Ernest Hemingway once said, “There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris. Ink travels around the French capital and features the twelve Enderun students working for Alain Ducasse.
There is no escaping the clichés when it comes to summing up Paris. This place has a special allure that no other city in the world has — what experiences could be more breathtaking than sitting in the gardens of Champ de Mars with a glass of champagne and enjoying the stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. Truly, this metropolis seems to have no problem living up to its postcard images.
Paris is a great city of cuisine. Although not the gastronomic capital of France, this city maybe the showcase par excellence of the French culinary landscape. Most streets are lined up with simple cafes bistros and many grand boulevards with starred restaurants serving gourmet food. “Paris is definitely a gastronomy city and gastronomy belongs to everyone,” says Alain Ducasse, the founder of Alain Ducasse Formation, our school’s partner institution for culinary education.
Tucked in the city of lights are several restaurants and schools of Alain Ducasse. These form part of the Alain Ducasse Enterprise. Recently, the company, employing over a thousand people spread in eight countries, opened internship positions for its establishments in the French capital. This now gives Enderun students a rare opportunity to undertake rigorous training not only in its flagship school in Argenteuil, but also in the most celebrated restaurants in Paris.
The Restaurants and The Stagiaires
In the heart of the city’s most fashionable street, Avenue Montaigne is home to Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. The haute couture restaurant serving haute cuisine boasts three stars, the highest rating in gastronomy’s definitive judge, the Michelin Guide. Senior student Matthew Lim is working with the team led by young and talented chef Christophe Santaigne. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, the restaurant pays homage to plain and pure cuisine, which turns simple into good, with no unnecessary ingredients. The signature dish, langoustines with caviar, remains a dish to die for but guests should stay alive for the rhum baba.
Situated at the courtyard of Hôtel Plaza Athénée is La Cour Jardin, where Nico Millanes is training under executive chef Sylvain Fouilleul. This address, privy only to the well-versed Parisians, is home to one of the most beautiful terraces in the city. Decked with elegant red parasols and surrounded with centenary olive trees, the cuisine here is summery and light featuring the regions of southern France.
Students Joseph Michael Perpinan and Avee Benasa are working under a team of celebrated chef instructors at Le Centre de Formation d’Alain Ducasse Formation. The school, only open to professionals, is the first establishment of the enterprise to open internship positions for Enderun students. The center was primarily developed to train chefs in various restaurants of Alain Ducasse. Luminaries like chefs Christophe Larrat andJérôme Lacressonnière, who often visits the partner school in the Philippines, are some of the formateurs.
Located in Rue Ranelagh is École de Cuisine d’Alain Ducasse, a school dedicated to all lovers of good food.Kevin Iranzo and Agnes Ramos help chefs Romain Corbière and Franck Geuffroy host workshops to all amateur cooks.
Just close to l’hôtel de Ville is Benoît Paris, the restaurant famed for its family spirit serving authentic bistro food. Opened in 1912, Benoît emphasizes local products and the specialties of the French tradition. Sinag Adviento, together with the team of Chef Wilfrid Hocquet, is preparing the most typical of French cuisine. The menu includes the well-known Veal Tongue Lucullus.
Alphard Somosot and Rey Moraga are having their stage in Rech, the famed Paris seafood bistro along Avenue des Ternes. The Art Deco restaurant, founded in 1925, cooks from the sea with the Mediterranean influence. Under the guidance of Jacques Maximin, one of Gault Millau’s “icons de la cuisine Française,” Rech offers sustainable cuisine like Pan-sautéed line-fishing sole. Chef Julien Dumas, with his unparalleled creativity, interprets a weekly changing menu all delivered with Parisian chic and flair.
Students Vincent Flores and Kim Ochoa certainly know what it’s like going up the famous Parisian symbol everyday. The 58 Tour Eiffel is the stylish two-floor brasserie in the first floor of the tower. At lunch, this fashionable restaurant turns the atmosphere into a casual picnic setting where food is served uniquely in a basket. At night, lights dim as guests enjoy both the exquisite cuisine and the stunning views.
Dining 125 meters above the ground? Yes, and Alain Ducasse himself wishes that this jewel restaurant be “the most beautiful place in Paris to enjoy the pleasure of a contemporary and accessible French kitchen.” At the second floor of the iconic Eiffel Tower is Le Jules Verne where Cj Jalandoni is being trained by a brigade of kitchen staff led by chef Pascal Feraud. Listed as one of the signature restaurants, the menu features a modern French cuisine and the wine list is an invitation to some of France’s finest wine regions.
The restaurants and the schools of Alain Ducasse truly capture Paris as a culinary destination. The internship openings let students experience the joy of living in this great city — true to what Ernest Hemingway said, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast!”