One of France’s most iconic chefs honours “naturalness” in an opulent dining room
Clean cuisine: As one of the most legendary leaders in classic French haute cuisine, in 2014 Alain Ducasse overhauled his landmark fine dining destination in the luxe Parisian hotel of the same name. His new approach – one that propelled the restaurant back onto The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017 after falling off the list in 2016 – prioritises sustainability, health and wellness-hinged plates focused on vegetables, fish and cereals.
The room: In one of the world’s most plush and luxurious dining rooms, guests enjoy elegant vegetable- and sea-focused tasting menus under a giant glittering chandelier cascading with Swarovski crystals. Pod-esque curved benches are sheathed in glossy steel, deriving their inspiration from domes used to cover plates. A tall oak alcove wraps around a single table, “Table Cabane,” providing extra privacy, bearing an interior relief design pattered to look like a mushroom.
Fun fact: Ducasse added the Shojin Menu specifically for vegetarians. It embraces a style of cookery called shojin – centuries-old vegetarian cuisine consumed by Zen Buddhist monks in Japan; also the predecessor to elegant Japanese kaiseki cuisine.
Where it’s located: Situated in Paris’s 8th arrondissement, the opulent palace of a property that is the Hotel Plaza Athénée is one of the city’s most glamourous lodging options. Ducasse oversees all five dining and drinking options, from his namesake to the more relaxed La Cour Jardin.
Images: Pierre Monetta