Sylvestre Wahid cooked under Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée in Paris and at the Essex House in New York, but also at the two Michelin star L’Oustau de Baumanière in Provence under Jean André Charial before he took charge of the menu at Le Strato de L’Oustau de Baumanière in Courchevel. Together with his talented brother Jonathan Wahid, an award-winning pastry chef, the duo pampers the palates of skiers and non-skiers visiting the luxurious Alpine resort village of Courchevel each winter. Using meticulously selected ingredients and boundless creativity the Wahid brothers join the ranks of top chefs in France.
 L'Oustau de Baumanière in CourchevelLe Strato in Courchevel 1850
Atmosphere: Modern, stylish, cosy and warm. The interior feels fresh while retaining the cozy feel of a mountain retreat. Two fireplaces in the dining room create a relaxed atmosphere. A small bar area is sensibly separated from the main dining room by a see through mirrored wall. Some more private tables are secluded enough for a romantic soiree. Although Le Strato is located in the mountains, the gastronomic restaurant is quite formal so no ski suit and Moon boots here. No ties or special evening robes are needed though. Smart-casual clothes strike the right balance.
"Artistic" pieces of breadAtrio of amuse-bouche
Food: Creative, light and highlighting the freshness of the ingredients. The mountains meet Provence menu changes partially daily, although most of the chef’s signature plates tend to be included. The bread is superb and olive oils from the most recent harvests at L’Oustau de Baumanière and other Beaux de Provence olive grove are served with the so French butter with it. As at any Michelin-stared restaurant you get an amuse-bouche before the first course and a small dessert or petits fours after your main course, cheese plate or dessert.
After a trio of amuse-bouche served in dense crystal cups, I followed an advice of the helpful waiter and ordered the Marinated Seabass. Luring me on the freshly delivered, straight from the morning waters of the Mediterranean sea – the fish was tremendous – melting softly, abundant with the mineral flavours of the sea and not as fishy-tasting as the less fresh seafood tends to be. Sprinkled with wild herbs, a squeeze of lime juice and not too spicy satay sauce, the raw fish was vibrant on the palate.
Sea bass carpaccio
The main courses looked in writing so interesting making it challenging to decide on one. We agreed ahead to sample from each other’s plate since we both wanted to try the chef’s take on the Bresse chicken (AOC French region famous for its superb chickens), but also the fish since our starter was so great. Nibbling from my dining partner’s plate is my penchant and if it was up to me, I would serve food at all restaurants in the Asian sharing manner.
Tender chicken Le Strato way
We always remember the tremendous chicken we ate at the three-Michelin-stared restaurant in the village of Vonnas cooked by Georges Blanc, whom we call “The King of Chickens” (Apologies Mr. Blanc, but we mean it as a compliment). The “Chicken in a pot” at Le Strato was not a far from the chef Blanc’s perfection. Cooked to an utmost tenderness, the breast meat was succulent, moist from absorbing the cream sauce. The resulting duet of flavours was harmonious, jazzed up with blanched, baby vegetables served on the side. The lightly roasted line-caught Sea bass was delicate, not quelled by the colourful roe-hued rockfish bouillon, fennel confit and savoury herb puree. Duckling, veal, lamb and other seasonal or aged meats please serious carnivores. Vegetarians can order classic basil-tomato Spaghettini, Carnaroli Risotto with truffles or vegetables and parmesan or artisan “Rustica” pasta with Taggiasche olives and provencal young vegetables.
Fresh sea bass
The desserts are not to be skipped. Masterminded by the pastry chef Jonathan Wahid they can rival even the France’s dessert legend Pierre Herme. Each piece is perfection. He tweaks classic desserts such as the Millefeuille or Mont Blanc (adding liquorice), but also creates lighter fruit-based sweets such as spiced-up mango sorbet or green apple with quince and ginger ice cream. The petit fours are so pretty that one hesitates eating them. The idea of how much perfecting work must have gone into each piece made me appreciating every single bite.
Chocolate creation in les petit fours
Drinks: The wine list fashions top producers from France, with a particularly good selection of wines from Provence. The wines-by-the-glass were chosen smartly, appealing to distinct palates with high quality attributes. The tea selection is very good. A pot of a warming verveine (verbena) or a jasmine tea after your meal wraps the indulgence healthfully.
Price: Very expensive (location at a luxurious hotel & two-michelin-stared chef from a legendary restaurant in Provence, both do not come cheap; dishes from €70 up).
The restaurant received two Michelin stars in 2012.
Last visit: January 2013
Read my full dining guide to Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens.
 Le Strato hotel; Route de Bellecôte, 73120, Courchevel 1850, France.
+33 479 415 160