The Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience

Sat Bains, Jason Atherton and Claude Bosi were joined this year by Marcus Wareing, for the 5th year of the experience curated by Heston Blumenthal, 16 Michelin stars from the UK under the watchful eye of Mont Blanc.

An intimate group of guests converged from the UK, Canada, Dubai and Italy to participate in the absolute alchemy created by the chefs in the stunning setting of Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Aosta Valley, preparing 2 inimitable gourmet feasts using local produce and wines, collaborating with the hosting kitchens and chefs, as well as spending quality time with guests skiing, lunching and propping up the bar.

The first evening on the 20 March showcased the new young chef’s cuisine at the grand Hotel Royal & Golf, HQ of the event, with an aperitif outside in freezing conditions, warmed by fire pits at the medieval Tour Malluquin, and a four course tasting dinner by Paolo Griffa, along with a heart warming intro by Marcus Wareing.

The next day, it was time for skiing in the brilliant sunshine, with ski guiding in intimate groups and a lunch at one of Courmayeur’s plethora of wonderful mountain restaurants, Chateau Branlant, serving Heston’s favourite local dishes washed down by different varietals of one of the best Aosta wineries, Maison Anselmet.

In the evening, the first highlight of the event, the gourmet tasting dinner at the mountain restaurant La Chaumière, accessible only by cable car, and for those who wished, snowmobile. The 3 chefs each produced two magnificent courses and canapés, with the pasta course prepared and served by la Chaumière; what an experience to watch the teams working together, plating the dishes in front of the guests, with the Michelin starred chefs finishing the plates at the table! Along with this, wines from the heoric mountain vineyards of Maison Maurice Cretaz, and for all guests, the intense memory of Sat Bains’ chocolate marquise with 25-year aged balsamic, or Claude’s sea bass a la Grenobloise.

On the 22 March more skiing, a lunch at the uber trendy SuperG with views of the entire valley and a splendid playlist, culminating in the rustic tasting dinner at Maison Vieille, again accessible by cable car and a 10 minute, adrenalin infused, exhilarating snowmobile ride.

And right there, in front of Maison Vieille and Mont Blanc, a festival of local produce from the Aosta Valley, the DOP Fontina, Lardo, Fromadzo and Jambon de Bosses, as well as local sausage, motzetta, goat’s cheese and Reblec, used live by the chefs to produce the most tasteful canapés whilst the snow started in flurries and darkness grew. Then, a course prepared by each chef to share at the tables, a Michelin starred version of their own home cooking, with wines from Tuscany and a party to follow, with the unavoidable dancing on the bar until 2 am.

Finally on the 23rd, a chance to drive your own team of dogs in Entreves whilst others skied, finishing with the ultimate Italian aperitivo lunch at historic Caffe’ Della Posta, before flying off with Swiss back to the real and rather less colourful world, and a host of new friends to keep in touch with.

Join us in 2019 for another journey of friendship, food, fine wines and the best fun on the mountain.

To find out more and request places please contact Jessica Gorman by email

Enjoy our latest feature in the FT How To Spend It (November 2016) - Read the Article.

He (Heston) finds time to serve a yeasted, frothing hot chocolate with truffle-topped chocolate bars. In the excellent mountain restaurants dotted around the pistes (Blumenthal wants to rebrand the resort 'Gourmayeur'), lunches get accordingly longer, with Fontina cheese melted into cabbage, chestnuts wrapped in lardo, spit-roasted suckling pig. "One of my favourite things about skiing (in Courmayeur) is that you're always looking forward to something", Blumenthal says. "What's next? Go up the mountain and come down, then you look forward to your coffee stop, and then to lunch, and then to skiing.

Ft Weekend, 24 January 2015 - Natalie Whittle