Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
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|Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester|
|Head chef||Jean-Philippe Blondet|
|Food type||Contemporary French|
|Rating||(Michelin Guide 2010)|
|Street address||The Dorchester|
|Other information||Nearest stations:|
Green Park; Hyde Park Corner
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is a restaurant located in The Dorchester, a hotel on Park Lane, London. It is one of over 25 restaurants operated by French-born Monégasque chef Alain Ducasse (Ducasse Paris): the Executive Chef is Jean-Philippe Blondet, who replaced Jocelyn Herland in January 2016. Since 2010, it has been one of five UK-sited restaurants to hold three Michelin stars. It opened in November 2007.
At the time of opening, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester was one of over 25 restaurants around the world operated by Ducasse Paris. Alain Ducasse intended the restaurant to have "the modernity of Beige in Tokyo, the seriousness of Le Plaza Athénée in Paris and the flavours of Le Louis XV in Monaco meeting the energy of London."
The Executive Chef was originally intended to be Nicola Canuti, but Canuti was replaced before opening by Jocelyn Herland, who moved from Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée in Paris. Designed by Patrick Jouin and his partner Sanjit Manku, who have already worked with Alain Ducasse in Paris, New York and Las Vegas, the restaurant draws inspiration from British traditions, Hyde Park and even the cuisine of Alain Ducasse himself. Jouin Manku have succeeded in merging tradition with modernity. The tables feature ceramic vegetables as centrepieces, handmade butter dishes in pink marble, and Porthault linen tablecloths.
The restaurant features a special table for up to seven diners called "Table Lumière", which is surrounded by a luminescent curtain of 4,500 fibre-optic lights which allows diners at the table to feel the atmosphere of the restaurant whilst being screened from view. Diners who book this table are allowed to select from a choice of Hermès tableware and signature menus, described by the restaurant as being a bespoke dining experience.
Masterclasses have also been conducted at the restaurant, with previous Restaurant Director Nicolas Defremont conducting a two-hour class for the public on the "Art of Fine Dining". They cover the methods used to prepare the restaurant for diners, in order for students to learn how to apply them at home for dinner parties.
The restaurant serves contemporary French cuisine using seasonal French and British ingredients. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester’s unique style of contemporary French cuisine is exemplified in its signature dishes which include; “Sauté gourmand” of lobster, truffled chicken quenelles and homemade pasta; Dorset crab, celeriac and caviar; Halibut, oyster and seaweed and Dry aged beef, artichoke and bone marrow; and the Baba like in Monte Carlo.
As of 2012, the restaurant offers a selection of menus, of various courses and pricing options:
A La Carte – 3 courses £100; 4 courses £120
Lunch Hour Menu – 3 courses, 2 glasses of wine, half a bottle of water, tea or coffee: £65
Tasting Menu – 7 courses: £140
Menu Jardin (Vegetarian) – 7 courses: £115
Seasonal Menu – 7 courses: £180
Mark Palmer visited the restaurant shortly after opening for The Daily Telegraph. The food critic went into the restaurant with high expectations, describing Alain Ducasse opening a London-based restaurant as the moment when "God comes to town". Particular stand out dishes included halibut with a lemon caper sauce which was described as "sensational", and a "masterpiece" of a chocolate praline and orange dessert. An overall rating of eight out of 10 was given.
Terry Durack of The Independent wrote that some of the dishes on offer at opening were unbalanced but admired the craftsmanship of the dishes. He said that it wasn't the best Ducasse restaurant he had been to, but gave it 16 out of 20, indicating that it was "capable of greatness". Food critic Jay Rayner reviewed Ducasse at the Dorchester for The Guardian, wrote that it was disappointing overall given Ducasse's history, having eaten at the Ducasse restaurant in Paris. He wrote that the ingredients were perfectly cooked, but they didn't make up for the combinations involved in the dishes. He described Ducasse as "capable of brilliance" but that the restaurant was currently a "grasping, mediocre experience".
Matthew Norman reviewed the restaurant for The Guardian after it received its third Michelin star. While he praised the attentive staff, and the quality of the food, he directly compared it to several two-star restaurants he had previously reviewed and had trouble identifying the difference between the general quality of two star and three-star restaurants. He suggested that he may be due to the impact of Alain Ducasse himself. Food critics from Time Out reviewed the restaurant's express lunch menu in 2011, giving it four out of five stars and describing one dish, a rhubarb, strawberry and vanilla millefeuille, as having "sang out [the] meal on a high note".
In 2009, the restaurant appeared in the Michelin guide for the first time, appearing directly with two stars, and was named a Michelin rising star. The following year, this was increased to three Michelin stars; the restaurant becoming only the fourth UK-based three-Michelin star restaurant following The Waterside Inn, The Fat Duck and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. As of 2017 it is one of five UK-based three-Michelin starred restaurants with nine-seat Araki Sushi Restaurant joining in the 2018 Michelin Guide published in October 2017. 
- "Alain Ducasse". The Handbook. 8 February 2013.
- Palmer, Mark (23 November 2007). "Restaurant review: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Durack, Terry (2 December 2007). "Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester: Alain Ducasse has brought his Michelin-starred genius to town; if only he'd left his presumptuous menu behind". The Independent. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester". Tatler. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Table Lumière" (PDF). The Dorchester. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- O' Ceallaigh, John (25 May 2012). "Entertaining at home: The Art of Fine Dining masterclass at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester". Time Out. 18 October 2011. Archived from the original on 22 April 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Rayner, Jay (30 December 2007). "Catch a falling star". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Norman, Matthew (6 February 2010). "Restaurant: Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Kuhn, Kerstin (18 January 2010). "New Michelin-starred restaurants praised by guide editor". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Three Michelin Stars For The Araki As Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2018 Unveiled". Three Michelin Stars For The Araki As Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2018 Unveiled. Retrieved 3 October 2017.