This weekend, Nicolas Davouze, executive sous-chef at the Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa, has prepared dinner on the theme of Bocuse d’Or. Having triumphed in the Bocuse d’Or France 2014 in March and successfully passed the qualifying rounds at Bocuse d’Or Eurpope in May 2014 in Stockholm, Nicolas Davouze is currently sharpening his knives to compete in one of the most prestigious global gastronomy competitions, the Bocuse d’Or final which is due to be held in Lyon at the end of January 2015.

The menu featured John Dory aiguilettes with Menton lemon, a fish dish prepared for the Bocuse d’Or France and Swedish Ham Variations, which he created for Bocuse d’Or Europe.

First sense |Fillet of John Dory with Menton lemon, apple in a coral crust with lobster, green asparagus, and truffle barquette, cauliflower and caviar dome and Champagne sauce

Second sense |Swedish ham assortment, braised morel mushroom and pork bonbon, crispy Boulangère fondant potatoes, onion petit pois peas à la Française and young carrot tartlet and pork sauce

Third sense |Baked fig with lime, egg-coated fried bread with honey and lime sorbet

Nicolas’s career path speaks volumes about his talent. He worked for Paul Bocuse at Collonges, Alain Ducasse at Louis XV, at the Chèvre d’Or (Golden Goat) with Philippe Labbè, at the Relais and Chateaux Régis with Jacques Marcon and at the Réserve de Beaulieu before hopping over to join Gilles Goujon at the Auberge du Vieux Puits, the Bristol Paris, L’Apogée Courchevel (the latest addition to the Oetker Collection) and finally winding up at the Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa. At the age of 35, Nicolas is a seasoned competition entrant. With his commis chef Justine Paret by his side (winner of the best assistant at the Bocuse d’Or France) he is now getting ready for the final of the Bocuse d’Or.

A team with some punch to represent French cuisine.

The venue for this exceptional dinner was the Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa, a romantic chateau of excellence nestled in the heart of Cote d’Azur, boasting breathtaking views over the Mediterranean coastline.

The chateau emanates laid-back luxury and is quite possibly the most peaceful and tranquil corner of France. Its 35-acre park with 300 century-old olive trees features a poetic garden. The hotel has two clay tennis courts, a petanque ground, a helicopter pad, a Spa signed with La Prairie treatments, a gym, a heated infinity swimming pool and 52 Junior Suites, including 6 private villas and a beautiful Suite, all with high-end service and panoramic views to the Mediterranean Sea.

The staff will make you feel like you’re the single most cared-for individual among the guests, and of course everyone knows you by name. A car with driver for individual sight-seeing, lunch by the pool, or a relaxing spa treatment, everything will be organised for you with the greatest ease and matter of course.

The attention to detail in everything is astonishing and the language level of every member of staff, down to the chamber maids, is astonishing and highly commendable.

When staying at the chateau, why not take a trip to the unique Maeght Fondation, a private foundation presenting modern and contemporary art in all its forms. Painters and sculptors collaborated closely in the realisation of this foundation by creating monumental works integrated into the building and gardens: the Giacometti courtyard, one of the world’s most famous “in-situ” works, the Miró labyrinth filled with sculptures and ceramics, the mural mosaics by Chagall and Tal-Coat, the pool and stained glass window by Braque and much more.

Don’t miss out on a visit to Saint-Paul de Vence, just down the road from the Fondation. It is a stunning medieval fortified village perched on a narrow spur between two deep valleys and is the most intact medieval village in the region. Take a walk through the narrow streets and have a peek into the scores of art galleries, fashion boutiques and artisanal shops.