The World’s Most Decorated Chef Loves One Particular Indian Food
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Alain Ducasse, the renowned French chef, is among the most decorated culinary ‘artists’ in the world. He has to his name the second-highest number of Michelin stars (21 throughout his life). He has currently shifted his attention to plant-based and sustainable food. Recently, he shared his expectations that India will be a significant contributor to the worldwide culinary sphere.

Alain Ducasse is a prolific ‘artist’ in his chosen field of work, and well-known for his meticulous attention to detail, from the carefully pressed table linens to the hand-selected decor and utensils. Surprisingly, however, he keeps track of social media reviews in order to maintain the excellence of his culinary empire.

At the age of 66, he is seen as the master of French 'grande cuisine'. His restaurants have been awarded a total of 20 Michelin stars, which is more than any other living contemporary of his. Additionally, three of his restaurants have distinguished three-star recognition. Moreover, Ducasse, who has more than 30 restaurants located in 7 distinct countries, perceives technology as a way to refine the dining experience by combining both traditional and modern elements in his menus.

The celebrated French chef said he was at a loss for words when talking about Indian cuisine. He perceives that in India, food is a way of life, and he has been fascinated to experience Indian cuisine many times in his life, most recently on his maiden visit here. He praises Indian food, saying it has the power to bring joy, is vibrant in appearance, and has an amazing aroma that is both alluring and captivating.

Ducasse describes himself as “above all, an esthete, an artisan of living and eating well.” One more than one occasion, the Frenchman has mentioned that he draws inspiration from India's "treatment of vegetables," which he has implemented in one of his highly acclaimed restaurants, Spoon.Drawing ideas from India, the chefs at Spoon have been learning how to cook vegetables to perfection. The chefs from Spoon even compiled a book of recipes, sourced from India and its neighboring countries, as per Ducasse. He has also been a proponent of sustainability and plant-based cuisine since 1987, long before the phrase "farm-to-folk" became popular. He terms his work ‘humanist cuisine’. The 66-year-old believes that environmental awareness should become a key consideration for chefs as well as customers when it comes to restaurants and supermarkets.

Ducasse is a noteworthy backer of more grain, veggies, and less creature protein, has expressed that India, in particular, has a remarkable chance to propagate a veggie-lover diet because of its already existing interest in greens. To demonstrate, the 95% plant-based eatery he opened in Paris a year ago, named Sapid, is a representation of how he likes to lead by example. As his website states, “The chef has always woven strong ties with his suppliers, those women and men who share his values and help him fulfill his mission as a cook: to glorify the authentic tastes of each product.”

Recently, the French innovator opened his inaugural vegan burger shop Burgal in Paris. When customers order a meal, it comes with a side of vegetables and chickpea chips instead of the classic French fries. Although Ducasse is hopeful for a brighter future, he admitted there are more individuals waiting in line at the global fast-food restaurants than at his vegan food stand. He expressed that there are more people eating at McDonald's than 'Burgal' despite his claim that their burger is much tastier.

Lentils: The world-renowned Michelin-starred chef’s favorite Indian dish

With a career that has spanned 50 years, the chef has worked alongside some of the most prominent figures in the food and beverage industry and has instilled his knowledge in a new generation of cooks. When asked what his favorite Indian food was, he candidly said it was hard for him to pick any particular dish since Indian food has so much variety and flavor, just like French cuisine does.

But he added that he can spend a year in India learning to make lentils because they are his very favorite ingredient. He loves all things lentil and can have it any part of the day and night.  

His advice to aspiring chefs and restaurant owners is to draw inspiration from the world around them but not to copy it. He stated that food makes up only 55–60 percent of the entire experience and that the success of a restaurant is determined by a combination of many nuanced details.