Alain Ducasse and the Empire Business

Despite a few setbacks, Alain Ducasse, one of France’s legendary chefs, remains in the game. At the moment he is working on a cookbook for kids. In fact, I imagine Cooking for Kids will be along the lines of Nancy Tringali Piho’s My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus. Which is all well and good. But tell that to my six-year-old who doesn’t even eat Mac ‘n’ Cheese (I suspect it’s a texture thing).

Of course Ducasse has a lot more going on than a children’s cookbook, including a new restaurant set to open in Beijing. He now has more than 1,800 employees working for him worldwide. As for those setbacks, as noted in a Wall Street Journal profile:

New York has been a particularly difficult market for him. Several attempts to open restaurants in the city have failed, including most recently Adour Alain Ducasse at the St. Regis Hotel, which shut down in 2012 after five years. Mr. Ducasse attributes the closure to limitations imposed by the city’s unions.

His Adour at the St. Regis in Washington, D.C., also closed down last year. (Adour is the name of a river in southwest France.) But the mention of unions got me thinking of Michel Richard’s tumultuous debut in New York and past problems faced by the King of New York himself, Daniel Boulud. I’d love to know exactly what Mr. Ducasse was really thinking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *