At the Jardins de Chivrageon, from seed to plate

It started out as a permaculture micro-farm, offering incredible quality and diversity: from spring dandelions and chicory to summer nightshades, peppers, beans and other artichokes, to root vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. The first fruits of plum, quince and other fig trees from an agroforestry plot will soon be added to the some 250 varieties of vegetables that flourish here in (apparent) joyful anarchy.

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Welcome to the Jardins de Chivrageon, named after this historic hamlet on the heights of Aubonne, with a plunging view of the lake and the Alps. Raphaël Gétaz created this abundant, somewhat magical place in 2017, with the idea of ​​eventually offering his own products in the kitchen; he now cultivates a little less than two hectares in biodynamics, on two plots.

A cook before becoming a market gardener, he always knew that taste would be at the center of everything. He trained at the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon before going through the case Passard, the triple star of Arpège in Paris and visionary of the plant world. Back in Switzerland, the young man is introduced to market gardening with a neighbor, on the job, to take over the family estate.

Between cultures and table d’hôtes

Last summer, it was planned to set up large tables for dinner in the garden, but the weather complicated matters. In the fall, Raphaël found larger premises in which to set up a professional, mobile and sustainable kitchen, in order to be able to concoct brunches, meals for companies and other essentially plant-based menus – from seed to plate. This time with the possibility of retreating indoors in the event of bad weather, or even at the neighboring Château Rochefort. The young chef has also launched a catering and home chef offer and developed his range of lacto-fermented vegetables, his own misos and soy sauce, a few tomato sauces, peppers and other specialties.

Crowdfunding contributed to this. For the Holidays, gourmet baskets, revisited logs and Christmas cookies have been made and from January 2022, courses are offered on themes such as fermentation and vegetable cooking. After subscription baskets and the Aubonne and Coinsins markets, the online store created with a few neighboring producers, take-out meals and pop-ups, Chivrageon now hesitates between cultures, a creative laboratory and a table d’hôtes.

The Gardens of Chivrageon, In Chivrageon 15, Aubonne (VD).

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