Marc Veyrat – Part I /Foraging/

You cannot help to recognize Marc and his black Amish hat, something that is glued to his topside at all times.

We first tried Marc Veyrat in Annecy 18 years ago when foraging was almost unknown. Many Michelin chefs worked with reliable local purveyors who offered consistent supply and many chefs were not used to using herbs, twigs and the forests’ backyards. But some chefs like Marc were pioneers in the kitchen and used foraging as a means to interact with nature and interpret new ideas in an attempt to inspire clients.

In fact when we first visited Marc’s restaurant we thought it was over the top, an exaggeration of ideas. I recall his dish with straw, aromas of the neighboring hillside, all in a single broth. I didn’t get it as a foreigner to the idea of foraging. I think, we think today we would have a different opinion about this dish.

He eventually closed his Annecy restaurant and opened in posh Megeve. His fermé (farm) in Megeve was basically a high-end barn designed to the maximum; the floors in glass looking to the stables below and the combination of the grande comfort and cuisine made the experience extraordinaire. We were both impressed by the efforts made to reach a new level of interaction with his love for nature.

We visited his fermé and enjoyed a spectacular dinner there. At that time Marc worked with his daughter (Carine) who was his pastry chef. After a few years of operation, Marc closed in Annecy and sold it feeling despair with clients that didn’t appreciate his hard work and dedication.

In 2012 Marc opened “maison des bois”, a foundation where he has re-created his farm and surrounded himself with a place he adores. It is open only 4 days per week and the experience is exceptional and worthy of the drive if you can get a table.

Note: Marc obtained a total of six Michelin Stars three stars for each of his first two restaurants and he is the first cook to get the perfect grade of 20/20 in the Gault-Millau guide, for his two restaurants. Marc was the owner of the restaurants la Maison de Marc Veyrat (or l’Auberge de l’Eridan) in Veyrier-du-Lac and la Ferme de mon Père in Megève.