You’ve probably dined at Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park or Alain Ducasse’s Le Meurice. Maybe you’ve eaten at both restaurants. But you probably haven’t had both chefs cook for you at once. Well, now you can.
Daniel Humm and Alain Ducasse, two of the world’s most celebrated chefs, are teaming up for a limited dinner series in Paris and New York. The duo will cook an eight-course, plant-based meal at Le Meurice from January 30 to February 2 and at EMP from February 20 to 23. It’s the first time the pair have collaborated on such an experience, one that they’re both extremely excited about.
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“I almost can’t believe it,” Humm told Robb Report. “You have to pinch yourself. Sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I’m cooking with this legend’—and not only cooking with him, but we’re cooking what my philosophy is.”
That philosophy is well documented: Humm notoriously turned Eleven Madison Park into a fully plant-based restaurant once it reopened after shutting down early in the pandemic. He did so to mixed results, retaining his three Michelin stars at the New York City establishment but coming up against some harsh reviews from critics in the industry. Ducasse, though, was a fan, he told Robb Report in French via an interpreter.
When Eleven Madison Park debuted its plant-based menu, Ducasse dined at the restaurant to see what Humm was exploring. The French chef has long been a champion of vegetables, although he hasn’t completely eliminated animal products from his dishes.
“It was very daring, what he was doing,” Ducasse said about Humm. “That was very courageous to do.”
The menu at the duo’s dinner will be focused on vegetables, of course, showcasing what’s in season at the moment. While that’s what Humm does every day, the plant-based nature of the collaboration is new for Ducasse and presents its own set of difficulties. For example, the chef said that vegetables are more demanding than animal protein, requiring more work than you may apply to a main course of fish or meat.
“That’s his DNA. That’s what he’s doing every day,” Ducasse said. “And for us, not necessarily, so it was a little bit more challenging for us than it probably was for Daniel.”
As they say, though, sometimes the hardest things are the ones most worth doing. And what a treat that we get to taste the results of this one.
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