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Alain Ducasse

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Alain Ducasse (b. September 13th 1956 on a farm in Castel-Sarrazin in southwestern France) is a famous French chef. In addition to his Louis XV restaurant in Monaco, he also operates two self-titled restaurants at the Jumeirah Essex House in New York City and the Plaza Athénée in Paris. He is currently the only chef within the Michelin Guide to hold three stars (the top ranking) in three different countries. In January 2007 he took the position as chef of the Jules Verne Restaurant located in the Eiffel Tower in Paris .

Ducasse's first position as chef came in 1980 when he took over the kitchens at L’Amandier in Eugène Mougin. One year later, he assumed the position of head chef at La Terrasse in the Hôtel Juana in Juan-les-Pins. In 1984, he was awarded two stars in the Michelin Red Guide. In that same year, Ducasse was the only survivor of a Lear jet crash that nearly took his life.

In 1987, Ducasse was offered the Chef des Cuisines position at the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo, with management including the hotel's high end Le Louis XV restaurant. After three years, Louis XV became the first hotel restaurant to be awarded three stars in the Red Guide. After assuring himself that the Hotel's other restaurant operations were operating well, Ducasse gave up management of all but the Le Louis XV restaurant.

In 1995, Ducasse expanded beyond the restaurant industry and opened La Bastide de Moustiers, a twelve-bedroom country inn in Provence and he began attaining financial interests in other Provence hotels. On August 12, 1996, the Alain Ducasse restaurant opened in Le Parc – Sofitel Demeure Hôtels in the 16th district of Paris, France. The Red Guide awarded the restaurant three stars just eight months after opening.

Ducasse came to the United States and in June 2000 opened the Alain Ducasse restaurant in New York City's Jumeirah Essex House hotel at 160 Central Park South, receiving the Red Guide's three stars in December 2001. In January 2007 the restaurant moved to 160 West 110th Street near 7th Avenue, on the opposite (north) end of Central Park.

Ducasse became the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities: Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, the Plaza Athénée in Paris, and Alain Ducasse at Essex House in New York. The New York restaurant was dropped from the 2007 Michelin Guide because the restaurant was scheduled to close its doors in January and move to a new location.

Plaza Athénée in Paris earned a score of 19/20 points in the Gault Millau guide and ranked 18th in the Guide's European Restaurant Ranking. Before closing, the New York restaurant attained the New York Times four-star review and the Mobil Guide's five-star award.

The Alain Ducasse Group of restaurants, inns, cooking schools, cookbooks, and consulting activities had revenues of $15.9 million in 2002 and employs approximately 1400 people (in 2006). Since that time, Ducasse has been expanding his reach. Alain Ducasse has also opened a cooking school for the general public in Paris and another for chefs (ADF), which also works for the European Space Agency to develop astronaut meals to be taken into space. Ducasse has also authored numerous books, with the most famous being Alain Ducasse Culinary Encyclopedia.


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