We Chat With Star Chef Alain Ducasse in Qatar

In Doha for the first birthday of IDAM, one of the world’s most decorated chefs talks about what inspires him
ByDawn GibsonSaturday , 22 February 2014
We Chat With Star Chef Alain Ducasse in Qatar
© Getty Images

While he doesn’t make headlines for swearing around the kitchen like Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most celebrated chefs. Considered the first French chef to go global, he heads restaurants in Monaco, Paris and London, which have each been awarded three Michelin stars, the highest rating. He has also opened a string of restaurants from Tokyo to Las Vegas. Ahlan! spoke to him about IDAM, his first Middle East venture, located in Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art.

Congratulations on IDAM’s first anniversary. Is the restaurant meeting your expectations?
Yes. The expectations were quite high and the idea was challenging – to create a new cuisine which we call French-Mediterranean haute cuisine with an Arabic twist. Everything is linked to the local culture. 

Do you think the lack of an alcohol license at IDAM will be a problem in the future?
No, the whole concept has been thought out. We worked really hard to develop the beverage menu, so we have something unique, a powerful blend between the [mock]tails and the food.[The Museum of Islamic Art] is a place that’s unique in the world and we’re very honoured it has been opened for a restaurant.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Travelling. I’m very curious to discover all that surrounds the culinary arts, so I’m very curious to discover new places and get inspired.   

What do you think about the celebrity status of TV chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay?
It’s good because it creates interest in the culinary arts. 

OFF THE MENU: WHAT TO EXPECT AT IDAM
MEZZE: Blue crab, ginger, lemongrass samosa
MAINS: Tender camel, duck foie gras with black truffle and souffléed potatoes
DESSERT: Roasted pear with sesame ice-cream  

INFO: Experience menu, seven courses for QR725, 7pm-10.30pm Wed-Sun, Museum of Islamic Art, 4422 4488, idam@qma.org.qa, booking required

Restaurant Picture: Pierre Monetta