French chef Alain Ducasse Photo credit: AFP
Alain Ducasse, the most starred French chef in the world, is leaving the restaurant of the luxury Parisian hotel Plaza Athénée, which has been his base for more than two decades and where he has developed his “natural” approach to cooking.
Ducasse, 64, who picked up 21 stars in his career, was recently known for his sweeping decision to stop using two staples of French cuisine: meat and butter.
He reshaped the cuisine around fish, grains and vegetables, and this proved to be another huge hit with critics, indicating a new direction for French haute cuisine.
Its award-winning pastry chef, Jessica Prealpato, has taken an even more radical step in applying ethics to desserts.
“Desseralite” meant very little sugar and ingenious concepts like freeze-drying fruit in vinegar to bring out the flavors.
The Dorchester group, which manages Plaza Athenee, did not give reasons for its decision to separate, but confirmed that it would continue to collaborate in its other restaurants, the Meurice in Paris and The Dorchester in London.
A spokesperson said that Ducasse’s “naturalness” campaign had “left its mark in the history of gastronomy”.
The move comes as haute cuisine prepares to emerge from an unprecedented hibernation caused by the pandemic, as the best restaurants in Western Europe are deprived of their ultra-rich and globetrotting clientele.
During the pandemic, Ducasse sought to introduce the people to his cuisine, by offering take-out meals at around 22 euros.