Chef François Moureaux’s love of fresh produce creatively prepared and presented is evident at his award-winning restaurant Azimut at Courchevel Le Praz 1300
Just down the valley from the main action at Courchevel is the delightful village of Le Praz. Also known as Courchevel 1300, it’s the entrance to the ski area proper and still retains its mountain village charm, with winding streets and traditional chalets. It’s also a major ski jump destination, but for many the reason for descending from Courchevel’s lofty heights is to enjoy rustic comfort and superb gourmet food at Azimut, Chef François Moureaux’s one Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of the village. And with menus starting at €28, you’d be mad not to visit.
Look for the butchers and a row of shops and you’ll find the restaurant Azimut. Small, and unpretentious, décor is rustic and doesn’t distract from the cuisine. The welcome warm and inviting. If gourmet theatre is more your thing, then best head up the valley to Chabichou, K2 or Cheval Blanc. Restaurant Azimut, on the other hand, welcomes diners in ski togs at lunchtimes and has a charming and convivial atmosphere with attentive service.
After putting aside dreams of a career in the fire service – he actually served as a pompier in his native Jura – François thankfully followed his father’s footsteps into pursuits more culinary and honed his skills in the family restaurant.
He still works in the Auberge de la Poutre in Bonlieu from May to November and has received a Michelin Bib Gourmand for the inventive cuisine.
In a profession that he admits offers him, “great creative freedom”, Francois took part in the prestigious Concours Bocuse d’Or last year. Named after Lyon’s favourite son, gourmet king Paul Bocuse, the competition was so gruelling that Francois lost 5 kilos – yet was rewarded with a brilliant second place.
His food at Azimut is a mix of inspirational Jura and Savoie fare – bold, rustic and gourmet.
Welcomed to our tables by Sandrine, François’s charming wife and Azimut’s manager, our fabulous amuse bouche consisted of chestnut cappuccino, a velouté topped with a delicious creamy foam.
Not a fan of foie gras – due entirely to the methods of its cruel creation – I nevertheless felt the apple purée (sublime) complemented by passion fruit mousse took the edge off the fatty liver. A trio that worked very well and prepared taste buds for the main dish, which was more to my palate.
Local trout from the nearby lake served with lentil purée and a lean strip of Morteau sausage was a taste explosion. Delicately cooked and beautifully presented, I loved it. Morteau is a traditional and highly flavoured smoked sausage from the Jura mountains, prepared with sawdust from juniper and conifer and smoked in chimney structures known as tuyés.
Following this divine creation, we were offered a medallion of slow-cooked veal with liquorice sauce polenta and again more of my beloved Beaufort (sauce). The liquorice was discreet; almost undetectable which meant the Beaufort took first place on my palette. Delicious. Wine savoured was the delightful, subtly smoky Chignin Bergeron (Au Pied des Tours) from Jean-François Quénard’s award-winning vineyards in Chambéry.
The wine list has been carefully chosen to complement the fresh and where possible, local provenance: Savoie varietals take pole position, alongside Jura favourites, delectable Burgundies (Chablis and Côte de Beaune are standout), with more than a passing nod to Bordeaux – the Pomerol Chateau Moulinet 1989 – a favourite of mine – and for the deeper expense account several Mouton Rothschild offerings from Pauillac.
Refreshing iced coconut mousse with fig coulis and lime cake provided a light and bright cleanser before a substantial cheese selection and smooth, rich coffee. All in all, Chef Moureux delivered gourmet perfection, on plates that were beautifully presented and served by Azimut’s attentive staff.
François and Sandrine head to the Jura each summer to run his other acclaimed restaurant, l’Auberge de La Poutre at Bonlieu. So make a reservation at Restaurant Azimut today and savour this great chef’s impeccable cuisine before the end of the ski season.
Azimut – Where and How?
Azimut, Le Praz, Courcheval
Immeuble Or Blanc, Le Praz, 73120 Courchevel
T: +33 (0) 479 06 25 90
E: [email protected]
Open every day through to April. 12:00 to 13:30 and 19:00 to 21:30
Reservations required at lunchtime. Book online or by phone. Menus from €28
Auberge de La Poutre Hôtel – Where and How?
Auberge de La Poutre Hôtel
25 Grande Rue, 39130 Bonlieu, France
T: +33 (0) 384 25 57 77
E: [email protected]