Recette aux herbes sauvages, par Jean Sulpice

The chef’s untiring attraction to the outdoors, his taste for nature, far from insignificant, are fully integrated into his being. A constant search for an ever more intimate, deeper link with the fauna and flora. Born into a family of restaurateurs, he recalls his mother being extremely attentive to the movements and breathing of nature. It lingers in his heart. Jean Sulpice first pursued this passion by wanting to become a lumberjack, and then a nursery owner. Until eventually he was able to blossom and fully express emotions through gastronomy.

A symbol of freedom, untameable in the wild, plants and herbs constitute an inextinguishable source of inspiration for Jean. He spent five years alongside Marc Veyrat, immersing himself in this natural flavour universe, as sublime as it is complex. This experience expanded his understanding and thus his horizons in his own Savoy region. It takes incredible sensitivity to hear the murmurs of an entire ecosystem, and every moment is a valuable lesson. In fact, complete focus is required when strolling in the woods or contemplating a mountain. Silence, both within and around us, often fosters inspiration. It is a mistake to believe nature does not obey any law, that it is purely random. Its laws are dictated by daily life, and nothing is left to chance. In that sense it is magnificent. A good food and herb pairing doesn’t solely depend on coherence, chemistry or flavour; above all it must be poetic, instinctive.
paysage de montagne en savoie
Jean Sulpice cueillette d'herbes sauvages en montagne

An infinite palette of plant colours can spawn endless creativity. For instance the elegant wild garlic flower divinely combines with the powerful taste of tansy root. The dizzying indulgence of the meadowsweet and the extraordinary flavours of vanilla and bitter almond perfectly echo the tangy taste of oxalis or the bitter flavour of chicory. Such subtleties must be detected, and then distilled to extract the most faithful nuances. So many happy memories, surprising and moving upon tasting: seashells / lovage, langoustines / ground elder. Lest forgetting the very Proustian madeleines / black locust.

Turning a plant into a story. A story into a recipe. All this for Jean Sulpice is an adventure, new and unique every day. An inner journey that draws on origins, roots and childhood. An itinerary that starts with the harvest, and ends once the quintessence has been extracted, inserted into the dish and savoured by guests.

From roots to flowers, the virtues and properties vary as much as flavours. Like hogweed or lovage, which can be enjoyed from head to toe. Dynamic flavours and perceptible benefits that speak to our hunter-gatherer soul. Taking pleasure in revelling in all the virtues of nature could very well become the modern definition of privilege and luxury. An elegant equation that combines creativity and pleasure, in keeping with seasonal changes.
Oxalis, plante typique de la cuisine de Jean Sulpice
Ce qui séduit d’abord le chef à travers le spectre de cette palette végétale, c’est la créativité qu’elle génère.
Jean Sulpice en forêt, tenue sportive
bol d'herbes sauvages

With L’Assiette Sauvage, Jean Sulpice unveils 45 recipes, each more appetising than the last. The apparent simplicity doesn’t give away the sheer amount of reflection dedicated to their creation. An introspection at the centre of a vegetal universe, indistinguishable from the chef’s being. At Auberge du Père Bise, Jean Sulpice, conveyer of emotions, each day delivers an intimate, precisely crafted translation of the local terroir. From the Cueillaison d’Été (Summer Harvest) to the hints of spruce in the Maître d’Hôtel butter for his Artic char, and chamomile fused with chard polenta, sage associated with saddle of rabbit or smoked white fish, the omniscient tansy in lake fish stew, or finally: using sorrel as the protagonist of a dessert with notes of vanilla and citrus fruit.

Today, Jean Sulpice’s cuisine is controlled yet wild, instinctive yet full of emotion. A passionate and purposeful gastronomy that admirably magnifies the flavours of the Alpine soil in the strictest respect of nature.
trèfles, photo en noir et blanc
Chef Jean Sulpice en cuisine et cueillette de plantes
Rédaction : Christophe Dumarest, Norman Giry | Photographie : Franck Juery
Other inspirations
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dent de lanfon

Dents de Lanfon, The taste for the rope team

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Chocolatier Bonnat

From cocoa to chocolate, The art of sublimating the earth

vue aérienne du lac d'Annecy
pêcheur lac d'annecy

A lake chronicle, Encounter with the lake’s craftsmen