Chef Bios: Alain Ducasse
With more than 25 restaurants around the world, countless cookbooks, and the distinction of being the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin stars in three cities, Chef Alain Ducasse personifies the contemporary haute cuisine celebrity chef.
Alain Ducasse was born and raised in Castel-Sarrazin on a farm in the south of France. When he was 16 he apprenticed at the Pavillon Landais and at the Bordeaux Hotel School. Next, he moved onto Michel Guerard's restaurant in Eugénie-Les-Bains. Five years later, in 1977, he was hired as an assistant at Le Moulin de Mougins, where he worked with Chef Roger Verge. It was there that he was introduced to Provençal cooking, a style that would influence his career. In 1980, Verge offered Ducasse the position of chef at his restaurant L’Amandier.
After staying at L’Amandier for a year, Ducasse moved to Juan-les-Pins, where he took over as head chef in the kitchen at La Terrasse in the Hotel Juana. Three years later, he received his first two Michelin stars. With this achievement, Ducasse broadened his horizon by accepting a position as chef de cuisine at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1987.
In 1994, Ducasse acquired a house in Provence, which he turned into a 12-bedroom inn and called La Bastide de Moustiers. Two years later he opened his first eponymous restaurant in Paris. Less than a year later it received three Michelin stars. Over the next few years, Ducasse opened a string of restaurants, including Spoon in Paris, Bar & Boeuf in Monaco, and a second Alain Ducasse.
Following his successes in France, Ducasse set his sights on the United States. In 2000, he opened Alain Ducasse in New York City at the Essex House. The restaurant received a series of awards and accolades, including four stars from The New York Times, three Michelin stars, and five stars from the Mobile Guide.
The chef has since opened restaurants around in London, Saint-Tropez, Switzerland, Tunisia, Japan, Hong Kong, Beirut, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, and D.C. And last December, he joined the movement of food and technology by launching a free iPhone app allowing users to book reservations at his inns and restaurants.
Culinary Style: French
Restaurants: 27 restaurants in total; including; La Bastide de Moustiers, Spoon (5), Bar & Boeuf, Alain Ducasse (2), Le 59 Poincaré, Benoit (4), and Adour Alain Ducasse.
DID YOU KNOW? In 1984, Ducasse was the sole survivor of a Learjet crash that took the lives of several members of his staff.