Olivier Nasti was born and grew up in Morvillars in northeast France. Even as a youngster, he was keen to earn a living by delivering newspapers, working in a bakery, and selling stolen fruit from the surrounding orchards and trout caught in the local pond.
He attended Morvillars College before embarking on an apprenticeship at Château Servin (2*) in Belfort in 1984 where he nurtured his passion for cooking. Between then and 2000, he continued training at the Sheraton in Luxembourg, with Jean-Yves Schillinger in Colmar, with Olivier Roellinger in Cancale and with the Haeberlin family at the Auberge de l’Ill, the famous Michelin-starred restaurant in Alsace. In 1993 he took over a wine bar in Eguisheim and finally, in 2000, he acquired Le Chambard in Kaysersberg where he now heads Le Chambard’s kitchens and, in particular, his 2-star Michelin restaurant.
Olivier Nasti is a great believer in discipline, precision and high standards, combined with skill and technique. It is these qualities, gained through long, hard work that led him to being chosen as the Best Craftsman of France [Meilleur Ouvrier de France] in 2007. Receiving the famous blue-white-red collar fulfilled a dream he had held since being an apprentice. It is a distinction that expresses his desire to progress and perform even better, while at the same time continuing to pass on his knowledge by training young apprentices, sharing his culinary secrets in his books and acting as a judge at competitions.
In the charming medieval fortified village of Kaysersberg, the hotel restaurant and spa Le Chambard gained its first Michelin star in 2001, adding a second in 2014. In November 2016, the magazine Le Chef recognised Olivier Nasti as one of the top 100 best chefs in the world and, in September 2017, the restaurant joined the association of Grandes Tables du Monde. Updated in April 2018, Le Chambard has a warm and refined atmosphere. Its dining room is dominated by an ancient beam, local wood blends into the walls, and hand-crafted furniture cradles the guests. Chef Olivier Nasti takes his guests on a nature-led journey of delicious culinary inventiveness. His new “Expression” menu is highly personal and pays close attention to textures, cooking methods, sauces and decoctions to create a perfect balance that reflects the Alsatian tradition with determinedly modern touches.
Olivier Nasti hunts all year round, following the seasonality of the game that is available by stalking in the mountains, taking only game selected for its flesh that he uses in his kitchen. “I’ve always worked with wild game in my restaurant. It’s a tradition here in Alsace and I’m a huge fan of this particular meat. It’s lean and has lots of potential. I work with the entire animal, but with finesse and a light touch. Haunch of venison is delicious as carpaccio served with a wood sorrel mayonnaise.
I also prepare a foie gras and black truffle pie with shoulder of venison, a recipe inspired by the final of the Best Craftsman of France competition. I serve it with a purée made with a Christine Ferber baerewaecka, a nod to Alsace, as well as mushrooms, spinach and a light sauce.” Naturally, guests at Le Chambard can also enjoy a varied selection of Alsatian wines, including a fleshy, well-structured red Pinot Noir with a delicate red colour and a taste of its terroir that pairs perfectly with red meats and wild game.
Drawing his inspiration from the rich diversity of surrounding areas, Olivier Nasti works with the best local farmers and wine growers to ensure that each creation reflects the true soul of Alsace: intrepid, bold and adventurous like the man himself. In a tough profession, with a punishing schedule, he recharges his batteries “by climbing the peaks at Orbey, near Kaysersberg which look amazing in the snow!”
We invite you to scale the culinary heights in the hunt for perfection by sampling the classic yet avant-garde Alsatian cuisine of Chef Olivier Nasti at Restaurant Ikarus in May 2019.
ServusTV: Culinary Heights at Ikarus on ServusTV
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.