Chef Alain Ducasse From Yard Living to Culinary Stardom

Chef Alain Ducasse: From Yard Living to Culinary Stardom

Discover the inspirations behind Chef Alain Ducasse’s culinary school in Abu Dhabi and delve into his advocacy for sustainable gastronomy practices.

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Chef Alain Ducasse, the most decorated chef in Michelin history with an astonishing 21 Michelin stars, is about to embark on a new adventure with the opening of his culinary school, École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio.

From Humble Beginnings to Culinary Mastery

Chef Alain Ducasse
Chef Alain Ducasse

It is hard to believe that the world’s most celebrated chef once lived in a yard with no heating and only cold water. 

Alain Ducasse recalled working under Alain Chapel: “One day, I said, ‘I quit.’ I was living in a yard with no heat and only cold water. So, I said, ‘I quit!’ One more minute, and I would have changed career. However, he did give me a raise.” 

Today, Ducasse jests that if he does not succeed in cooking, he might change his career.

École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio: A Global Culinary Destination

Chef Alain Ducasse
Chef Alain Ducasse

Set to open in December 2023, this new addition to the UAE’s culinary scene will be located at the Cultural Foundation

The school will feature courses such as Culinary Foundationsteaching the basics of French and international cuisine, and Professional Pastry Artsfocusing on pastry techniquesdessert design, and food presentation.

The school is not just for professionals; it also offers short courses on chocolate makingbread baking, and Middle Eastern cuisine

Given Ducasse’s global influence, it is anticipated to attract students worldwide.

The Ducasse Legacy

Chef Alain Ducasse
Chef Alain Ducasse

Ducasse’s relentless energy is evident in his Michelin stars and his 34 restaurants and ‘ateliers’ spread from Tokyo to New York. 

Even at 67, he shows no signs of slowing down, revealing plans to open a new restaurant at the ROMEO hotel in Rome this October. 

Furthermore, Ducasse’s memoir, ‘Good Taste: A Life of Food and Passion,’ sheds light on his five-decade journey in the culinary world.

Speaking about the challenges during the Covid pandemic, Ducasse recalls ensuring that 99% of the students could access École Ducasse, his culinary school, by communicating directly with French ambassadors.

When asked about his proudest accomplishment, Ducasse reflected, “The books I have published, and École Ducasse. The books will leave an imprint, which will remain. Moreover, the schools are how to transmit knowledge. It is a legacy.”

Veganism and Sustainability: The Future of Cuisine

Chef Alain Ducasse
Chef Alain Ducasse

Sustainability and veganism are close to Ducasse’s heart. 

Commenting on the future of food, Ducasse emphasized the importance of sustainable practices in gastronomy. 

He praised New York chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park for having the courage to serve an entirely vegan menu and earning three Michelin stars.

A Glimpse Into Ducasse’s Philosophy

Despite his tremendous success, Ducasse remains grounded. 

His advice to budding chefs is straightforward: “You can always do better. Ask yourself: ‘Is this the best lemon tart I have ever seen? Is this the best lemon tart that I can do? If not, then go back to work.”

Reflecting on the best advice he has ever been given, Ducasse shared, “Do not worry, it will happen eventually. You will get there.”

With the launch of his new culinary school in Abu Dhabi and a fresh memoir in bookstores, it is evident that for Ducasse, every day is an opportunity to learn, evolve, and inspire.

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