We had the honor of meeting Dominique Chenot during our stay at the Chenot Palace Weggis in Switzerland to ask him a few questions about the past, present and future of the Chenot Method. If her husband Henri Chenot was rightly dubbed the “father of detox”, Dominique Chenot could just as easily have been dubbedthe “mother of detox cuisine”, given her pioneering role in vegan gastronomy. She invented numerous dietary recipes and methods of cooking food without compromising texture, flavor, taste and aroma, which today form the basis of the Chenot diet. She now co-directs the Chenot group.
Luxe Wellness Club: Can you tell us a little about your history, from the genesis of the Chenot Method to the present day?
Dominique Chenot: Of course, you have to start with my husband Henri Chenot ‘s beginnings in the 1970s, when he was first drawn to Chinese medicine and the notion that man is at the center of the universe. He started out as an acupuncturist, then went on to set up an essential oil laboratory, which at the time was an innovation. He then opened his first center at the polyclinic in Cannes, where he validated his method scientifically, with great courage and determination. That’s where I met him and never left him.
He opened his first spa in Merano, Italy, at the end of the 19th century. Villa Eden, for around ten years in the 1980s, and success came quickly, welcoming celebrities such as Maradona, Luciano Pavarotti…It was at this point that I launched myself alongside him to create detox, vegetarian cuisine. If we can say that Henri was a precursor, “the father of detox”, I think I was also at the forefront of gourmet vegetarian cooking. Vegetarian cooking used to be sad… I remember the cookery books of the time, they didn’t make you want to eat them at all. So I put in a lot of hard work, and shed a lot of tears, to try and stage the dishes and combine the pleasure of the eyes with the pleasure of the taste buds. Detox had to be a moment of pleasure .
Then we moved to the Palace Mérano, where we were a huge success for 25 years. My husband used to say “I’m a doctor of health”, as opposed to doctors of disease, because for him prevention was the most important thing. When he arrived here in Weggis, he was very proud of what we’d built, and once told me: “I think we’ve built the most beautiful medical spa in the world”.
What do you think makes the Chenot method so successful?
We owe our success to having created a real concept. Here, you have different departments all working together to detoxify and rebalance energy: nutritionists, therapists, doctors, acupuncturists, all are essential links in the method. There’s a real sense of cohesion. The idea of detox is to cleanse the body and its filters, and to rebalance the energy of the organs. Moreover, toxins have nothing to do with weight, and even slim people accumulate toxins that need to be eliminated on a regular basis.
We have also evolved with the timesThanks to Dr Gaitanos, who is always on the lookout for the latest innovations in health care, we have not been afraid to invest heavily in state-of-the-art machinery, which means we are truly at the cutting edge when it comes to preventive medicine.
Finally, I think our success comes from the fact that it’s a real detox cure. There’s no alcohol, no sugar, no temptations… We’ve created a real bubble of well-being and health.
The main dogma of 20th-century Western medicine has been to give medicines for everything. If you have a headache, take a pill; if you have inflammation, take another pill, and so on. The current trend is to force the body to react, because the body knows how to heal itself. We use a number of techniques to put the body under temporary stress, so that it can develop its own responses. For example, cryotherapy is excellent for recovery, and hypoxia kills off bad cells. At the end of a week’s Chenot treatment, your body is endogenously boosted.
Why did you choose Switzerland after leaving the Palace Mérano?
We began the Chenot Palace Weggis project long before we left the Palace Mérano. We wanted to be in the center of Europe, in a country renowned for excellence in anti-aging medicine and health.
The lakeside location is strategic. It’s a very calm place, which helps to calm the spirits and thus enables a complete detox. What’s more, it’s beautiful in all seasons. We’re very happy to be here, and the customers love it!
How do you see the future? How do you see the Chenot Group in 10 years’ time?
Luxury has moved from the tangible to the intangible. Luxury is no longer about having a Hermès bag, it’s about staying healthy for as long as possible. The current Covid-19 health crisis is a daily reminder of this. Preventive medicine to take off in the years to come, and as far as we’re concerned, yes, we do have plans to open other fitness centers, and I think the next ones will be even more perfect 🙂 I think we’ll have 4 or 5 at the most within the next ten years, maybe 3 in Europe, maybe one in Asia and one elsewhere. We have a method that we can reproduce, but we don’t want to become a multinational detox company. I’d like us to remain a company on a human scale.
Thank you Dominique, and keep up the good work!
Book (with an exclusive Luxe Wellness Club benefit)
Take advantage of our expertise in the Chenot Method and contact us for a personalized quote, making the process easy for you. We support many of our customers in this area.
Rates: From CHF 7540 per person in a double room (approx. 6800 euros), or CHF 8030 in a single room (approx. 7250 euros) all-inclusive (accommodation, meals, full treatment program) for 7 nights.
Luxe Wellness Club customers pay the direct booking prices at no extra cost, and all also benefit from a complimentary treatment per person worth CHF 160.
Call us for France on + 33 1 85 73 22 14
or for Switzerland: +41 22 501 75 16 to discuss your travel plans.