Ducasse wants to create a European Cuisine

The experiment at ADMO in Paris, a menu designed with Albert Adrià, Meder and Préalpato and paired with Dom Pérignon Rosé vintage 2008, put wings to the Frenchman's ambitions. The last service on the 3rd of March. There's Italy too, in the future

03-01-2022

I go back to my memories of a dinner in Paris at ADMO, the ephemeral restaurant, quoting its creators, unthinkable until a few months before, and fleeting because it will only last 100 days, the last service being on the 3rd of March. This soon appeared to be a very short time, so much so that on New Year's Eve they offered a menu that escaped the structure designed at the beginning of this adventure. It's basically a gemstone set for little over three months on the terrace of the Musée du Quai Branly, in a restaurant with a charming name: Les Ombres.

The five faces and five souls of ADMO in Paris. Left to right: Jessica Préalpato, Albert Adrà, Vincent Chaperon, Alain Ducasse and Romain Meder

The five faces and five souls of ADMO in Paris. Left to right: Jessica PréalpatoAlbert AdràVincent ChaperonAlain Ducasse and Romain Meder

The latest of the great museums of Paris, imagined by President Jacques Chirac to celebrate primitive cultures outside of Europe and opened in 2006, it mirrors itself in the Tour Eiffel and everything has a very strong meaning because it's as if Alain Ducasse and Dom Pérignon (through chef de cave Vincent Chaperon), who had the initial idea of ADMO, wanted to place cuisine and champagne, so basically wine, in a well rooted way on planet Earth. This needs to be interpreted in the correct way because on the 16th of November they did indeed present the Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2008, hence a very specific product, a masterpiece to be paired throughout the meal, but this has ideally got all of the French wine production involved, not just one producer and one type of wine.

And the same applies to the food because Ducasse handed the menu of ADMO aux Ombres to his very faithful Romain Meder and Jessica Préalpato, cook and pastry chef, but he also wanted that the three of them, so himself too, would test themselves with the creative genius of Catalan Albert Adrià, an emblem of the revolution which, after starting in Spain over twenty years ago, shook the restaurant scene in every corner of the globe. A marriage, though quick, which was unthinkable until a few years ago. It's the grandeur française that reclaims its ancient primacy and offers its arm to those who have caused its crisis so they can now walk side by side.

Lobster, beetroot and chinotto at ADMO in Paris

Lobster, beetroot and chinotto at ADMO in Paris

And the same protagonists spelled it out clearly, Ducasse above all: «We must be ready to cooperate, without fighting each other. It's time to join our experiences to reach a further degree of quality. I don't like the word fusion because we must all keep our personality, our knowledge and what makes us different from others. I seek harmony because quality is everywhere. The question is finding it». The goal is very ambitious: creating a European Cuisine, overcoming national barriers.

Cauliflower, Mexican mole and monkfish liver from ADMO in Paris

Cauliflower, Mexican mole and monkfish liver from ADMO in Paris

And Latin: «France, Italy and Spain are three countries where people always think about what to eat and drink. It's the beginning». The menu itself of this pop up is the result of a meeting between the four professionals, five if we include Vincent Chaperon who said something very significant and true: «Sometimes we forget to be curious». Which reminds me of Antoine De Saint-Exupéry's dedication in the Little Prince: «I will dedicate this book to the child from whom this grown-up [Leone Werth] grew. All grown-ups were once children (although few of them remember it)».

There are many reasons behind this and projects like this one go in the opposite direction to egoism and the many negativities it brings.The fact alone that we're in Paris, and I cannot imagine being elsewhere, made it possible for Albert Adrià to bring himself and with him his world: «Had we been in Barcelona, the outcome would have been much different. The ingredients would be different, for instance, and hence the menu». And the season too would probably be very different.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Sections

Affari di Gola di Paolo Marchi

A mouth watering page, published every Sunday in Il Giornale from November 1999 to the autumn of 2010. Stories and personalities that continue to live in this website