My tortured (food) palettes!

The iconic Eiffel tower. Wait til I photoshop my head into the bottom of this pic!

The iconic Eiffel tower. Wait til I photoshop my head into the bottom of this pic!

What is the fascination with the Eiffel Tower, I have always wondered? What trip to Paris is complete without a picture of the Eiffel lurking in the background?

Gastronomically speaking, this would be something not short of spectacular:

Le Jules Verne, situated on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower, is one of two restaurants in the tower. It is run as a Alain Ducasse restaurant and is rated 1 Michellin Star.

Plaza Athenee` Restaurant, Paris

Plaza Athenee` Restaurant, Paris - 3 Michelin Stars

“Under the aegis of globe-trotting überchef Alain Ducasse, this elegant ivory-colored dining room in the Plaza Athénée does an appealing, contemporary take on French haute cuisine. Ducasse spends most of his time on airplanes these days, and has collected more Michelin stars than any chef in history, so it’s young Christophe Moret, formerly of Ducasse’s bistro chain, Spoon, who’s actually in the kitchen. And that’s not a bad thing. Moret is a talented cook, with a style imbued by Ducasse’s love of produce and belief that no dish should contain more than four main ingredients. Begin with house classics such as langoustines topped with caviar, or coconut curry scallops, and then sample the spectacular pigeon fillets in a shallot-mustard sauce. The stunning desserts include a vanilla syrup-poached pear with ice cream and streusel. A recent redecoration has enlivened the room by making a big deconstructed crystal chandelier the visual centerpiece of this cosseted little world. The remarkable cellar has about 35,000 bottles, including rare Cheval Blanc, Latour, and Margaux” (www.concierge.com)

Short Bio: Alain Ducasse (wikipedia source)

Alain Ducasse (b. 13 September 1956 on a farm in Castel-Sarrazin in southwestern France) is a famous Monégasquechef. He formerly held French nationality. In addition to his Louis XV restaurant in Monaco, he also operates an eponymous restaurant at the Plaza Athénée in Paris. Until the closure of his New York restaurant at the Essex House hotel, he held three stars (the top ranking) in the Michelin Guide in three different countries simultaneously. In January 2007 he took the position as chef of the Jules Verne Restaurant located in the Eiffel Tower, Paris.

Ducasse became the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities: Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, the Plaza Athénée in Paris, and Alain Ducasse at Essex House in New York. The New York restaurant was dropped from the 2007 Michelin Guide because the restaurant was scheduled to close.

Plaza Athénée in Paris earned a score of 19/20 points in the Gault Millau guide and ranked 18th in the Guide’s European Restaurant Ranking. Before closing, the New York restaurant attained the Mobil Guide‘s five-star award.

The Alain Ducasse Group of restaurants, inns, cooking schools, cookbooks, and consulting activities had revenues of $15.9 million in 2002 and employs approximately 1400 people (in 2006).[5] Since that time, Ducasse has been expanding his reach. Alain Ducasse has also opened a cooking school for the general public in Paris and another for chefs (ADF), which also works for the European Space Agency to develop astronaut meals to be taken into space.[6] Ducasse has also authored numerous books, with the most famous being Alain Ducasse Culinary Encyclopedia.

In 2005, Ducasse opened his first Asian restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. Other Ducasse restaurants include:

  • 59 Poincaré (Paris, France)
  • Adour (New York, USA)
  • Adour (St. Regis, Washington D.C., USA)
  • Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester (London)
  • Aux Lyonnais (Paris, France)
  • Bar & Boeuf (Monaco)
  • Be (BoulangEpicerie)
  • Beige (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Benoit (Paris, France) – bistro
  • Benoit (Tokyo, Japan) – bistro
  • Benoit (New York, USA) – bistro
  • Esprit – bistro
  • La Cour Jardin (Paris, France)
  • Mix in Las Vegas (Las Vegas, USA)
  • La Terrasse du Parc
  • Le Rech
  • Le Relais du Parc (Paris, France)
  • Le Relais Palza (Paris, France)
  • Tamaris (Beirut, Lebanon)
  • Spoon (Paris, Saint-Tropez, Beirut, Carthago, Gstaadt, Mauritius, Hong-Kong)
  • Trattoria Toscana (Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy)
And the man himself - Mr Alain Ducasse (seated)

And the man himself - Mr Alain Ducasse (seated)

Lets see how the Michelin rated restaurants are rated. In a nutshell:

The 5 criterias used by the Michelin Guide:

  • The quality of the products
  • The mastery of flavor and cooking
  • The “personality” of the cuisine
  • The value for the money
  • The consistency between visits

Michelin stars are awarded to restaurants offering the finest cooking, regardless of cuisine style. Stars represent only what is on the plate. They do not take into consideration interior decoration, service quality or table settings. (http://www.michelinguide.com/us/ratings.html)

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