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Alain Ducasse wins the 8th "Prix Champagne Collet du Livre de Chef"

Feb 19, 2021 • 2 mins
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Team Grappers

On 25 January, the 3-starred chef Alain Ducasse won the 8th edition of the "Champagne Collet du Livre de Chef" Prize (prize for the best book by a chef) for his book "Le Grand Livre de la Naturalité" (Ducasse Edition). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the judging took place behind closed doors and via video-conference.

Behind the scenes of the contest

This year, 9 chefs competed for this prize which promotes high-end gastronomy. The Champagne Collet Prize celebrates all the facets of a chef's book: its editorial content as well as the quality of the illustrations, the originality of the themes covered, the excellence of the design and the quality of the production.

Usually, the judging takes place at a dinner comprised of food and wine pairings, during which the chefs present their work. This year, the jury had to innovate and deliberate behind closed doors via video-conference. It was therefore in these somewhat unusual circumstances that Chef Alain Ducasse, accompanied by chefs Romain Meder and Jessica Préalpato, was awarded the Champagne Collet du Livre de Chef prize on 25 January.

Jessica, Romain and I are delighted to win this award in this very unusual year. Natural cuisine has taken on a political significance thanks to its ability to demonstrate how the most common and accessible ingredients can lead to the most essential tastes. Concerned about the planet's resources and over-consumption, I was driven by a desire that has always influenced my cuisine: to get back to basics and reconnect with the original taste of the products. All initiatives such as the Champagne Collet du Livre Prize are important for our profession. Thank you to the team.”
Alain Ducasse
Winner of the 8th Champagne Collet du Livre de Chef Prize

Alain Ducasse, the top chef who champions natural cuisine

Alain Ducasse takes pride in working with natural and seasonal products, nature being for him an endless source of inspiration. This is why he presented a cuisine inspired by the trilogy of fish, vegetables and cereals at the Plaza Athénée. Healthier, more natural and eco-friendlier, it is a free and almost instinctive interpretation of haute cuisine, bringing out the original flavours of the products, from the noblest to the humblest, and all of them exceptional.

The Grand Livre de la Naturalité

In 2014, Alain Ducasse decided he would adopt “natural cuisine”, a high-quality and visionary framework for the type of cuisine he wanted to see served in his restaurant. Out of respect for the environment and in the spirit of waste prevention, all parts of the quality products he likes to use - from the vegetable peelings to the fish bones and offal - are utilised. For the past 5 years, the Plaza Athénée's menus have all explored the values associated with this natural cuisine.

After more than 3 hours of deliberation in an unprecedented context with discussions taking place via video-conference, we unanimously selected Alain Ducasse's “Le Grand Livre de la Naturalité” as the award winner. The coherence of Alain Ducasse's project with the assistance of Romain Meder and Jessica Préalpato is evident not only because of its technical expertise. This book is the testament to a unique legacy built up by Alain Ducasse, with a true coherence and simplicity that makes this book a reference on the subject. We are proud to award this 8th “Champagne Collet du Livre de Chef” Prize to Alain Ducasse.
Comment of the Jury

For the first time, all the natural cuisine dishes served at the Plaza (over 100 new recipes including 20 desserts) have been compiled in this exceptional work, put together by the chef who has been at the pinnacle of the culinary arts for 30 years.