“The planet has increasingly rare resources so we have to consume more ethically, more fairly,” Ducasse said. In Paris this has meant turning away from meat in favour of organic cereals and vegetables from the gardens of Versaille.
“Nourishing oneself in a healthier and more natural way is an expectation and a necessity that it is now time to implement in haute cuisine,” Ducasse added. “There is an absolute necessity to go towards a better way of eating, in harmony with nature, healthier and more environmentally friendly.”
The French-born chef holds more Michelin stars than any other chef – 21 across his 25 restaurants worldwide, including three for his restaurant at The Dorchester hotel in London.
As well as efforts to cut down on the amount of meat being cooked at Plaza Athénée, Ducasse has taken steps to reduce dependence on dairy, encouraging his chefs to use less butter and removing cream from the menu entirely.
Meat free items, on a menu that will set diners back £300 a head, include an entire cauliflower prepared in a brioche-crust and vegetables served with roasted and mortar-mashed hazelnuts.
“It seems important to me that consumers eat more healthfully,” Ducasse told AFP, adding that he wanted to bring “naturalness to the plate”.
This move towards a greener gastronomy is an approach that he says could eventually be rolled out to his restaurants around the world.
Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée, 25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France:
Image © Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris