L'Étoile des Neiges restaurant, a culinary legacy based on traditional cuisine

23-11-2023 in Art of living

Discover L'Étoile des Neiges restaurant in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, 1,400 metres above sea level, and enjoy a taste of culinary excellence.

The establishment, which boasts a rich family history, has been run by the Rey, Jay and Laissus families since 1984. To find out more about its early history, we visited Patrick and his son Nicolas, chefs and Maîtres Restaurateurs, who greeted us warmly and told us more about their professional journey.

L'Etoile des Neiges serves exceptional cuisine, inspired by Grandma Marcelle, combining traditional dishes and high-quality produce which you can enjoy on the terrace, with its magnificent view, for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

An adventure through the generations

L'Étoile des Neiges is first and foremost a family adventure which began in 1965, when the resort was just starting up. At that time, Patrick's grandmother, a down-to-earth woman with innovative ideas, converted part of the family home to make a hotel in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville. Most of the early clients were workmen who needed board and lodging during construction work on Les Menuires resort.

In 1984, Patrick's parents took over and purchased the existing building. It was initially meant to be a self-service restaurant but it soon became a traditional restaurant to meet the needs of customers looking for a more sophisticated experience. Then, in 1992, at the age of 26, Patrick became the restaurant chef, bringing with him a vision: a desire to lead and manage a team.

'We've always worked together, my wife, two sisters, two brothers-in-law and now Nicolas, my son, who since 2012 has also been my sous-chef. Our strength resides in our complementary skills.'

Today, his dream has been realised as his kitchen now boasts a team of 6 passionate individuals. Patrick confides that he has other projects planned 'which are going to remain secret for now.'

Grandma Marcelle, a great source of inspiration

'She was a great cook, [...] THE role model par excellence.'

Grandma Marcelle was the project founder and even today is an important part of the establishment - evident in her enduring influence on the cuisine and the restaurant. She was a visionary who embarked upon her culinary adventure before the resort of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville became what it is today.

Patrick's cuisine is a sort of homage to his grandmother and to the culture of sharing. In fact, the restaurant's speciality dish - rissoles - is all thanks to his Grandma Marcelle. Every season he makes more than 20,000 of them.

Patrick Laissus, a passionate and generous chef

'To be a good chef, you need to be hard-working, [...] determined, [...] and know how to lead by example.'

Patrick reveals a genuine sensitivity and passion when he talks about his job, sentiments which are reflected in the food he serves. He places a very high value on sharing and passing on his knowledge.

Despite his experience, he confesses: 'Every year, when young people arrive, I learn something new. [...] I receive as well as give knowledge.' The atmosphere in his kitchen, amongst his team, is about sharing, exchanging ideas and tolerance.

An authentic, traditional and enjoyable cuisine

'The first thing that my grandmother taught me was not presentation [...] but the importance of taste and quantity. [...] It doesn't matter if you're a little more expensive than other places, but you must buy good ingredients.'

The entire menu is home-made, from the petits fours to the ice-cream, and Patrick is committed to working with fresh, high quality and predominantly local products. 'We make food that will please everyone.' The menus are simple, traditional and carefully designed with a focus on the ingredients.

A selection of à la carte dishes

Practical information

Summer lifts opening from 6 July to 30 August 2024. Find out more