Alain Ducasse says his top restaurants are like high-end fashion: their quality cannot be replicated at scale

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

While many chefs dream of having a sprawling restaurant empire of the likes of Joël Robuchon, few have ever come close. Monaco's Alain Ducasse, however, is part of that select few. 

Collectively, the chef's restaurants count 20 Michelin stars in total. Between them, Le Louis XV,  Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée hold nine Michelin stars. His latest restaurant, Morpheus,  in Macau, earned two Michelin stars within six months of opening. 

His thirty-plus restaurants span seven countries including the USA, Japan, Qatar, Lebanon and Mauritius. Yet, the chef, who professes to be highly controlling, likes to have a deep understanding of each of his restaurants. 

In an interview with Agence France-Presse, the chef said he and his team spent three years preparing to launch the Macau restaurant: "I know every object, there was a lot of personal involvement." 

Thoroughly checking the reviews for Benoit, his New York bistro himself, he said, had allowed him to rectify a mistake which he may not have noticed otherwise. 

"It was unbelievable," he said. 

Knowing the efforts required to maintain extremely high-standards has driven new launches a short lurch from his usual fine dining offering, proposing more of a brasserie-style. 

Rejecting the suggestion that he may be trying to bring his food to a wider audience, he said the restaurants bearing his name are where he focuses most of his attention. Like haute-couture, he explained, their quality cannot be mass-produced.

"Each time it requires special creations, it's the same with culinary creations and space." 

"Everything else is pret-a-porter," he said.

Chefs, do you agree or disagree? Is it possible to scale-up quality? Can you name a restaurant which is both prolific and of a very high standard?

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 1st July 2019

Alain Ducasse says his top restaurants are like high-end fashion: their quality cannot be replicated at scale