place du Casino
Principato di Monaco
Part of the strength of Alain Ducasse apparently lies on a paradox: he’s almost never the owner, and almost nowhere he is in the kitchen. His formula is a pure culinary flair, an engineering and managing genius loci, able to act as a catalyst for capital and above all talents, without dispelling the smells of cooking or stop stirring the cassoulet. Within this reaction long-time pupils shine, final link in a glorious pedigree where Ducasse serves as a mediator to the founding heroes of contemporary French cuisine, from Alain Chapel forward. Ducasse boys like Jean-François Piège and Franck Cerutti nowadays count as undisputed masters of a tradition vivante.
Cuisine du soleil is an excellent example. He needed a son from the Niçois inlands to focus even better Roger Vergé’s photosynthesis culinary. The Italian origins, a childhood lived in natural landscapes, the studies at the hotel management school of Nice, the early days with another sacred monster like Jacques Maximin of Negresco, the Italian pilgrimage at Enoteca Pinchiorri as a sous-chef: all conspired to ensure that rings were welded under the sign of a Mediterranean fading into mythos.
It’s 1980, in Juan-Les-Pins: Alain Ducasse intertwined with Cerutti a relation now lasting 28 years, dragging him into the carousel of his adventures. That’s until Louis XV in Monaco, which crowns him chef in 1996. They are joined by a cuisine du marché with no technological fury, filled with the scents and the seductions from the South, even in user-friendliness and warmth of the gesture. And «The olive oil that flows through our veins», they like to say. So in 2007 the job description was enriched: Cerutti became executive chef of all the Hôtel de Paris restaurants (the Grill, the Côté Jardin and la Salle Empire). Without however handing over the reins of emblematic Louis XV, whose he continues to lead the kitchen with the complicity of Pascal Bardet.
Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini
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Alain Ducasse, 62. At Identità Milano on Sunday 24th March we’ll pay a tribute to him (photo ducasse-paris.com)
Peruvian Gastón Acurio during his lecture at Identità Milano 2012. The patron-chef of Astrid y Gastón in Lima (and of dozens of other establishments in Latin America and Europe) returns with an awaited lecture on Monday February 10th at 2.30 pm