Superchef Alain Ducasse 'ousted' from Michelin restaurant in 'earthquake' for French gastronomy
Alain Ducasse, the cook with the most Michelin stars in the world, is to step down from the Parisian three-starred restaurant at the Plaza Athénée hotel he has run for 21 years in what critics have dubbed an “earthquake” in French gastronomy. While the chef and hotel said his departure from the upscale eatery off the Champs-Elysées was “by mutual consent”, one well-placed culinary insider called it a “slap in the face” for France’s most famous living chef. In an ironic twist for the cook, the announcement dropped a day before France reopens its restaurant terraces after six months of Covid lockdown. Mr Ducasse, 64, who has notched up 21 stars in his career, famously chose the Plaza Athénée six years ago to launch his groundbreaking approach to cuisine dubbed “naturalité” (naturalness), which eschews two staples of French cooking: meat and butter. In a joint press release, the cook and hotel said his role as “consultant” would cease as of June 30. "The three stars obtained around ‘naturalité’ at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, and its cuisine respectful of the resources of our planet will have marked the history of high gastronomy and that of this great Parisian Palace," said François Delahaye, COO at Dorchester Collection. Mr Ducasse will nevertheless continue his collaboration with group at the two-starred restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse in Paris as well as at the three-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London. No further details were provided as to the chef’s departure. Mr Ducasse's entourage declined to comment further. However, Franck Pinay-Rabaroust, editor of the specialist culinary website Atabula, said: “To be ousted from one of the best restaurants in the world is a symbolic slap in the face. For French haute gastronomy, it is an earthquake.”news.yahoo.com
Hit hard by virus, fine dining finds new ways to serve
Michaela Kelly, left, a staffer from Alinea restaurant, checks carryout orders with a customer in Chicago, Saturday, June 20, 2020. Due to the coronavirus, Alinea shifted to carryout on March 17. Theyve started a takeout business, selling multi-course tasting menus a seven-course luxury kit is $145 and even a wine tasting kit. But fine dining was hit hardest of all, says David Portalatin, an industry adviser with The NPD Group. Some fine dining restaurants are using the closure to redesign their interiors or retool their menus, said David Mitroff, a restaurant consultant and founder of Piedmont Avenue Consulting.
French chef Ducasse unveils anti-virus air system
French Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse unveils virus-protection measures as he prepares to reopen his restaurants, including a new filtration system that works to stop virus particles from the air traveling to neighboring tables. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)PARIS French celebrity chef Alain Ducasse on Thursday unveiled a novel air ventilation system in one of his smallest Parisian restaurants to try to overcome the distancing restrictions related to the coronavirus. Using high-tech air filtration devices used in hospitals, a group of inventors conceived of a system of metal pipes, filters and diffusers to slow down the speed of air particles 20 times. With this new system, the air in each table is as contained as in an operating theater," Ducasse said. If youre a virus carrier, the people just beside you will be safe, said one of the air filtration designers, Arnaud Delloye.
Patrons under plastic: Restaurants get creative in virus era
A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in a restaurant of Paris. As restaurants in food-loving France prepare to reopen, some are investing in lampshade-like plastic shields to protect diners from the virus. The strange-looking contraptions are among experiments restaurants are trying around the world as they try to lure back clientele while keeping them virus-free. The prototype plastic shields are known as the Plex'eat, and they resemble big clear lampshades suspended from the ceiling. Mathieu Manzoni, the director of H.A.N.D, said he thinks the plastic shields are a pretty, more poetic solution for restaurateurs who fear that social distancing could cut their capacity by half or more.