Let’s start with some numbers. Twenty-four individual restaurants in nine countries across three continents. Three separate three-Michelin-star restaurants in three cities. Twenty-five years of the flagship Louis XV restaurant in Monaco, prompting an anniversary gathering of some 240 chefs from all corners of the globe. Multiple appearances on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. A career spanning well over 30 years. All stemming from just one man.
Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most successful, influential and respected chefs and restaurateurs. Born in south-western France’s Les Landes region 56 years ago, Ducasse has embarked on an extraordinary culinary journey, which is rooted in his native land but has seen him travel the globe both seeking and spreading culinary influence and inspiration.
His portfolio of restaurants is notable not only for its consistently high quality and global reach, but also for the range of styles contained within it, from ornate fine-dining rooms to casual bistros, from bastions of classical French cuisine to experimental multi-ethnic concepts. Ducasse is an international chef in every sense.
And the empire continues to expand: last year saw the team’s first foray into the Middle East with the opening of IDAM in the stunning Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar; this spring it débuts a new concept in the Byblos Hotel in St Tropez, called Rivea.
However, this is not just a very successful businessman, but also a hugely imaginative chef and passionate mentor. In the often traditional world of French gastronomy, he has broken down barriers, championed progression and explored culinary cultures, while respecting history. “The future of cooking in part rests on our diversity.
Each chef has his own specific emotional territory – and it is this difference that makes the wealth of the ensemble,” he says.
Ducasse and his team have nurtured and trained a generation of chefs, many of whom are now also part of the world’s culinary élite. What’s more, it is on this sphere of education and knowledge-sharing that the energetic entrepreneur aims primarily to focus in the future.
“We must attract talent and guarantee continuity. Mentoring is about the transmission of knowledge,” he says. Backing such words with action, Ducasse oversees two cooking schools – one of which, the École Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie in Yssingeaux, is acknowledged as the world’s premier pastry-chef academy.
In direct reference to the chef’s insistence on and championing of making everything from scratch, the company recently opened its own artisanal chocolate-making facility in Paris. Called La Manufacture, it creates premium chocolate products all the way from bean to bar.
One final number: this Lifetime Achievement Award is voted for by the 900-plus industry experts who make up the Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. As such, it is testament to the deep respect in which Alain Ducasse is held across the restaurant universe.
MONTREAL, May 3, 2013 / CNW / – GRAND CHIEF NORMAN CASTLES & RELAY LAPRISE JUST WIN, NEW YORK, THE PRICE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION FOR HIS BOOK “TOQUÉ! Creators of a new Quebec Gastronomy / Craftsmen of Quebec gastronomy “in the category Cooking from a Professional Point of View . He thanked her profusely associated Christine Lamarche , Chief Charles-Antoine Crête, brigade Toqué! and publisher Éditions du Passage for their generous contribution.
Image with caption: “Le Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Normand Laprise won the James Beard Foundation in New York for his book (CNW Group / RESTAURANT TOQUÉ!)” Toque Craftsmen of Quebec gastronomy
There has been yet another food fraud, and this time it doesn’t involve horse meat. The New York Times reports that rat meat has been passed off as lamb in China to the tune of $1.6 million dollars over the last few years.
According to the paper, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said that 63 traders in Eastern China were arrested by police for allegedly buying rat, fox and mink flesh and selling it as mutton. It was reported that the traders had gone to great lengths to disguise the meat even dousing it in nitrates, red pigment and gelatin.
In addition to these suspects, since January, the Chinese police arrested 904 people they suspected sold “fake, diseased, toxic, or adulterated meat,” reported the New York Times. The government is cracking down on food safety after several fraudulent or contaminated meats have been discovered including meat sold to consumers after the animals had died from diseases, chicken feet marinated in hydrogen peroxide and illegal additives, and the police busted a factory which passed off fake beef jerky covered with chemicals and bacteria.
Do you think the Chinese government should do more to protect their citizens from tainted and fraudulent meat? Are you concerned about the safety of meat in the U.S.?