AFP
His menu gives pride of place to regional products, such as venison, brown trout and Beaufort cheese.
Sulpice ran a two-star Michelin restaurant in Val Thorens ski resort — Europe's highest — before snapping up the property on Lake Annecy, 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the north, in 2016.
After a facelift costing several million euros the stately Auberge reopened to the public in May.
Among the other winners of Gault & Millau's 2018 awards were 32-year-old Cedric Grolet of the five-star Le Meurice hotel in Paris, named the country's top pastry chef.
Born in the Loire region to a truck driver father and hairdresser mother Grolet has gained a huge following on Instagram for his colourful, fruity creations.
Gault & Millau publishes an annual guide of 3,800 eateries across France, over two-thirds of which offer dishes costing under 30 euros ($35).
It is less well-known than the Michelin guide, whose stars are seen as a sort of culinary holy grail.