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

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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.”

What is modern French cuisine?
It's a contemporary cuisine that is less rich, that fits into the present lifestyle; it has the DNA of traditional French cuisine, but it caters to the contemporary life style of present day guests, since it dials back on certain products. These contemporary guests, though not always loyal, are however perpetually curious. 

Modern cuisine in and of itself doesn't really exist, it is just the capacity to be current and in harmony with today's society to seduce today's diners to the table. It is the cuisine of 2016, as opposed to that of say 2007. It's not the cuisine that itself is contemporary, it is the just the necessary adaptation to our contemporary lifestyle.

The description on the menu at your new Restaurant Champeux in Paris describes the cuisine as contemporary version of traditional. What should diners expect?
It has the DNA of a typical French brasserie but it is more sexy, lighter, more refreshed and updated to fit the expectations of diners with more modern tastes. It's an attempt to seduce the guests!

How do you bring a dish from the past into the present?
You can bring any dish from the past and update it. Once you make the decision and then bring something from the past, you keep the character of the dish but give it a twist to evoke a fresh sensation. Each dish can have its own twist or a different factor to make it fresh and contemporary.

In this era of easily accessible information, have you seen a change in the diners?
There is now a younger clientèle taking an interest in gastronomy, and it's a clientèle that is very alive, curious, and communicative. They show off their experiences on social medal like Instagram. They are not necessarily loyal to a specific place or person and their attention is constantly focused on "what's new out there." It's all for the "moment."