Last weekend saw 240 chefs with 300 Michelin stars between them, hailing from 25 countries and representing all 5 continents, gather together in Monaco for a unique event – The 25th anniversary of Alain Ducasse’s restaurant Le Louis XV.
To celebrate his quarter century at the three-star restaurant, the “godfather” of French cuisine, organised a three-day chefs’ summit in the principality where some of the greatest talents on the international culinary scene could share and exchange knowledge and make new discoveries.
To make the event even more exceptional – on Saturday the 17th- the Salle des Étoiles du Sporting de Monte-Carlo hosted an ephemeral Mediterranean market highlighting the finest produce from the region with 10 internationally renowned chefs reinterpreting a dish of their choice in a live cooking and tasting event.
The three-day celebrations culminated in a gala dinner on the Saturday.
Massimo Bottura was amongst the 240 chefs who participated in the event and this is how he described it:
“The 25th anniversary weekend of Louis XV was one of the greatest gatherings of international chefs in the history of gastronomy. No one was invited by chance. Each of us had a personal reason for being there. 18 years ago I arrived at Louis XV with a trunk full of dreams and my wooden pasta board and rolling pin in hand. What happened over the next months were the most important lessons of my life.
I had daily contact with Monsieur Ducasse’s producers, artisans and experienced chefs. Through their eyes I learned the difference between fresh, fresher and the freshest. Every good recipe begins with the products a chef selects.
I lived the commitment to excellence until I made it my own.
Upon leaving Monsieur Ducasse’s kitchen, he took a look at the notebook I had carefully filled with notes, recipes and ideas. He tore it in two and said to me: -You don’t need this. It is time to stand on your own two feet.
I returned to Modena empty-handed, neither rolling pin nor notebook in hand, and better off for it.”
Last week Alain Ducasse described Massimo’s cuisine as: “A relentless quest for the ultimate in refinement undertaken with caustic wit and sheer unadulterated talent ”
Pictures courtesy of Christian de Brosses/Le BeauKal.fr