Alain Ducasse is the French chef who has received the most Michelin stars. Like many great chefs, Alain Ducasse began his career in the best restaurants in France, before climbing the ladder to become one of the most prestigious chefs in the world. Totaling 21 stars in the Michelin guide, Alain Ducasse is known for his innovative cuisine, his passion for revealing the original taste of products and for his restaurants located around the world. In addition to his culinary talents, Alain Ducasse is also an accomplished teacher. He opened a cooking school that trains the best chefs. Alain Ducasse has also received numerous awards for his contribution to gastronomy. In this article, we will take a closer look at the life and work of this planetary ruler.
The beginnings of chef Alain Ducasse
At the age of 16, Alain Ducasse began an apprenticeship and joined the kitchens of the restaurant “Le Pavillon Landais” and the Gascony hotel and tourism school. In 1975, he joined the team of starred chef Michel Guérard in his restaurant in Eugénie-les-Bains. At the same time, he trained with the Norman pastry chef Gaston Le-Nôtre. Attracted by Provençal cuisine, Alain Ducasse joined chef Roger Vergé’s brigade at the “Moulin de Mougins” in 1977. In 1978, Alain Ducasse joined Alain Chapel, great chef of the Auvergne region, the latter allowing him to improve his skills and work with local products with love. In 1980, Roger Vergé, with whom Alain Ducasse collaborated in 1977, offered Alain Ducasse the position of chef in his new restaurant l’Amandier in Mougins. In 1984, Alain Ducasse obtained his first 2 stars in the Michelin guide in the restaurant “la terrasse de l’hôtel Juana” located in Juan-les-Pins, on the French Riviera. But a very serious plane crash that occurred the same year forced Alain Ducasse to be absent from the kitchens for many months.
Alain Ducasse’s restaurants
In 1987, the Hôtel de Paris in Monté-Carlo asked Alain Ducasse to open a gourmet restaurant, the Louis XV. At 33, Alain Ducasse won the third star of this prestigious place and the Monegasque hotel thus becomes the first palace in the world to display such a distinction. In 1995, Alain Ducasse opened the bastide of Moustiers, in the heart of the Gorges du Verdon. In 2002, the inn won a star in the Michelin guide. In 1996, Alain Ducasse took over the restaurant at the Hôtel du Parc, located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris and whose kitchens were run by starred chef Joël Robuchon. After only 8 months of opening, Alain Ducasse won a second time three stars in the red guide. In 1999, Alain Ducasse was appointed president of the Châteaux et Hôtels de France chain, a chain with nearly 500 establishments. In 2000, Alain Ducasse transferred the Hôtel du Parc to the premises of the Parisian palace on Avenue Montaigne and the Plaza Athénée was awarded its third star after 5 months. He separates from the establishment in 2021 and the kitchen is entrusted to chef Jean Imbert.
The Alain Ducasse group
Throughout his career, Alain Ducasse has been able to diversify by developing and today, Alain Ducasse is at the head of a group that brings together nearly 1,500 employees. The main activity of the group is to buy and open restaurants and hotels around the world:
- In 2000, he opened a restaurant in New York called “At the Essex House” which obtained 4 stars in 2001.
- In 2003, he opened a second restaurant in New York called “le mix”.
- In 2004, he opened the Tamaris restaurant in Lebanon.
- In 2004, Alain Ducasse set up his kitchens on the top floor of Mandela Bay in Las Vegas
- In 2004, he opened a restaurant on the top floor of the Chanel boutique in Tokyo.
- In 2005, he created the Benoit brand, a bistro restaurant concept in the 4th arrondissement of Paris and duplicated the model in Tokyo.
- In 2007, he took over the management of the restaurants of the Eiffel Tower, in partnership with the Sodexo group for the catering part. In the same year, he opened a restaurant in London.
- In 2013, Alain Ducasse took over the kitchens of Le Meurice, the famous Parisian palace.
- In 2013, he opened the chocolate factory, a brand specializing in the manufacture of high-end chocolates.
- In 2016, Alain Ducasse opened a restaurant in the Dufour pavilion within the Palace of Versailles.
Today, Alain Ducasse owns 34 restaurants spread over 3 continents and 7 countries.
The recipe for Gravlax, potatoes and riquette according to Alain Ducasse
For the marinade, you will need:
- 1 bunch dill
- 150 grams of coarse gray salt
- 150 grams of fine salt
- 100 grams of caster sugar
- 1 lemon zest
- 20 grams of pepper
- 15 grams of crushed juniper berries
Leaf the dill, put all the ingredients in a container. Mix well. Put half of the marinade in a dish then place the salmon fillet on it. Cover with remaining marinade. Chill 24 hours.
For the recipe you will need:
- 750 grams of Scottish salmon (fillet)
- 1 kg new potatoes
- 100 grams of riquette (wild rocket)
- 1 bunch of chives
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Coarse salt and fleur de sel
Rinse the salmon under running water and pat dry. Remove bones. Cut the fish diagonally into very thin slices. Rub the potatoes with coarse salt moistened with water. Cook for 15 minutes in boiling water. Wash the arugula, squeeze dry and season with a drizzle of lemon juice, olive oil and a few fleur de sel crystals. Cut the chives, drain the potatoes, cut them in 2 and put them in a dish. Drizzle with 5 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with chives, pepper, distribute the riquette and the pieces of salmon on top. To serve.