Maryann Tebben, author of Savoir-Faire: A History of Food in France, develops the notion of the changing consumer, reflecting on how “they hear about it, they read about it, they pay attention to the ecological footprint they have, and they are smarter than their parents or grandparents were not what food does to the environment. “
When I think of French cuisine, vegetable cuisine is not the first thing that comes to mind. I am thinking of meat, Toulouse sausage, foie gras and veal brains. But, Ducasse points out, the growing emphasis on plant-based dishes did not happen overnight; in recent years, vegetable-based menus have multiplied in the best kitchens in the country. And in Ducasse restaurants, this orientation goes back even further.
In 1987, he introduced the Jardins de Provence vegetal menu in his restaurant Le Louis XV, three Michelin starred in Monaco. Now, “30 to 40% of customers choose this 100% vegetarian menu,” he explains.
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Patrick Rambourg, researcher specializing in French gastronomy and author of History of French cuisine and gastronomy, has also observed the transition to more sustainable cuisine for several years. It agrees that France is in the midst of its next culinary evolution; and in his opinion, it was not catalyzed by the pandemic. Instead, the movement has been slow and deep, he believes, due to the interplay between shifting consumer demands and chefs’ eagerness to take on the challenge of turning vegetables into a star. dish.
“Chefs are aware of a changing consumer who cares about where products come from. There are also people who want to eat high-end cuisine, gourmet food, but who don’t want to eat something unhealthy.” , did he declare. “There is a shift in consciousness around cooking. Kitchens have no choice but to adapt.”
Either way, Ducasse is embracing the shift towards sustainable, plant-based cuisine. In September, Naturaliste will transform into Sapid, a more permanent plant-based restaurant focused on conviviality on rue Paradis in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. It will feature a dining hall with communal tables, promoting the social contact that people lacked over the past year.