Decoding the tribune of Alain Ducasse “French cuisine must rediscover the taste of audacity – ATABULA

In Le Monde, dated April 22, the “chef, head of the Ducasse group” Alain Ducasse published an opinion piece in which he expressed a preference for an enlightened view of French cuisine, and believed that she had been tempted by guilt-strickenness. Atapula deciphers this highly questionable utterance.


two years…

It’s been two years since he published a column, immortalizing a Monaco chef who loves to embody the profession and still dreams of driving. Except that in April 2020, he stumbled badly over the carpet with the so-called Collective Forum, published in Le Figaro. Titled “Mr. President, Chefs Are Asking You To Reopen Restaurants!”, 17 chefs from the College of Culinary Arts in France signed it. Other than that…Most of the signers discovered the podium by reading the duck on the right with morning coffee. Bronca was phenomenal, even Alain Ducasse has been likened to a “dictator” by some wealthy people in the CCF. Since then, Monaco has kept a low profile and has never spoken publicly, except to defend his immediate interests. Note that this new forum was signed by Alain Ducasse alone, without any reference to CCF, which is not mentioned in the text.


Presidential context (and pretext)

Alain Ducasse writes, “While two political visions of France collide in these final days of the election campaign, I mean my preference for an informed vision of French and French cuisine.” In the exhibition twice, he refers to the presidential context, without going into any programmatic details, without ever quoting Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen. Apart from this “preference for an informed view of French cuisine”, Alain Ducasse has never taken a clear position on his political choice. We can only regret that a character like Alain Ducasse is content with such a text, politically lukewarm, while he should have remembered two facts: first, the voluntary economic policy of the current President of the Republic in favor of the catering sector during the crisis. Hence, the owners of those restaurants, according to certain studies (especially labor unions), voted overwhelmingly for the national rally in the first round. Remember that Emmanuel Macron twice quoted restaurateurs in the debate he opposed to Marine Le Pen between the two towers; You never talked about it. That the Restoration votes mainly on the far right, here is a topic (among other things) that Alain Ducasse should have taken first, rather than being obsessed with his own personal torments.


Le Plaza and Jean Imbert: Enemies of French Cuisine according to Alain Ducasse

Of course, he never quotes them, but they are everywhere, on every line on this forum. From the beginning, the chef attacked the former consultants: “It seems to me that the gastronomy of France, like political France, seems to me today to look more to the past than to the future, as if our kitchen seems to turn back to the recipes of the past. It is hard to be More obvious to those who know Alain Ducasse’s resentment after the loss of the Plaza Athenee kitchens. Its gradual nature replaced by Jean Imbert’s heritage cuisine, the Middle Ages replacing the Renaissance It’s the restoration that followed the French Revolution In short, an indigestible culinary blasphemy for Monaco that needs to scream He groaned at the top of his voice hoping for better… Could Alain Ducasse have mixed public forum with personal therapy? Instead of taking the feather straight from his shoe, he should have just lay down.


What is Alain Ducasse’s future program?

“French cuisine must rediscover the taste of daring,” Alain Ducasse’s basic premise. Already, it will be necessary to prove that she lost it. Is it due to the return of some tables, including the “Plaza” that epitomizes the trend in the media, to the kitchen of “Auguste Escoffier”? Even for the author of the post, this hypothesis does not hold. After a few lines of judging French cuisine as underdeveloped, he insists, “French cuisine (is) seems more plural and more relevant than many times in its rich history of gastronomy. It seems (he) quite well adapted to these modern times that demand of us To always be more flexible… “Ducian thinking is hard to explain! Can’t we simply explain that our cuisine is manifold, from Jean Imbert’s Dupree and Bellevue soup to… the new concept of a veggie burger by Alain Ducasse (sic)? Isn’t the strength of the kitchen in its ability to constantly renew its roots so that all its branches grow better and all its buds hatch? And honestly, is Alain Ducasse in the best position to criticize Escoffier’s cuisine when, at Versailles, it serves “a dinner as splendid as the days of kings”? Man is only one paradox.

It remains to be seen what Alain Ducasse actually proposes in his forum. Apart from the contrast between the two gastronomy of France that actually complement each other, there is nothing or very little. Referring to architect Jean Nouvel or Filippo Marinetti and the Futuristic Kitchen Manifesto (1932) sounds nice on paper, but then?! “The analogy is in my view quite relevant, because this connection between politics and cooking, I suppose, is like it” gives a talk in Monaco about Marinetti. But who wouldn’t suppose that day? As he remembers, this statement was written 90 years ago … Since then, the world has changed and no one disputes this connection between gastronomy and politics, certainly not the new generation. Speaking of Futurists in this way, Alain Ducasse positions himself as a man of the past, some would say negative. As for his reference to Admo, which he indirectly compares to the futuristic cuisine of Filippo Marinetti, you better smile: this fleeting concept developed in Paris was a complete failure, and there are only those who are invited by the master of the restaurant. A place that thinks the opposite.


Why this forum?

Yes, why such talk. After very sensitive months – the story of the false collective platform, the loss of the plaza and its exact location within the Dorchester Collection, the distrust of CCF, her desire to quit work in an email addressed to his group’s key executives, etc. – It’s as if Alain Ducasse wanted to get back into the arena and power games. If he does not stop his activity in the shadows, he will resume the media spotlight on the occasion of the presidential elections. This is of course no accident. What is he really looking for? One last ephemeral stand? Morocco in the future government? An influential site to rethink the culinary world of tomorrow? What is certain is that he is trying to reposition himself in the culinary-political debate after the presidential election. It remains to be seen whether this is visionary boldness or political backwardness.


The contents of the futuristic kitchen manifesto
Alain Ducasse evokes in his forum the statement of the futuristic kitchen. Here are the main suggestions:
. The original harmony of the table (glass – decorative earthenware) with the flavors and colors of the dishes.
. Absolute originality of the dishes.
. The original harmony of shape and color that nourishes the eyes and sparks the imagination before it seduces the lips.
. Remove the fork and knife.
. Using the art of perfume to facilitate tasting.
. Limited use of music between meals.
. Abolition of rhetoric and politics on the table.
. The extreme use of poetry and music as improvised ingredients.
. Fast serving between two dishes and under the nose and eyes of the guests certain dishes they will eat and others they will not.
. Composition of synchronous and variable bites containing ten and twenty flavors to savor in just a few moments.
. Equipping the kitchen with scientific equipment.

also to read
An open crisis among chefs after the publication of the Tribune du Collège Culinaire de France
Alain Ducasse and Plaza Athena: An Investigation of a Painful Separation
Jan Imbert in the Plaza: Decoding Criticism
“I came to say goodbye to you,” Alain Ducasse’s speech as he left the Plaza Athena
Artabola | At the table of futurist artists


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