Interview with Samir Belhafiane – Chef at La Table du Ruitor
Hello Samir, could you introduce yourself briefly?
It is difficult to describe yourself, but all of my colleagues describe me as passionate, trained in important establishments, and with a very personal culinary philosophy. My colleagues also appreciate my pedagogical side. I really like to pass on my passion. I would add that I am very close to nature and local producers.
How would you describe your cooking ?
Saine, proche de la terre et des producteurs. Association de producteurs, éleveurs, maraichers, ostréiculteurs… sont les facteurs prioritaires de ma cuisine, en rapport avec les régions dans lesquelles je travaille. Je suis engagé pour l’environnement, on essaye de prendre le maximum de produits proches de l’établissement.
Healthy, close to the land and the producers. Association of producers, breeders, gardeners, oyster farmers… are the priority factors in my cooking, in relation to the regions in which I work. I am committed to the environment, we try to use as many products as possible produced close to the establishment.
How long have you been working at La Table du Ruitor and what keeps you coming back each season?
This is my second season. What I like about working here is the autonomy I am given in terms of suppliers, creation and cooking. I like the atmosphere too, as well as the relationship I have with the Fenestraz family and the managers of the establishment.
What do you like about working in a ski resort, in a restaurant at the foot of the slopes?
The fact of being able to magnify local products, especially in winter, such as local cheeses, high-end charcuterie, herbs from the hilly forests, all of the products coming from producers who have worked hard all season.
What is your approach to renewing La Table du Ruitor’s menus each year?
To renew the menus, I am inspired by the weather, the exchanges I have with my colleagues in the establishment, the ambiance. I try to become one with the product, which is why my culinary philosophy is very close to all the products coming out of the earth, which in my eyes are as respectable as the finest bottle of French wine.
The preservation of the environment is currently a major topic in the culinary world, is it important for you to work with local and seasonal products?
As I already said above, for me this is not an option, it goes without saying.
How do you select and incorporate Savoyard products into the Table du Ruitor menu?
I let the product do its thing, I combine it with other products with minimal processing.
What is your signature dish on La Table du Ruitor menu?
I have 3 signature dishes: cooking around the foie gras, lamb shoulder cannelloni confit with sweet spices, and Albufera egg gratin with truffle cream.
Finally, do you have a special memory at La Table du Ruitor you could tell us about?
To have cut a Moroccan-style pigeon pastilla for Mr. and Mrs. Fenestraz in front of all the customers, under the snowflakes of Meribel-Mottaret.
We would like to thank Samir for his time and for sharing with us his experience at La Table du Ruitor.