Top French chef Veyrat to open restaurant in Czech woods

Design of Marc Veyrat's restaurant

French chef Marc Veyrat has earned numerous Michelin stars for his molecular cuisine, and reviews of his restaurant in Annecy, France, run in the New York Times. Now, the top chef is planning a new venture - in the middle of the Czech countryside. Veyrat plans to open an ‘eco-lodge’ serving his haute cuisine in a forest near Beroun, central Bohemia.

World-renowned chef Marc Veyrat scours the forest floor for possible ingredients in a wood just outside of Prague. It is here, in a forest clearing near Beroun, Central Bohemia, that Veyrat plans to open a hotel and restaurant serving his multi-Michelin-starred molecular cuisine. Back in France, Veyrat is most famous for his ‘Auberge de l’Eridan’, a luxurious, converted chateau in his native Savoie. But this new Czech venture promises to be an altogether earthier, more organic, affair. It was with Czech architects Zdeněk Rajniš and Petr Suske that the celebrated chef devised the idea:

Marc Veyrat
“This sort of cookery should be housed in a new type of ecological architecture. And the three of us share just the same philosophy, which is a coincidence, but which is fabulous. We can use the stone, the pine trees, the earth, the soil and all the minerals surrounding us to create a new culinary architecture. We can use pine wood to build, and then cook in front of our clients, and this way we can make the most of all the natural riches we’ve been blessed with.”

The building itself will be housed in the middle of a former military zone. Plans show a structure in pale wood and stone which is hard to pick out at first amongst the trees. The ‘Inn in the Clearing’ will provide guests with environmentally-friendly lodgings, as well as a menu of Veyrat’s own dishes, many cooked using ingredients from the surrounding woods.

The plan is all ready to go, at least on paper. But it’s expensive, and in times of financial crisis, securing the funds for such a project is a lot more complicated. Still, Marc Veyrat is optimistic, and says that the venture is, for him, much more than a business:

“What’s important about this project is that it is not about making money. It’s a labour of love, it’s about living life, and living life differently. And that’s it really. Everyone is contributing something to this project, which I think is marvelous.”

It is not yet clear when Czech gourmands will be able to sample creations of Veyrat’s such as ‘Woodland soufflé, Nitrogen’ or ‘Roast Young Lake Perch with Virtual Mayonnaise’. But Veyrat’s recent visit to the site does suggest that it won’t be too long before such haute cuisine arrives in the central Bohemian countryside.