Francis Fauvel, head chef, Ducasse sur Seine

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st December 2018

Francis Fauvel is the head chef of Alain Ducasse's latest Paris venture Ducasse sur Seine. The 100% electric boat cruises for two hours on the Seine River during service, giving diners a view of the city while they enjoy a bespoke tasting menu.

Francis, 33, has worked for Mr Ducasse for 15 years starting at Louis XV in Monaco where he stayed for 5 years. When he came back to Paris he became head chef at Aux Lyonnais restaurant and then head sous-chef for Joceyln Herland at Le Meurice.

The Staff Canteen spoke to Francis about the challenges of working on a boat, what he has learned from his time working with Alain Ducasse and the food style at Ducasse sur Seine.

Why did you want to become a chef?

My passion comes from my childhood and my parents. I have wished to become a chef since I was a child.

What do you love about being a chef and what keeps you wanting to cook?

I love to offer a unique and gastronomic experience to our guests and see them happy in the end. I also love to share with my team, teach and guide them but also progress with them.

Pièce de veau au sautoir%2C sucs de cuisson©pmonetta 9223 low res
Pièce de veau au sautoir sucs de cuisson ©pmonetta 

How many years have you worked for Alain Ducasse and why do you think you have stayed working for him for so long?

I have been working for Alain Ducasse for 15 years. He is one of the most renowned chefs in the world. He’s transmitting his cuisine and his vision of gastronomy, he’s a real source of inspiration for me.

What attracted you to your current role on Ducasse sur Seine?

I was very enthusiastic because Ducasse sur Seine is an innovative project. Becoming the chef of the first 100% electric and gastronomic boat is an exciting challenge.

Info bar

Top five restaurant meals
Chilled lobster, cauliflower and horseradish

Warm feathered game and duck foie gras pâté

Seared sea bass, baby carrots and lemon

Pan-seared sea scallops, baby leeks, cooking jus

Pan-seared piece of veal, cooking jus

Five most influential chefs in career
Alain Ducasse

Jocelyn Herland

Jean-Louis Nomicos

Franck Cerutti

Pascal Bardet

Top 5 comfort foods
A roasted beef rib

A good risotto

Seasonal vegetables

A white fish like St Pierre

A chocolate cake

What problems have you encountered working on the boat which you don’t normally have to worry about in other kitchens?

We cruise for nearly two hours, so we have to anticipate everything. Once on the river we need to have all the ingredients. Apart from that specificity, everything is similar to a regular restaurant: we have a fully equipped kitchen and dishes are cooked directly on board.

Petit pâté chaud de pintade et foie gras©pmonetta 8423 low res

Petit pâté chaud de pintade

et foie gras ©pmonetta

You’ve worked in several Ducasse kitchens which did you take the most from and why?

I learned a lot from all of my experiences. They were very different: an electric boat, a Parisian “Bouchon”, luxury hotels… They were very complementary and helped me to have a good knowledge of Alain Ducasse cuisine and sense of hospitality.

How would you describe the food style at Ducasse sur Seine and do you have complete control of the menu?

We want to give a contemporary interpretation of French cuisine by caring for lightness, glorifying taste and selecting the best produce locally, at the peak of their season. Concerning the menu, I share many ideas with Alain Ducasse, which is very interesting.

Is there a dish on your menu which shows more of your own cooking style?

The dish which represents me the most I think is the Warm feathered game and duck foie gras pâté because of my family origins: my parents were butchers.

DSS 29 08 18©pmonetta 7870 low res
Ducasse sur Seine ©pmonetta 

What's your favourite local restaurant and why?

I don’t have a favourite restaurant but I particularly appreciate traditional French cuisine. Especially when it’s a simple and generous.

Are there any British ingredients or techniques you would love to learn more about?

I haven’t had the occasion yet to explore British ingredients or techniques but I would love to!

Do you strive to achieve accolades and what do you think is the key to success?

The key of success is to work with passion and do the best everyday for our guests, our aim is to offer a memorable culinary experience.

What are your plans for the future for both Ducasse sur Seine and yourself as a chef?

I want to continue to live my passion and contribute to position Ducasse sur Seine as a reference among the most exceptional restaurants in Paris.

Paris tout chocolat au croustillant de pralin ©pmonetta 8997 low res
Paris tout chocolat au croustillant de pralin ©pmonetta 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st December 2018

Francis Fauvel, head chef, Ducasse sur Seine