February 28, 2024

AlUla announces collaboration with world-renowned Chef Alain Ducasse for distinctive gastronomic pop-up venture

[Chef Alain Ducasse in the AlUla oasis]
[Chef Alain Ducasse in the AlUla oasis]

AlUla, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, [date]: AlUla, the ancient oasis city in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, is pleased to announce Ducasse in AlUla, an exciting collaboration with world-renowned multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse.

This partnership marks the highly anticipated launch of the pop-up dining experience, set to open on Saturday, 20th January for a limited period, located adjacent to the ancient heritage site of Jabal Ikmah. The new venture seamlessly blends sustainability with the flavours of Saudi Arabia, France, as well as the whole Middle Eastern region for a unique and memorable experience. Ducasse has entrusted one of his young protégés, Afonso Salvação Barreto, as the executive chef of the restaurant.

Chef Afonso Salvação Barreto

[Executive Chef Afonso Salvação Barreto and Chef Alain Ducasse in AlUla]

Nestled against the picturesque backdrop of AlUla’s iconic oasis palm trees, the upcoming restaurant will deliver a combination of local ingredients sourced from nearby farms and traditional flavours, with an exquisite French touch, redefining the luxury dining landscape of the city.

Phillip Jones, Chief Tourism Officer for the Royal Commission for AlUla said, “Representing a significant leap forward in AlUla’s evolution as a premier culinary destination, Ducasse in AlUla is meticulously designed to captivate both residents and visitors alike. We have crafted the restaurant to not only introduce an unparalleled, refined dining experience to the city but also honour and incorporate AlUla’s precious natural resources that have long nourished ancient civilisations and modern residents.”

Ducasse started his career in 1972 as a 16-year-old in France, before working for restaurants including Michel Guérard, Gaston Lenôtre, Alain Chapel and legendary chef Roger Vergé’s Moulin de Mougins. Ducasse restaurants currently hold 20 Michelin stars worldwide.

Renowned for his exceptional prowess in the global culinary realm, the French culinary icon is creating a meticulous menu for Ducasse in AlUla that highlights the vibrant palette of flavours unique to AlUla. Each dish promises to be a celebration of the region’s cultural heritage, with an emphasis on integrating local ingredients and cooking methods into the finest French culinary traditions and savoir-faire.

Chef Alain Ducasse said: “When I visited AlUla with my chef Afonso, we were curious to discover and impressed to taste produce from the local farms. You have these natural oases growing everything from the dates and citrus the area is famous for, to green vegetables of all sorts. The region is in the middle of an ambitious project to diversify the economy and create opportunities for the local community. The agricultural training scheme is offering help to local farmers to supply the ingredients of the quality and scale required for the increasing hospitality offer.”

In alignment with AlUla’s commitment to sustainable development and preservation of its natural beauty, Ducasse in AlUla has been thoughtfully designed by French designer Aliénor Béchu and Donald Bovy from Volume ABC to seamlessly harmonise with the surrounding environment. The restaurant’s architectural integration with the natural landscape reflects a deep respect for the region’s allure and natural heritage, providing diners with an unparalleled dining experience that bridges history and innovation.

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