Chef of the week: ALAIN DUCASSE


Alain Ducasse (born 13 September 1956) is a Monégasque chef. He formerly held French nationality. He operates a number of restaurants including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester which holds three stars (the top ranking) in the Michelin Guide.

Ducasse was born in Orthez, but educated on a farm in Castel-Sarrazin in southwestern France. In 1972, when he was sixteen, Ducasse began an apprenticeship at the Pavillon Landais restaurant in Soustons and at the Bordeaux hotel school. After this apprenticeship, he began work at Michel Guérard’s restaurant in Eugénie-les-Bains while also working for Gaston Lenôtre during the summer months. In 1977, Ducasse started working as an assistant at Moulin de Mougins under legendary chef Roger Vergé, creator of Cuisine du Soleil, and learned the Provençal cooking methods for which he was later known. He currently holding 21 michelin stars.

Ducasse’s first position as chef came in 1980 when he took over the kitchens at L’amandier in Mougins. One year later, he assumed the position of head chef at La Terrasse in the Hôtel Juana in Juan-les-Pins. In 1984, he was awarded two stars in the Michelin Red Guide. In that same year, Ducasse was the only survivor of a Learjet crash that nearly took his life.

In 1986, Ducasse was offered the Chef position at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, with management including the hotel’s Le Louis XV. After assuring himself that the Hotel’s other restaurant operations were operating well, Ducasse continued to run management.

In 1988, Ducasse expanded beyond the restaurant industry and opened La Bastide de Moustiers, a twelve-bedroom country inn in Provence and he began attaining financial interests in other Provence hotels. On 12 August 1996, the Alain Ducasse restaurant opened in Le Parc – Sofitel Demeure Hôtels in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The Red Guide awarded the restaurant three stars just eight months after opening.

Ducasse came to the United States and in June 2000 opened the Alain Ducasse restaurant in New York City’s Essex House hotel at 160 Central Park South, receiving the Red Guide’s three stars in December 2005, in the first Red Guide for NYC. That restaurant closed in 2007 when Ducasse chose to open a restaurant in Las Vegas named Mix, which later went on to earn one star in the Michelin Red Guide. In early 2008, Ducasse opened Adour, at the St. Regis Hotel on 16th and K Street in Washington, DC, and has also opened a more casual Bistro Benoit New York, at 60 West 55th Street.

Ducasse became the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities. The New York restaurant was dropped from the 2007 Michelin Guide because the restaurant was scheduled to close. Ducasse has become known through his writing and influences. Ducasse is also only one of two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career.

Ducasse was a French citizen by birth. However, on 17 June 2008, he became a naturalized citizen of Monaco. He chose Monegasque citizenship in order to take advantage of the principality’s very low tax rates.

Alain Ducasse’s restaurants, cooking schools, cookbooks, and consulting activities had revenues of $15.9 million in 2002. Since that time, Ducasse has been expanding his reach. Alain Ducasse has also opened a cooking school for the general public in Paris and another for chefs (ADF), which also works for the European Space Agency to develop astronaut meals to be taken into space. Ducasse has also authored numerous books, with the most famous being Alain Ducasse Culinary Encyclopedia.

In 2005, Ducasse opened his first Asian restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. Ducasse’s restaurants include:

  • 59 Poincaré (Paris, France)

  • Adour (New York, USA)

  • Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester (London)

  • Adour (St. Regis, Washington D.C., USA)

  • Aux Lyonnais (Paris, France)

  • Bar & Boeuf (Monaco)

  • Be (BoulangEpicerie)
  • Beige (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Benoit (Paris, France) – bistro
  • Benoit (Tokyo, Japan) – bistro
  • Benoit (New York, USA) – bistro

  • Esprit – bistro
  • La Cour Jardin (Paris, France)
  • Mix (Las Vegas, USA)

  • La Terrasse du Parc
  • Le Rech

  • Le Louis XV (Monaco)

  • Le Relais du Parc (Paris, France)
  • Le Relais Plaza (Paris, France)

  • La Bastide de Moustier (Moustier Ste Marie, France)
  • Tamaris (Beirut, Lebanon)

  • Spoon (Paris, Saint-Tropez, Beirut, Carthago, Gstaadt, Mauritius, Hong-Kong)
  • Trattoria Toscana (Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy)

  • Alain Ducasse opens new Caribbean project in 2010

In 2004 Alain Ducasse opened a restaurant in a resort near Biarritz, in the French Basque Country. However, after several bombing attacks by Irrintzi, an armed Basque nationalist organization, which accused him of being a speculator and of “folkloring” the Basque Country, Ducasse decided to leave the Basque Country.

Alain Ducasse’s cookbooks

  • Nature : Simple, sain et bon, Les éditions d’Alain Ducasse, 2009, 352 pages

  • Le Grand Livre de cuisine, Les éditions d’Alain Ducasse, 2001, 1080 pages. Vainqueur aux Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

  • Le Grand Livre de cuisine Méditerranée, 2004, 1080 pages

  • (enSpoon Cook Book, avec Christophe Moret, Frédéric Robert, Massimo Luvara, David Belin, Les éditions d’Alain Ducasse, 2006, 456 pages

  • Le Grand Livre de cuisine, bistrots, brasseries et restaurants de tradition, Les éditions d’Alain Ducasse, 2003, 746 pages

  • Le Grand Livre de cuisine, Desserts et Pâtisseries, avec Frédéric Robert, Les éditions d’Alain Ducasse, 2002, 583 pages

  • La Riviera d’Alain Ducasse, avec Marianne Comolli, éd. Albin Michel, 1992, 295 pages

  • Dictionnaire amoureux de la cuisine, éd. Plon, coll. « Dictionnaire amoureux », 2003, 570 pages, (ISBN 978-2-259-19713-7)

  • Rencontres savoureuses. Petit traité de l’excellence française, éd. Plon, 1999

  • (enSpoon, food and wine, Agnès Viénot éditions, 1999.

Source: Wikipedia, Google

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