SENSE AND SENSIBILITY IN CUISINE

Laurent and Martine Petit are walkers and will often be found hiking in the local Bauges mountains. They have a strong bond with nature and a great love of the outdoors. Martine is proud of the fact that her father was a gardener, and Laurent has fond childhood memories of the Haute Marne countryside.

The summer of 2018 marked the beginning of an important chapter for Clos des Sens. And today, the restaurant and its rooms overlook an aromatic garden, rich with a variety of over 50 herbs. The path that runs down through it takes you past our herb garden, then our ‘pollinators’ and finally to our vegetables, which together create a natural permaculture, nurturing fruits and vegetables native to the Savoie region – reinforcing our philosophy and directing our ‘gastronomy’.

The Chef has a very close relationship with the producers of his savours and flavours on which his cuisine is based, and recognises that in order to weave his magic in the kitchen he needs to understand the life cycles of every plant he uses. He created his first aromatic garden in 2004. Then in 2015, his dishes became lake- and plant-based, and 100% local.

His philosophy is self-evident – to transmit his love of the local area – and his producers are all less than a day’s walk from the restaurant.

FROM THE GARDEN TO THE KITCHEN – THE CONCLUSION

Almost all the melt-in-the mouth plants and vegetables in Laurent Petit’s dishes come from the Clos des Sens garden. The team breath in time with the rhythm of nature – sowing, accompanying the life of each plant, nurturing it, observing it, sensing it. And finally, picking it in its prime. Before each meal, the cooks harvest what is required, then immediately cook it, prepare and decorate the plate and serve their delighted guests. This ultimate freshness makes for a symphony of unparalleled savours and flavours, and liveliness.

“Chef-gardener”

That is how Laurent Petit sees the future of his art. To be as close as possible to the land, to nature, to the plants he harvests, to interpret them and then to marry them together with precision and love. At the age of 55, he has an strong desire to share his vision of life. The momentum and energy of nature – and its fragility. The Chef is constantly in search of the truth. Fully absorbed with all that he does, he has built up the landscape that radiates around Clos des Sens with all his sensitivity – a vibrant microcosm of the natural elements, the power of the mountains and the water, with the evanescent and hidden beauty of the agastache.

A HAVEN FOR RENEWAL

Our 1,500m2 garden looks out over Lake Annecy and the Bauges mountains. And although the town is just at the foot of the hill below, Clos des Sens is a haven of peace where time stands still. Nature echoes the birdsong. Seeing the sun set softly, in a mysteriously multi-hued light, is a moment of pure happiness. Some days, especially between May and October, this natural spectacle is full of promise. What a pleasure to walk along the garden paths – an invitation to discovery, contemplation and rest! Do not forget to stop for a rest in one of our comfortable hammocks for a delicious moment of renewal and daydreaming.

CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT JARDIN PERMACULTURE

THE MARVELOUS AROMATICS GARDEN

The restaurant’s terrace overlooks the ‘Corti’ (the word for garden in our local dialect), called the ‘Carré des Aromates’. Dozens of aromatic, medicinal plants (tansies) and condiments are cultivated here – including lemon balm, lemon grass from Madagascar, oregano, tansy, oyster plant, peppermint…

The path, paved with blue Savoie stone, connects the Corti to the swimming pool and the south-west facing Aromatic Garden. The gravel paths weaves gently, like wavelets around the aromatic plants – Sichuan pepper plants, agastache, rosemary, sage and savoury.

CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT JARDIN PERMACULTURE

CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT JARDIN PERMACULTURE

THE PATH THROUGH THE NECTAR SOURCES

The path through our Mellifères (pollinators) leads down to the kitchen garden. It is hedged with currants, blackcurrants, lilac, castor, elder and honey locust bushes. The maples, walnut, hazel, apple, plum and dogwood trees are sanctuaries for birds. The path continues down to a small square called the ‘Jardin de Mon Père’ (My Father’s Garden) – the dream fruit and vegetable garden created by Laurent and Martine Petit.

HER FATHER’S GARDEN

Gardener to the local ‘Lord of the Manor’, Martine’s father taught her all she knows about plants. And today, Martine relives these precious moments in her own garden, working in partnership with their gardener Lionel Perron.

Apricot, fig, apple and plum trees, as well strawberries and even hardy kiwis, sit alongside fennel, kohlrabi, curly kale, chard, celery, beetroot, courgette, leeks, pumpkins, salsify, pink and white horseradish, sunflowers, Indian and Japanese mustards, Russian gherkins, beef and heritage tomatoes, wild rocket, onions… The Chef’s task is to cultivate the simplest, most basic vegetables and extol their virtues. Even though our guests are familiar with these fruits and vegetables, they will taste them like never before at our tables.

CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT CHEF CUISINIER 2 ETOILES GUIDE MICHELIN ANNECY ANNECY-LE-VIEUX SAVOIE HAUTE SAVOIE AUVERGNE RHONE ALPES 74 GENEVE GASTRONOMIE FRANCAISE CUISINE LACUSTRE ET VEGETALE HOTEL RELAIS ET CHATEAUX HOTEL 5 ETOILES LUXE LES GRANDES TABLES DU MONDE BAIN DE NAGE PISCINE JACUZZI CHEMINÉE SPA COSY CHAMBRES TABLE GASTRONOMIQUE RESTAURANT GASTRONOMIQUE VUE SUR LE LAC D'ANNECY LAC LEMAN LAC DU BOURGET BAUGES ARAVIS CUISINE INNOVANTE FERA OMBLE CHEVALIER BROCHET ABLETTE LAVARET LOTTE CHEVESNE BREME ECREVISSE FENOUIL CUISINE LOCAVORE JARDIN D'AROMATES PRODUCTEURS DE SAVEURS HOTEL DE CHARME RECETTE PRODUITS LOCAUX SAVEURS CAVIAR LACUSTRE HERBES AROMATIQUES CUMIN PIMPRENELLE AGASTACHE POIVRE DU SICHUAN BASILIC CANELLE FLEUR DE ROQUETTE FLEUR DE BOURRACHE ORIGAN ABSYNTHE PHYSALIS SEJOUR GASTRONOMIQUE SEJOUR DE CHARME SEJOUR ROMANTIQUE WEEK-END GOURMAND TOURISME GASTRONOMIQUE TOP CHEF GRAND CHEF ART DE LA TABLE ART CULINAIRE COOKING OUT CAVE VINS CAVE D'AFFINAGE COFFRET CADEAU CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT JARDIN PERMACULTURE

CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT CHEF CUISINIER 2 ETOILES GUIDE MICHELIN ANNECY ANNECY-LE-VIEUX SAVOIE HAUTE SAVOIE AUVERGNE RHONE ALPES 74 GENEVE GASTRONOMIE FRANCAISE CUISINE LACUSTRE ET VEGETALE HOTEL RELAIS ET CHATEAUX HOTEL 5 ETOILES LUXE LES GRANDES TABLES DU MONDE BAIN DE NAGE PISCINE JACUZZI CHEMINÉE SPA COSY CHAMBRES TABLE GASTRONOMIQUE RESTAURANT GASTRONOMIQUE VUE SUR LE LAC D'ANNECY LAC LEMAN LAC DU BOURGET BAUGES ARAVIS CUISINE INNOVANTE FERA OMBLE CHEVALIER BROCHET ABLETTE LAVARET LOTTE CHEVESNE BREME ECREVISSE FENOUIL CUISINE LOCAVORE JARDIN D'AROMATES PRODUCTEURS DE SAVEURS HOTEL DE CHARME RECETTE PRODUITS LOCAUX SAVEURS CAVIAR LACUSTRE HERBES AROMATIQUES CUMIN PIMPRENELLE AGASTACHE POIVRE DU SICHUAN BASILIC CANELLE FLEUR DE ROQUETTE FLEUR DE BOURRACHE ORIGAN ABSYNTHE PHYSALIS SEJOUR GASTRONOMIQUE SEJOUR DE CHARME SEJOUR ROMANTIQUE WEEK-END GOURMAND TOURISME GASTRONOMIQUE TOP CHEF GRAND CHEF ART DE LA TABLE ART CULINAIRE COOKING OUT CAVE VINS CAVE D'AFFINAGE COFFRET CADEAU CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT CHEF CUISINIER 2 ETOILES GUIDE MICHELIN ANNECY ANNECY-LE-VIEUX SAVOIE HAUTE SAVOIE AUVERGNE RHONE ALPES 74 GENEVE GASTRONOMIE FRANCAISE CUISINE LACUSTRE ET VEGETALE HOTEL RELAIS ET CHATEAUX HOTEL 5 ETOILES LUXE LES GRANDES TABLES DU MONDE BAIN DE NAGE PISCINE JACUZZI CHEMINÉE SPA COSY CHAMBRES TABLE GASTRONOMIQUE RESTAURANT GASTRONOMIQUE VUE SUR LE LAC D'ANNECY LAC LEMAN LAC DU BOURGET BAUGES ARAVIS CUISINE INNOVANTE FERA OMBLE CHEVALIER BROCHET ABLETTE LAVARET LOTTE CHEVESNE BREME ECREVISSE FENOUIL CUISINE LOCAVORE JARDIN D'AROMATES PRODUCTEURS DE SAVEURS HOTEL DE CHARME RECETTE PRODUITS LOCAUX SAVEURS CAVIAR LACUSTRE HERBES AROMATIQUES CUMIN PIMPRENELLE AGASTACHE POIVRE DU SICHUAN BASILIC CANELLE FLEUR DE ROQUETTE FLEUR DE BOURRACHE ORIGAN ABSYNTHE PHYSALIS SEJOUR GASTRONOMIQUE SEJOUR DE CHARME SEJOUR ROMANTIQUE WEEK-END GOURMAND TOURISME GASTRONOMIQUE TOP CHEF GRAND CHEF ART DE LA TABLE ART CULINAIRE COOKING OUT CAVE VINS CAVE D'AFFINAGE COFFRET CADEAU

THE FERA SMOKING-ROOM

At the end of the kitchen garden, on the patch that first sees the rising sun, is our smokehouse. Here we smoke the partially formed eggs of our local Fera fish caught in the autumn. We also smoke eggs collected during over the Christmas season, a ‘pêche exceptionnelle’ because it is held outside the ‘normal’ fishing season; as well as those collected when the season reopens – an approach that follows the natural cycle of the wild fish.
Fera eggs are an extraordinary condiment that give that very special taste to Laurent Petit’s lakeside cuisine. Fillets of smoked Fera, served with curly kale picked at the peak of its season, are the backbone of his mille-feuille slices – one of our keynote dishes created in 2018 that sum-up the story of our restaurant.

 

PERMACULTURE PHILOSOPHY

 

“Permaculture” is the contraction of the English words “permanent” and “agriculture”. It describes all the ways of cultivating the soil that conserve its fertility. It is a philosophy centred on the environment, mankind and equal shares for everyone in society. It aims to create an abundant and complex natural harmony. Taking as its starting point ecology, tradition and every geographical and climatic context, it seeks sustainable, resilient, energy saving production that respects human beings and their inter-relationships. By ensuring that each element is in its right place, surrounded by good interactions, it significantly reduces waste and power consumption.

Natural agriculture is a complete spiritual path (Tao). It is based on “inaction” as in the philosophy of Mu (nothingness). It has 4 basic principles – no ploughing, no fertiliser, no weeding and no pesticides.

EXPLORE THE GARDEN’s DESIGN AND LIFE

 

CLOS DES SENS LAURENT PETIT JARDIN PERMACULTURE

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