• The World's 50 Best Restaurants

Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée

Paris, France


Ducasse's daring switch to 'natural' fine dining pays off

In a nutshell: Even living legends can move with the times, as shown by Alain Ducasse's decision to completely reinvent his Paris restaurant in 2014. The new approach focuses on healthy, environmentally friendly food with a menu that celebrates fish, vegetables and cereals.

Typical dishes: Sustainable, wild and mostly organic ingredients are at the hallmarks of the menu. Start with a pile of brightly coloured and perfectly cooked vegetables from the Château de Versailles gardens, with which the restaurant has an exclusive agreement, before mains such as scallops and black truffle with cauliflower and Comté in a pastry shell.

A few words on the space: The lavish restaurant interior takes in features such as polished stainless steel ‘shells’ and a stunning chandelier garnished with Swarovski crystal. Look out also for the display of cooking implements including silver from the Christofle Museum, crystal-ware from Saint-Louis and brass from Ducasse’s personal collection.

The wine: The epic list is divided not just by origin but also by maturity, with sections dedicated to wines at different ages, such as Château Haut-Brion vintages from 10 to 55-years-old.

Did you know? Although fundamentally French, the restaurant also draws on shojin cuisine – a spiritual Japanese approach to cooking vegetables that originated in China.

On the pass

  • Romain Meder

Pastry chef

  • Jessica Prealpato

Style of food

  • Haute French take on fish, vegetables and cereal

Standout dish

  • Green puy lentils and caviar with delicate jelly