So­phie Bise, a ta­lented de­scen­dant

Cuisine | a&d - - Chef’s Special -

So­phie Bise is the great-grand­daugh­ter of the man who founded L’Au­berge de Père Bise. Over the years, So­phie man­aged to bring a touch of moder­nity to the Au­berge, which was once an icon of French cui­sine. She comes from a long line of restau­ra­teurs - most of which were women - and had to earn her right to man­age the Au­berge. As such, in­spired by the mem­ory of her fa­ther, who was a top-rank­ing chef, So­phie de­cided that hit­ting the road would be the best way to per­fect her skills. Her ca­reer-shap­ing jour­ney took her from Savoy, Al­sace, The French Riviera and Mar­tinique all the way to Venezuela, Brazil and New York. In 1987, forged from the fires of her new ex­pe­ri­ences, So­phie re­turned to claim the Au­berge from her an­ces­tors. The now wor­thy de­scen­dant of a glo­ri­ous lin­eage de­cided that it is time for the Au­berge to leave the past be­hind and em­brace the new. How­ever, the de­ci­sion did not come easy. Af­ter all, So­phie was the heiress of a cen­tury-old fam­ily tra­di­tion, the de­scen­dant of three gen­er­a­tions of ta­lented chefs who turned the Au­berge into a land­mark and added 3 Miche­lin stars to the Bise fam­ily name. How was she to find her place among th­ese leg­ends with­out giv­ing up her per­son­al­ity, her dreams and her cre­ativ­ity? So­phie was a Bise and, like a true Bise, she had a strong per­son­al­ity mixed with a taste for au­dac­ity, the de­sire to in­no­vate and a stun­ning re­solve - the four el­e­ments be­hind the suc­cess of the Bise fam­ily. Plus, the Au­berge in Tal­loires needed a breath of fresh air. It needed the mark of an atyp­i­cal per­son­al­ity. It needed a slight fem­i­nine touch. But why? Af­ter all, the Au­berge only had fe­male head chefs for 110 years. Yes, but it was François Bise, So­phie’s fa­ther, that shifted the par­a­digm. Thanks to him, «L’Au­berge du Père Bise» be­came the place to be, as he en­riched the menu - which was al­ready filled with a reper­toire of clas­sic dishes - with his own cre­ations, which, in turn, be­came well-known clas­sics. François loved to start work early in the morn­ing, al­ways think­ing up new recipes, sam­pling tastes and com­bin­ing fla­vors. So­phie car­ries on the tra­di­tion and thinks up new recipes as mas­ter­fully as a com­poser. When said recipes hit the pa­per, one feels like wit­ness­ing the birth of a sym­phony. In the end, So­phie doesn’t see the his­tory of the Au­berge du Père Bise as a prob­lem, but as an op­por­tu­nity for im­prove­ment. She com­bines it with her own as­pi­ra­tions. The re­sult is a unique long­ing for au­then­tic­ity - So­phie’s great­est as­set. This time­less fran­chise did not sim­ply «pass on» to the spon­ta­neous and sin­cere chef. She in­her­ited the Au­berge, its culi­nary his­tory and spir­i­tual legacy. It’s not a bur­den for her to bear, but a gift for her to give to the world. When she’s work­ing in the kitchens, you can clearly see how proudly she car­ries the torch - with­out be­tray­ing her fam­ily’s legacy, nor her per­son­al­ity. New recipes are con­stantly join­ing the well-loved clas­sics es­tab­lished by Marie, Mar­guerite and François Bise, all while the newly re­fur­bished guest rooms give the ho­tel a nice, mod­ern feel. As it steps into this new age of dis­creet and sleek de­sign, the ho­tel’s roots and hum­ble be­gin­nings are more vis­i­ble than ever. The Au­berge seeps el­e­gantly into the hearts of its vis­i­tors. Re­gard­less if they’re fa­mous or less fa­mous, they hap­pily re­turn to grab a taste of the Au­berge’s in­ti­mate am­biance and the sub­tle fla­vors fea­tured in a menu that’s half­way be­tween an ode to the past and a gourmet initiation. So­phie claims her place in the fam­ily’s his­tory with seren­ity and ma­tu­rity, adapt­ing her cui­sine to the rhythm of the sea­sons. Hav­ing stepped into her fa­ther’s shoes, So­phie Bise has de­cided to use her own soles to leave a unique foot­print on the path that leads to the Au­berge, a path which all lovers of travel and great sto­ries are fa­mil­iar with, a path which they know will lead to an en­rich­ing, unique and time­less place. It would be point­less to try and name the style of the build­ings, as L’Au­berge du Père Bise is far from be­ing a mu­seum. Nei­ther is it a tem­ple of art deco. Over the 100 years of its ex­is­tence, the small fam­ily manor has sim­ply pushed its walls out­wards in or­der to make more room for its guests. Th­ese ex­pan­sions oc­curred nat­u­rally. As such, they don’t rep­re­sent a par­tic­u­lar ar­chi­tec­tural style, but more of a defin­ing life­style.

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