One of France’s iconic chefs defines his concept of “naturalness” in an opulent dining room
Clean cuisine: As one of the legendary leaders in classic French haute cuisine, in 2014 Alain Ducasse overhauled his landmark fine dining destination in the luxe Parisian hotel, Plaza Athénée. 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 futuristic and luxurious dining rooms, guests enjoy elegant vegetable- and sea-focused tasting menus under a giant glittering chandelier cascading with Swarovski crystals. Pod-like curved benches are sheathed in glossy steel, deriving their inspiration from cloches 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: All fruit and vegetables used at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée come from the Château de Versailles, with which the restaurant has an exclusive partnership. After picking the freshest produce in the morning, the castle’s gardeners may also join the cooks in the kitchen to further strengthen the relationship between the two trades, something that stands at the heart of Ducasse's cooking philosphy.
Where is it? Situated in Paris’s 8th arrondissement, Hotel Plaza Athénée is one of the city’s most glamourous overnight options. Ducasse oversees all five dining and drinking options, from his namesake to the more relaxed La Cour Jardin.
Sweet finish: Jessica Préalpato, the Head Pastry Chef at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, is this year's winner of The World's Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Sosa.