Top chefs from across the globe rustled up a mouth-watering lesson in Mediterranean cuisine, at a pow-wow for 240 food stars hosted in Monaco by France’s culinary “godfather” Alain Ducasse.
Ducasse was feting a quarter century at his first three-star eatery, the Louis XV in Monaco, by holding a three-day chefs’ summit in the principality, with a local producers’ market on Saturday a highlight of the event.
Boasting a combined 300 Michelin stars among them, the chefs from 28 countries headed down to the market, specially convened in the waterside Sporting Monte Carlo complex — where 14 of them set to work for lunch.
The two-star Californian Daniel Patterson grated generous slivers of Italian white truffle onto an oyster-flavoured einkorn risotto, as fellow chefs eagerly snapped pictures and jotted down notes.
David Chang — the Korean-American chef named one of the world’s 100 most influential figures by Time Magazine in 2010 — drew crowds for his miso soup of fermented green French lentils, with black truffle.
“I’m just trying to cook food, trying to make people happy, we’re not rocket scientists,” he joked.
While he ranks among the hottest chefs of his generation, the 35-year-old said he found it “humbling” to be invited to the Monaco event.
“It’s a hangout, it’s an invitation from the chef Ducasse, it’s like the pope asking you to come visit or the president, you have no choice,” Chang said.
“I have to pinch myself to realise this is happening because a lot of theses guys are my heroes.”
Lebanon’s Maroun Chedid conjured up a risotto of olive oil-poached seabass — putting a new twist on a classic Lebanese dish called Sayadieh.
“We don’t cook lamb in Japan, so I wanted to try it with a sake-soy sauce and cane sugar. It’s crunchy on the skin side, but juicy inside,” explained Hiroyuki Kanda, who holds three stars in Tokyo.
And Scotland’s one-star chef Tom Kitchin — whose speciality in Edinburgh is rolled pig’s head with crispy ear salad — wrestled a Mediterranean octopus into a carpaccio with fennel compote and tomato confit.