Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Famous French chef Alain Ducasse moves from the Plaza Athenee Paris and takes over Yannick Alleno's Le Meurice in Paris



Halfway across the world from Paris, living a Travelife, it was with great interest that I learned that the historic Hotel Le Meurice, the first palace hotel in Paris and one of my favorites, has invited Alain Ducasse to take over the management of its kitchens.

I think this will be synchronized with the temporary closure of the Hotel Plaza Athenee for expansion very soon.

On that note, too, I'm so glad I enjoyed a very good meal at the Le Relais of the Plaza Athenee, which is a great Paris institution.

Le Relais at the Plaza Athenee Paris

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THE RESTAURANTS OF LE MEURICE

Meanwhile, the Hotel Le Meurice has two very good restaurants.

There is the Michelin three-star restaurant Le Meurice, which was made famous by Chef Yannick Alleno, and which successfully kept its three-star status even after Alleno left and the cooking was done by his deputy.



Then there's the le Dali, which is less famous worldwide, but it's a great favorite among the haute society of Paris, especially among people involved in politics, the arts, media, and fashion.




LUNCH AT LE DALI LAST MONTH

I just had lunch here at le Dali last month, on my most recent trip to Paris, and I had a very good meal.

All around us were the powerbrokers and the famous of Paris, having an express lunch or a coffee.



I chose le Dali for lunch because I didn't want a gourmet tasting menu for lunch -- as what would have been the case at Le Meurice.

We would have stayed for hours and eaten (and enjoyed) a whole lot.

We would never made it down the highway to the Loire Valley -- as we had planned to do.

A PEEK AT LE MEURICE LAST MONTH



Interestingly, after lunch at le Dali, which was buzzing with local action, I peeked into Le Meurice.

I have very good memories of meals here, by the way. Once, Yannick Alleno even made the effort to create something very special.

When I peeked into Le Meurice last month, however, it was full of tourists enjoying their Michelin-starred multi-course meals.

What a contrast to le Dali, full of the famous and powerful of Paris.

That's a famous Parisian TV presenter seated next to us


TOUGH CHOICE. DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT.

But nevertheless, both are special experiences, and Le Meurice is definitely a meal to have at least once in your life -- if not a couple of times.

But back to Alain Ducasse and his new home at Le Meurice.

It will be interesting to see what he will do at Le Meurice, especially as he will be in charge of two very different restaurants. However, I'm sure he will bring to this landmark his innovative vision, ethos and distinctive take on contemporary French haute cuisine.



Ducasse has over 25 years of experience and has designed the menus of many prestigious establishments worldwide, from Monaco to New York, Tokyo and Doha.

Christopher Cowdray, chief executive officer of Dorchester Collection, commented:

"Dorchester Collection seeks to align itself with the very finest and most prestigious global partners. Given the long-standing success of Alain Ducasse at two of our hotels, selecting him to oversee the culinary operations of Le Meurice was a natural choice to ensure its gastronomic reputation not only in Paris but the world."




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