A touch of Du­casse

As his new Monaco restau­rant be­comes an in­stant clas­sic, Alain Du­casse shares his culi­nary and Grand Prix highlights

CONCIERGE – The F1 Inside Track - - BEYOND THE TRACK | RESTAURANT­S -

With 30 restau­rants around the world – and 20 Miche­lin stars be­tween them – Alain Du­casse is ar­guably one of the world’s great­est chefs.

A mas­ter of re­fined con­tem­po­rary gas­tron­omy, fans say he is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Au­guste Es­coffier, the found­ing fa­ther of mod­ern French cui­sine.

And the lat­est ad­di­tion to his culi­nary odyssey? Ômer, a de­li­cious refuge from the rigours of re­tail ther­apy at Monaco’s new One Monte Carlo com­plex. Oc­cu­py­ing the ground floor and ter­race of the Hô­tel de Paris Monte-carlo’s new Ro­tonde wing, it takes din­ers on a tour of the Mediter­ranean.

And with his world-fa­mous Le Louis XV restau­rant re­cently re­open­ing, there is no sign of the 62-year-old slow­ing down.

We caught up with him to dis­cover the best things to eat and drink dur­ing the Grand Prix – what he loves about the at­mos­phere.

You once said food at Le Louis XV is ‘the taste of the sun’. What is that ex­actly?

It’s the taste of the Riv­iera soil made of veg­eta­bles and fruit per­fectly ripe, of fish caught by small boats. It is the taste of a long and rich culi­nary tra­di­tion. It’s the taste of an art de vivre.

The Hô­tel de Paris Monte-carlo is home to one of the finest wine cel­lars with 400,000 bottles… how do you pick one?

I have a team of ex­pert som­me­liers, among them Noel Ba­jor, chef som­me­lier of Le Louis XV, who knows every­thing about these bottles. When he looks at the menu, he knows how to make the best pos­si­ble pair­ing.

How do you jug­gle so many restau­rants around the world? Are they like chil­dren – can you never have a favourite?

Ab­so­lutely! They all de­serve the same at­ten­tion. And the fact is that they all are dif­fer­ent.

What do you love about the at­mos­phere dur­ing the Grand Prix in Monaco?

Vi­bra­tions! The en­tire city lives, thinks and breathes the Grand Prix. It is a crazy at­mos­phere that is worth ex­pe­ri­enc­ing at least once in a lifetime.

And what dish would you rec­om­mend for one of your favourite drivers to eat?

The spe­cial lunch we are putting on at Le Louis XV for the Grand Prix. They will en­joy chilled cour­gettes with caviar, a del­i­cate melon gelée with blue lob­ster and a seared piece of veal. And then they will fin­ish their lunch with a Brit­tany short­bread with lo­cal rasp­ber­ries.

What do you think Ômer brings to the Monaco din­ing scene that is so spe­cial?

Ômer of­fers a ( vir­tual) cruise in the Mediter­ranean. Din­ers em­bark on a unique culi­nary trip to its Eastern part. This area may be less well known, yet it is so rich and di­verse in tastes. They also find out about the wel­come which is in­trin­sic to these culi­nary tra­di­tions.

Where is your favourite place to dine dur­ing the race?

Ômer and its lav­ish gar­dens fac­ing the cir­cuit is one of the best places to see the race. The view of the Mediter­ranean and the har­bour is gor­geous.

And fi­nally, does Monaco feel like home?

Def­i­nitely. I’m al­ways de­lighted to come back.

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