Alain Ducasse (born 13 September 1956) is a Monégasque chef. He operates a number of restaurants including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester which holds three stars 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.
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.
Career as chef
Alain Ducasse (center) at the Congresso italiano di cucina d’autore
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. 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 the only chef to hold 19 Michelin stars throughout his career (Masterchef 2010)
Ducasse was a French citizen by birth. However, on 17 June 2008, he became a naturalized citizen of Monaco. Since Monegasque nationality law does not allow dual citizenship, he immediately lost his French citizenship as a result. He chose Monegasque citizenship in order to take advantage of the principality’s very low tax rates.
Restaurants and operations
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)
- Adour (St. Regis, Washington D.C., USA)
- Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester (London)
- 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 in Las Vegas (Las Vegas, USA)
- La Terrasse du Parc
- Le Rech
- Le Louis XV (Monaco)
- Le Relais du Parc (Paris, France)
- Le Relais Palza (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
- Alain Ducasse opens new Mix restaurant in W St. Petersburg, Russia in 2011
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.
- Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasse’s Culinary Encyclopedia
- Ducasse Flavors of France
- Grand Livre De Cuisine: Desserts: Alain Ducasse’s Desserts and Pastries
- Ducasse Nature. Alain Ducasse and Paule Neyrat
- Ducasse Made Simple by Sophie: 100 Recipes from the Master Chef Simplified for the Home Cook
- L’Atelier of Alain Ducasse : The Artistry of a Master Chef and His Proteges
- Le Grand Livre De Cuisine D’Alain Ducasse: Bistro, Brasseries Et Restaurants De Tradition
- J’aime Paris (French Edition)
- Spoon Cookbook
- Best of Alain Ducasse (French Edition)