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beaucher

Ducasse

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To all concerned, interested, and maybe a little nervous. I have just heard from my sources that Montreal might be the next city for a Ducasse restaurant. In fact, it is more than a project I am told. They are looking at 2005.

To anyone who has ever eaten at any of his restaurants (I have, twice. And I still remember it fondly) this could be quite an event.

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It is mentioned in Air Canada's Enroute magazine that Ducasse will be opening a restaurant in Montreal in 2004.

I suppose it is not that suprising since he has about a dozen restuarants around the world.

I doubt that it would be viable to open a true Ducasse restaurant in Montreal where dinner for two would cost $1k. However, I suppose one of his "Spoon" restaurants could succeed.

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Lesley, old news? Maybe because I travelled so much last year, I missed on that one. Usually I am quite quick on those. Anyway, I hope it works out.

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No, you just weren't reading eGullet. :wink:

I also hope it works out, BUT I'm sure the local chefs aren't too pleased with the news. You can only spread the fine dining crowd so far. Someone is bound to suffer, and it might even be Mr. Ducasse.

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The only thing local Chefs might not be too thrilled about is losing their cooks. Everyone and their mother is going to want to work for Ducasse.

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I don't see why.

For experience yes, but they would soon find themselves in that dark looming shadow. Instant nobodies. I know a few excellent chefs who have turned down jobs with Ducasse for precisely that reason.

I think local chef/owners might worry about losing customers to another exciting new restaurant, cause you're only an exciting new restaurant for so long.

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As a restaurant reviewer, I too would love to have a chef of that caliber with a restaurant in this city. I wouldn't count on him doing any cooking or being on hand for a chat.

I just hope he opens something besides a Spoon, something like Mix -- but CHEAPER!!! :biggrin: Then again it would be the only Spoon in North America.

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For whatever its worth, let's not forget The Grocery, a small Brooklyn restaurant, was rated ABOVE Ducasse in Zagat's this year.

Do we really need another expensive resto in Mtl from an absentee starchef who smells a good investment? :hmmm:

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For whatever its worth, let's not forget The Grocery, a small Brooklyn restaurant, was rated ABOVE Ducasse in Zagat's this year.

I'd just as soon forget that if you think it's a real measure of the wuality of their respective food. :rolleyes:

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Lesley C,

I think that you miss the point about working for someone such as a Ducasse. Who cares if you are another body in the brigade, the opportunity to handle ingredients of the quality these restaurants use, to learn how to handle them in the way that these people do. Great cooking is all about great ingredients and technique. That is something that cannot be learned in too many kitchens. It is the opportunity for cooks/chefs to be exposed to this sort of enviroment that pushes the culinary boundaries in our (Canada's) cities. World class experiemce without having to go to Europe for similar experience and none of the abuse that you need to put up with as a foreigner.

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I think you miss my point,chazzy. It's not about Zagat's which has already been discussed to death on other posts.

You're right. So what is your point? For the record I agree that we don't really need something like Spoon, if in fact the food there is nothing too special, but I don't see how a place like ADNY wouldn't add something to the Montreal dining scene.

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Thanks for the lecture Kevin, I guess you don't read my column :hmmm:

Do you really think Ducasse would be sourcing out better ingredients in Montreal than Normand Laprise, David McMillan, Claude Pelletier, and Racha Bassoul? No way. In fact, he gets Quebec foie gras and venison sent to ADNY. AND his chef would be French, someone from the Ducasse enterprise. So when it comes to ingredients, new Spoon chef would be leaning pretty heavily on local chefs to source ingredients. They might acquire a license to import fish, but they sure aren't going to be importing lettuce, apricots, butter, or poulet de Bresse from France.

Also, there is a long tradition Quebec chefs going to France on stage. We have a wonderful little thing going on in this province called the French language. If any Montrealer really wanted to work for Ducasse, he/she certainly could -- and in France. As for abuse, I worked in France twice and was never abused. And I ran into as many excellent as shitty ingredients.

So what are we going to get with this Spoon? A hot and happening new restaurant, run by the King of the World, and some French chef who thinks he's going to be an instant success in Montreal because he's from team Ducasse? I thought we fought pretty hard for Quebec chefs to rise to the forefront of the scene. Ever since the death of Nicolas Jongleux, there really isn't one top French chef in Montreal, save for perhaps Eric Gonzalez at Le Lutétia. That was hardly the case twenty years ago.

I'm not one to buy into this "they are French so they're bound to be better" crap. This team may be efficient, well trained and slick, but they're also going to have to get used to our ingredients, as well as the tastes and the limited budget of our population. Also don't forget the Spoon concept, though shocking to the French, may seem a bit gimmicky to North Americans. We're used to Caesar salad, California wines, and bubblegum ice cream in this neck of the woods.

If Spoon turns out to be a big hit, great! There’s a lot to like about Ducasse, I’ve been a fan for years. I interviewed him a few years ago and walked away seriously impressed. BUT I expect our chefs to meet the challenge. And let’s not forget this is not an original undertaking that will advance our city’s culinary scene. Spoon is a franchise.

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Wow. Lesley C you rock! Where can a Vancouver Island boy read your column.


cook slow, eat slower

J.Chovancek

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They're not necessarily better ingredients - sometimes just the best. And for anyone - anywhere - who wants to work for M. Ducasse - good luck. Abuse in France - absolutely. And no Ducasse chef thinks he's going to be an instant success.

The Spoons worldwide are all different affairs - locally influenced menus - not the same.

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Loufood, I think you missed my point entirely. Also, have you ever been to Montreal? Are you at all familiar with the scene here or our products? Do you realize the struggle this city went through to develop its own culinary identity?

And I would like to know what you call abuse. I have no problem with harsh words, discipline, shitty staff meals, maggots crawling in the garbage can in my room or a chef who calls me a "pétasse," "conasse" or "sous merde." No one ever hit me.

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Lesley, I took your point that it's locals v. the King of the World.

And that's great that you never got hit in the kitchen in France.

And yes, I've been to Montreal - but just as an admiring tourist - and respectfully wouldn't dare present a pretense otherwise.

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Lesley, I think you missed my point, it is the opportunity for the cooks to work in such establishments. What established chef would want to work there? Hopefully none, but for cooks it is a great opportunity. And as for your having worked over "there" did you earn a pay check or do a stage. And did they know you were a writer. Try Europe when you are a cook, different expectation, different treatment. And as for the French cook issue, I would rather have an Englishman and that has nothing to do with me being an Anglophone it is simply my opinion after having spent a few years in England and Ireland earning a living.

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