Alain Ducasse

  • French chef
  • Born September 13, 1956

Alain Ducasse (French: [alɛ̃ dykas]; born 13 September 1956) is a French-born Monégasque chef. He operates a number of restaurants including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester which holds three stars (the top ranking) in the Michelin Guide.

The world of wine is more creative than the world of cooking.

For me, the most luxurious place is somewhere that allows you to feel emotions and pleasures.

The Asian airlines have the best wine programs.

The relentless pursuit of being different is very French.

I love to pick tomatoes at the end of the day, when they're still warm from the sun.

When I'm in Paris, my favorite market is the Marche Raspail on the Left Bank.

In Paris we have bistros, then we have fine dining. In London, you have a very contemporary scene with mixed influences.

I'm in love with the markets of the world. It's a photograph of a city, a culture.

I do most of the cooking in my head.

The planet's resources are rare; we must consume more ethically and equitably.

Classical cooking and molecular gastronomy should remain separate. You can mix two styles and get fusion; any more, and you just get confusion.

When you grow up close to poultry and fields and gardens and open-air markets, you can't help but develop an instinct for quality food.

If I am going somewhere exotic, I take an empty suitcase with me to bring back the objects I fall in love with.

I was brought up on a farm in Southwest France, eating farm-fresh produce three times a day. It was paradise on Earth, and it shaped my eating habits and my sense of taste.

My son, Arzhel, is two, and he eats vegetables twice a day. We have a vegetable garden on our farm in the Southwest, and he gets two baskets, one over each arm, and says, 'Garden, Papa!' and then he eats what he picks.

I have a passion for luggage - trunks and so on. I have a collection of them, but I can never resist buying another piece.

The Mediterranean is in my DNA. I'm fine inland for about a week, but then I yearn for a limitless view of the sea, for the colours and smells of the Italian and French Riviera.

Gastronomy is my hobby. I'm simply the casting director. Once I've brought all the right people together, it is they who must work together to tell a story.

At my home in the southwest of France, I grow oak, hazel, and lemon trees in my backyard.

With cooking, there's always the tangible and the intangible: that which is in the domain of sentiment, of the individual.

I have a very nice garden and extraordinary markets, where there are products from the earth and the sea, in the French Basque country.

In France, Christmas is a family holiday. You stay home. New Year's Eve is when you go out.

I don't like being a celebrity.

I'm surprised by the talent I find all over. There are always new chefs who propose many interesting new ideas, new ways of looking at ingredients.

To make my meal, I go to the market and to the garden, and then I decide what I'm going to do. That's a great pleasure.

In each restaurant, I develop a different culinary sensibility. In Paris, I'm more classic, because that's what customers like. In Monaco, it's classic Mediterranean haute cuisine. In London, it's a contemporary French restaurant that I've developed with a U.K. influence and my French know-how.

It is impossible to remain indifferent to Japanese culture. It is a different civilisation where all you have learnt must be forgotten. It is a great intellectual challenge and a gorgeous sensual experience.

I have an obsession for quality. I work for my guests, not to obtain Michelin stars.

Our milk chocolate is very chocolaty. In fact, we don't call it milk chocolate - we call it milky chocolate.

When I arrived, I didn't understand London customers perfectly, but we've developed the right style with the right price, and step by step, I'm in harmony with London.

If I'm a great artisan of the kitchen, it's because I don't buy my sauces.

My grandmother did all the cooking at Christmas. We ate fattened chicken. We would feed it even more so it would be big and fat.

The restaurants express the spirit of the chef, the spirit of the city, the country.

The most classic French dessert around the holidays is the Christmas log, with butter cream. Two flavors. Chocolate and coconut. My first job in the kitchen when I was a boy was to make these Christmas logs.

When I was younger, I behaved a bit strangely sometimes - lost my temper, did silly things - but little by little, I've gotten better. As a chef, I think you need to do a lot of work on yourself and your temperament.

I am a very eco-friendly chef but a guilty air traveller.