Interview with Alain Ducasse, the ‘Glocal’ French Superstar Chef

Ducasse is one of the world’s most renowned (and respected) chefs

“Modern cuisine in and of itself doesn't really exist, it's just the capacity to be current and in harmony with today's society to seduce today's diners to the table.”

Ducasse is a man constantly on the move, traveling not only for his international operations, but also taking the time to check out international food events and connect with his younger peers. That said, he has taken the stage at events like MAD in Copenhagen and Mistura in Peru. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Le Louis XV in 2012 he invited 240 of the world top chefs from 25 countries for a unique gathering to facilitate sharing and exchange of professional knowledge and experiences.

When I asked about the next such event where the chefs prepared over 100 dishes, he smiled saying not anytime soon, as it was a huge endeavor.  The invitees ranged from Rene Redzepi to Joel Robuchon with whom he co-chairs the College Culinaire de France, which was formed specifically to promote French Gastronomy. Last July, when he was roped into the famous Gelinaz chef shuffle, he exchanged his kitchen at Plaza Athenee with David Thompson from Bangkok who cooked his fiery Thai cuisine for one night, while Ducasse himself cooked in Italy.

Ducasse is not just an extremely successful practitioner of French cuisine, but also a teacher who is still an ever-curious student himself, absorbing all he can from the world around him. He continues to expound on the significance of grand chefs like himself, and shares this knowledge with the next generation of chefs as he continues to unfold new projects.

The Daily Meal: Since you are involved in so many different aspects of gastronomy, how would you describe yourself ? Who is Alain Ducasse?
Alain Ducasse: I am a professional in this industry and I like to say a local chef with a global expression. In every country where I have a restaurant I have a different story to tell the guests and diners.

So is this what you refer to as a "glocal" sensibility?
Yes and it's still French cuisine but adapted to the market I am in. My restaurant in Doha, Qatar is a good example where the menu has influences of India, Lebanon, the Middle East, and Morocco. The cuisine is very French but the flavors are very Middle Eastern, since I mixed all the regional flavors to create the experience.