Friday, November 8, 2013

Alain Ducasse

One of the world’s most famous chefs, Alain Ducasse is in charge of three Michelin star restaurants in Monaco, Paris and London. Widely known not only for his incomparable French cuisine, he has also developed innovative restaurant concepts, reflecting international influences.

Born in 1956 on a farm in Les Landes, surrounded by hens, ducks and geese, raised amidst flap mushrooms and “foie gras”, Alain Ducasse grew up in a paradise. Here, from a very early age, he learnt to appreciate the taste of natural products, to respect, preserve and cook them.

At the age of 16, Alain Ducasse began to work in the South-West, then became a student at the hotel and catering school in Bordeaux. He then worked for great chefs such as Michel Guérard, Gaston Lenôtre and Roger Vergé, at the “Moulin de Mougins”. Here he discovered the flavours of Provencal cuisine which was to become one of the essential components of his various styles of cooking.
In 1978, he went to work for Alain Chapel (near Lyon) who became his spiritual master, before accepting the position of chef at “L’Amandier” in Mougins, offered to him by Roger Vergé. A year later, Alain Ducasse became head of the team in the kitchen at “La Terrasse”, the restaurant at the Hôtel Juana in Juan-les-Pins. It was here that he won two stars in the Michelin Guide in 1984.

In 1987, the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) invited him to take on the position of “Chef des cuisines” at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, together with management of the “Louis XV” restaurant. Alain Ducasse was just 33 years old, and the restaurant had been open for 33 months, when the Michelin Guide consecrated the “Louis XV” as the first 3-star restaurant in a hotel. After making sure that the opening of the hotel’s other restaurants would be a success, he devoted himself entirely to the “Louis XV-Alain Ducasse”.
In 1996, he opened the “Alain Ducasse” restaurant in Paris becoming, two years later, the first chef in the history of the Michelin Guide to be awarded three stars – twice! Three for the “Louis XV”, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo; three for the Alain Ducasse restaurant, Hôtel du Parc, Paris.
Shortly afterwards, he came up with his first concept restaurant: “SPOON Food & Wine” in Paris, later reproduced in Saint-Tropez and Hong Kong.

Alain Ducasse openly lays claim to a chef’s right not to be a permanent fixture behind his ovens. A creative cook, he also manages his teams and provides the essential source of inspiration for recipes, atmosphere, design, organisation of the kitchens and table decoration. “It’s the role of the “chef de cuisine” to strive for excellence on an everyday basis,” says Alain Ducasse. Surrounding himself with top professionals, he keeps a close eye on recruitment for the kitchens in his restaurants.

At the head of two “haute couture” restaurants, the “Louis XV-Alain Ducasse” in Monaco and the “Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée” in Paris, Alain Ducasse has become over the years an inn-keeper, creator, but above all a real team leader.

Through “Ducasse Education”, he is actively involved in the training of professionals. He is also President of the voluntary chain “Châteaux et Hôtels Collection” and supervises country hotels in Provence (La Bastide de Moustiers and L’Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de La Celle) and Tuscany (L’Andana, Tenuta la Badiola). He is deeply involved in bistro cuisine (Aux Lyonnais , Rech et Benoit in Paris, Benoit in New York and Le Comptoir de Benoit in Osaka). In addition to SPOON, he has created other restaurant concepts such as “Mix” in Las Vegas, on the island of Vieques in the Caribbean since 2010, and in Russia, “Mix St. Petersbourg” since 2011, as well as “Be Bon et Essentiel” which he opened in Paris in October 2002, and La Trattoria in Monaco, since June 2010.

Since January 2008, the St. Regis Hotel at the heart of Manhattan in New York has hosted Alain Ducasse’s new restaurant, Adour Alain Ducasse. Adour, the name of a river in south-western France, is a reference to Alain Ducasse’s origins and his first culinary inspirations. Adour at the St. Regis Washington DC opened its doors in September 2008.
On 1st January 2007, Alain Ducasse Entreprise in partnership with L’Affiche, a subsidiary of the Groupe Sodexo, won the concession for the restaurants in the Eiffel Tower. Alain Ducasse and his teams wanted to create a restaurant where guests would be carried away by dreams and enchantment. Beyond culinary creativity and modern service, this enchantment is expressed through the work of architect and interior designer Patrick Jouin. The new adventure leading to Le Jules Verne (1 Michelin star) began in December, 2007.

The new adventure leading to Le Jules Verne (1 Michelin star) began in December 2007.
On 13 November 2007, the restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester opened in London in the prestigious hotel, The Dorchester, facing Hyde Park. It was distinguished by three stars in the Michelin Guide 2010.

In May, 2009, Alain Ducasse, who has always defended the principle of handing on knowledge, opened his cookery school in Paris, on Rue du Ranelagh.

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