After a successful two consecutive years, the third Mountain Gourmet Ski experience took off in style for 2016.
Momentum Ski presented a spectacular four days of fine dining and superb skiing in Courmayeur, right in the heart of the Aosta Valley. Ski lovers’ taste buds were spoilt by Michelin-starred chefs and their teams: Heston Blumenthal, Sat Bains, Marcus Wareing plus a new appearance by Clare Smyth, where they all created outstanding dishes and a memorable event in the mountains for all.
The alluring gourmet journey began at Heston’s Perfectionist’s Cafe in Heathrow Terminal 2, where the lucky guests had a pre-departure meal, giving them a taste of what was to come, before boarding onto the next part of their enchanting experience. Around 60 guests arrived at the luxury five-star Grand Hotel Royal and Golf, their base for the course of the weekend and lunch was served in the historic Caffe Della Posta around a warming fireplace. The first evening proved to be an innovative experience, with the Fat Duck team welcoming guests with their two amazing nitro trolleys, for the first time outside a Fat Duck Property, delighting guests with nitro cocktails and nitro ice creams in a cloud of liquid nitrogen. This was followed by an itinerant Aosta Valley and Italian dinner by one star Michelin chef from the Royal, Maura Gosio.
After a morning of skiing, guests were greeted with a remarkable wine tasting lunch including Maison Anselmet wines, Heston’s favourite the Zuppa Valpellinentze, Chianina beef, Aosta Valley sausages, rack of venison & Piemonte lamb, ash potatoes, pork cheek & chives and artichokes all served at Chateau Branlant, Plan Checrouit. With an interval of skiing, the guests prepared for the next evening delights – a gourmet dinner at la Chaumiere, prepared by Sat Bains, Clare Smyth & Marcus Wareing’s team. All seven authentic dishes were created divinely, including; Crab satay by Sat Bains, Risotto Monte Bianco, beef short rib and a beautiful lemon soufflé, an ambitious choice by Clare Smyth.
The third evening ended the Mountain Gourmet ski experience on a high. The guests partied to the sounds of Kudos Live at the top of the mountain, after an Antipasti & pasta celebration at Chiecco at Plan Checrouit, with the rare and unique Monterosso anchovies, hand carved Lagrimone cured ham, warm tomato bruschetta, sausage tagliatelle with Arneis white wine and cherry tomatoes. A Rustic cuisine was on offer in the evening at Maison Vieille, cooked with local Alpine ingredients, and a presentation by a local cheesemaker Panizzi, producing cheese on site for the guests. Sat Bains started the evening with taste tantalising pumpkin soup, chicken oysters, parmesan and white truffle. Clare Smyth produced a delicious roast duck bruschetta and duck cassoulet, followed by Marcus Wareing team’s mouth-watering Pear Tart Tatin, all complemented with Marchesi Antinori wines. Guests still managed to party on after indulging in all the delights on offer. With some of the most talented and exciting chefs in the industry under one roof, the Aosta Valley ambience mixed together with exquisite food and beverages proved a winning combination.
The event was coming to a close, however, it didn’t mean that it was all over. The guests were still treated for lunch with a spit roast suckling pig with rustic artichokes and stuffed potatoes from Petit Mont Blanc Zerotta, the entire experience being moved to the Grand Hotel Royal and Golf due to adverse weather conditions, after a morning of skiing on the slopes of Courmayeur, or adventurous dogsledding in the Aosta Valley. It was safe to say all guests had a magnificent time in the mountains, coming back revitalised from the fresh Alpine air, and with satisfied palates. Attention to detail was apparent throughout the whole Mountain Gourmet Ski experience, with all dinners thoroughly prepared by the talented Michelin-starred star chefs. Guests partook in a scenic adventure whilst treating themselves to some of the Alps finest food for 2016.
All restaurants partaking in the Mountain Gourmet Ski experience were accessible by foot, cable car and snowmobile. Some guests were accompanied by non-skiing partners and friends who could just enjoy great food and company as well as all the amenities of the resort.
2017 Mountain Gourmet Ski experience – Where and How
For the 2017 Mountain Gourmet Ski experience, prices will start from £3,850 per person based on two sharing a deluxe room for 3 nights on B&B at the 5* Hotel Royal and Golf in Courmayeur with scheduled economy flight with Swiss International Airlines from London Heathrow AND in addition: Heston’s breakfast at his restaurant The Perfectionists’ Café in Terminal 2; return shared minivan transfers; 3 day ski pass, 2 half days ski guiding or instruction; First night dining experience at the hotel with Michelin star chef Maura Gosio and Heston, Sat and Clare joining guests for dinner; second night gourmet dinner at La Chaumiere mountain restaurant by Sat, Clare and Marcus’s team and last night rustic dinner at the Rifugio Maison Vieille on the mountain cooked by Sat, Clare and Marcus’s team with transport by cable care and snowmobile followed by a party with the legendary Kudos; Aosta Valley and Italian wines served with all three dinners.
About Heston Blumenthal
In 2013 Heston Blumenthal was awarded Chef of the Decade by the Guardian Observer Food Monthly. Through his cookbooks and BAFTA nominated TV programmes Heston has entertained and delighted millions of viewers with programmes such as ‘Fantastical Feasts’, celebrating British gastronomic history and nostalgia.
About Marcus Wareing
Marcus Wareing’s contribution to British Food and inspiring the next generation of cookery talent has led him to be one of the most respected and acclaimed Chefs and restaurateurs in Britain today. Originally from Southport, Merseyside, the son of a fruit and vegetable merchant, Marcus began his career at the young age of 18. An incredible talent, he started acquiring Michelin stars aged just 26 – one of only a handful of chefs to be recognised as such a young age. Over the last 30 years, Marcus has been involved in the creation of many of London’s most iconic and celebrated restaurants including his own restaurant group.
Founded in 2008 with his wife Jane, Marcus Wareing Restaurants began with the opening of the two Michelin starred Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley – 2014 saw it take on the new name of Marcus after an extensive renovation which transformed the once familiar claret dining room into a stunning new contemporary space. Within 18 months the group had grown to include The Gilbert Scott – an elegant British restaurant and bar located at The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and more recently Tredwell’s, a vibrant West-End eatery which opened in September 2014.
Marcus has published five cookbooks and won numerous coveted awards, Michelin stars, the Acorn Award, Chef of the Year with Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Tatler Restaurateur of the Year, GQ Chef of the Year amongst multiple other restaurant awards.
A familiar face on our TV screens, Marcus has made many key appearances on prime-time TV cookery programmes over the last ten years. In the autumn of 2014 Marcus took on the new role as judge on Master Chef: The Professionals (UK).
About Clare Smyth
Clare Smyth’s credentials are exemplary and her steep rise to Chef Patron at the three Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is well documented. Born in Northern Ireland, Clare grew up on a farm in County Antrim and moved to England at 16 to learn the skills, which would eventually make her a world-class chef. On completing her studies Clare’s thirst for knowledge drove her to Stage under many influential chefs around the world. In 2002 Clare joined Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and worked her way up the ranks to become Senior Sous Chef. Clare left London in 2005 to gain experience abroad and joined the kitchen at Alain Ducasse’s renowned Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo. In 2008, soon after returning to London and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, she was promoted to Head Chef aged just 29 and in 2012 became Chef Patron. In 2013, Clare was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to hospitality. Clare leads her dynamic team in providing elegant and unsurpassed modern French cuisine and the Inspiration Table, with a unique menu championing imaginative and inspired dishes, offers an unsurpassed insight into the creative process behind each dish. With appearances on Saturday Kitchen, Great British Menu, MasterChef, The Late Show and The One Show and numerous international demos across the world Clare is quietly building her own legacy.
About Sat Bains
Sat Bains is chef/patron of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham. He has been recognised by fellow chefs and food writers from all over the world for his innovative style of cuisine. Since opening his restaurant in 2002, he has garnered two Michelin stars, the ultimate 5 Rosettes from the AA, 9 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide and three honorary university degrees. Sat has long championed the use of quality local produce and artisan producers and has represented the UK at worldwide gastronomic congresses including Japan, the USA and Australia. He has made numerous television appearances including Great British Menu, Saturday Kitchen, The Roux Scholarship, Market Kitchen and Masterchef Australia.
His debut book titled “Too Many Chiefs, Only One Indian” was released in October 2012 and has gone on to win eight international awards including ‘Best of the Best – Best-designed cookbook in the world over the last 20 years’ at Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 1995-2015 – Frankfurt