A man who loves a challenge

It was among the vineyards of Reims and the mountains of Savoie that Emmanuel Renaut took his very first steps. Alongside his grandparents, farmers and fishmongers, he discovered the work of the land and the treasures of the sea.

Every school holiday, he headed to Haute-Savoie, a region where nature invites him to make new discoveries. Adventure and freedom, all values he learned there, forged the temperament of the young prodigy.

Skiing in the winter, trial biking in the summer, Emmanuel very soon became a top-level athlete who enjoyed recharging his batteries alone surrounded by nature as much as seated around a table with his many friends. A person who likes to lead others, he was usually busy in the kitchen and, without realising it, he was already laying the foundations for an exciting adventure. When the time came for him to decide on a career, Emmanuel naturally decided to sign up for a course in cooking.

Trainedby the greatest

It was to Paris that he moved first of all after his training. In turn employed at the Société des Cuisiniers and Le Lotti Hotel, Emmanuel secretly dreamed of the Hôtel de Crillon, which he boldly joined in 1988. Under the aegis of the Chef Christian Constant, he embarked on a human adventure that was as ambitious as it was educational.

After an intense and instructive year, Chef Marc Veyrat, at the time a 2-star Chef in the Michelin Guide, spotted the young man. The call of the mountains was irresistible. There he felt at home. For three years, the young Chef applied his skills of daring, elegance and accuracy at the Auberge de l’Eridan on the shores of Lake Annecy. The position of second in command became vacant and Emmanuel accepted Marc Veyrat's offer, and promised to support him in earning his third star. This was achieved in 1996 and for Emmanuel the award was yet another feather in his cap.

In 1997, after having kept his promise, passed on his knowledge and trained his successor, Emmanuel joined the famous Claridge's in London as Chef. Very quickly, the French Chef's dishes amazed, subjugated and earned him wide support. On the other side of the Channel, a star was born. However, Emmanuel very quickly decided that he wanted to continue his career at home. In December, he visited an establishment in the historic centre of Megève that offered an intimate atmosphere and a terrace, the beauty of which was hidden under a metre of snow. It was perfectly obvious. This was where he was going to apply his soul as an innkeeper and create a new form of cuisine.

In spring 1998, after some work, the restaurant revealed its new name "Flocons de Sel", the symbol of the emotion that drove the Chef and the many challenges that lay before him on the way to the very top.

A unique signature around the world

Success was on the programme and in 2001, the Flocons de Sel was awarded its first star. Much more than a creator of recipes, Emmanuel approaches his profession as a messenger. Transmission lies at the heart of his mission. Respect for nature, respect for the soil, animals, humans, these are the messages he wants to convey through each of his creations.

In 2004, the messenger received the title of Best Craftsman of France. In 2006, the Flocons de Sel was awarded its second star. A year later, the establishment started to become too small and it was necessary to embark on the second stage of the Flocons de Sel adventure.

On the upper reaches of Megève, Emmanuel Renaut led the transformation of a chalet while two others rose from the ground as if to keep it company. And, in order to encourage a longer stay, the Chef decided to offer a second experience in the town centre, one which was more accessible but equally dazzling. The Flocons de Sel made way for a younger sibling, Flocons Village, the principle aim of which was pleasure.

On 25 November 2008, on Route du Leutaz, the new Flocons de Sel opened its doors. In 2012, the third star was awarded.

Original for some, a pioneer for many, the 3-star Chef receives requests from around the world. Among them, that of a major Swiss jeweller that wanted to create exceptional dinners, or that of a huge American group which is one of the global leaders in tourism cruises. 

In 2017, while back on home soil between trips, Emmanuel set out to the alpine pastures. At the bottom of a small slope, a forest warden's property was looking for a new manager. The project was signed immediately. The experience was to be Savoyard, high quality and with plenty of character. This new opening was yet another thrilling step for this tireless adventurer.

Values & bibliography