Our recipe today:  GRILLED OYSTERS WITH PINE NEEDLES from Marvin Lance from Restaurant Le Saint Nicolas in Megève, France.  A dish of grilled Amélie oysters carries forth a tale that gently interweaves Chef Marvin Lance’s culinary journey with the rich heritage and traditions of his familial roots.

Marvin, today an emblematic figure behind the stoves at Le Saint-Nicolas in Megève, navigates through the realms of inventive, refined, and seasonally attuned cuisine.  His culinary philosophy, a vibrant mélange between sea and mountain, is deeply imbued with experiences garnered from stellar kitchens.  Journeying from Bretagne through Paris and anchoring himself amidst the enchanting landscapes of Haute-Savoie in the autumn of 2020.

Amidst the rich tapestry of Marvin’s culinary explorations lies a poignant chapter from the esteemed maison Crouzil in Bretagne, where the young apprentice unearthed a fervent passion for the treasures of the sea. Thus, it comes as no surprise that his creations often become a canvas where unexpected, yet delightfully savory iodine touches elegantly unfold.

This particular recipe, a cherished legacy handed down from his father, a native of Bretagne.  It beautifully embodies Marvin’s dedication to honoring both the bounty of the sea and the rich, earthly essence of his current alpine surrounds. In a tender tribute to his father and the vibrant maritime flavors of his home region, Marvin brings forth a plate that is, in essence, a gentle caress of memories, traditions, and a deep-rooted respect for pristine ingredients.

Grilled Amélie Oysters with Pine Needles:



Fresh Amélie oysters
– Pine needles
– A knob of butter
– A dash of sauvignon blanc
– Madagascar pepper to taste


As the barbecue simmers to a medium-high heat, the Amélie oysters are tenderly shucked.  Into each shell, a dab of butter nestles itself, soon to meld harmoniously with a spirited dash of sauvignon blanc and the exotic, warm notes of Madagascar pepper.

Upon the fiery grill, a bed of fresh pine needles is laid, their smoldering whispers ready to intertwine with the mollusks above. The oysters, perched atop, begin their brief, transformative dance with the smoky tendrils, absorbing an earthy, wild character that so deftly mirrors the alpine and maritime merger present in Marvin’s creations.

A mere 3-5 minutes of gentle grilling, and the oysters emerge, their buttery depths now enriched with a complex symphony of flavors – the crisp acidity of the wine, the gentle heat of the pepper, and, most notably, the enchanting, smoky whisper of the pine.

This plate, served amidst the cozy embrace of Le Saint-Nicolas, transcends mere sustenance. It is a narrative, a culinary tapestry where the threads of Marvin’s coastal roots and alpine adventures entwine, offering diners not just a meal, but a journey through time, flavors, and heartfelt memories.

Here, as the Amélie oysters, kissed by pine smoke, make their way to eager palates, Marvin’s homage to his roots and his undeterred passion for the bounties of land and sea become an experience to be savored, pondered, and, indeed, cherished.

As Marvin, his team, and the artisans they collaborate with continue to explore the rich tapestry of savoyard terroir, the whispers of the sea, brought forth through dishes like these, promise to continue narrating tales of heritage, exploration, and unwavering dedication to culinary excellence.