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Alain Ducasse's secret recipe for success
Alain Ducasse's secret recipe for success
Dorane Vignando

SAINT-TROPEZ – Star, entrepreneur, chef, and the most decorated cook in the world, Alain Ducasse always has a place to be. He’s perpetually traveling around the world from one of his restaurants to another: from Paris to Tokyo, from Abu Dhabi to Las Vegas, he’s always curious to see where the flavors will take him.

We met him last week in Saint-Tropez for the opening of his brand-spanking new restaurant Rivea (replacing Spoon, which had previously occupied the space) inside the glamorous and iconic hotel, Le Byblos.

With décor by Italian duo Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel and a new menu, inspirations have been drawn from both land and sea. The myriad of antipasti includes Italian salumi products, reef octopus, candied sardines, small pizzas know as pizzette, and prosciutto from Massimo "The Culatello King" Spigaroli himself -- now, how about that?!

Thirty thriving restaurants later and Ducasse reveals to us five of his secrets to success:

Hospitality
“Hospitality is an art. You can only reach perfection if you shape the premises in your own image. Nothing comes close to those country inns that are also people’s homes. You will never forget your stay.”

Nature
“It’s an infinite source of inspiration for a cook. The only source, really. I’m forever bedazzled by it. Everything pleases me, from the color of an eggplant to the shimmering scales of a red mullet.”

Bare essentials
“Take away what isn’t necessary. Too many ingredients will confuse the flavors. Too many items on the table, too much ceremony… Keep it to the basics: true taste, true texture, true color.”

Rightness
“The right technique. The right cooking time. The right seasoning. Being right comes gradually, from great discipline and lots of practice. Maybe that’s what the artists are all after. For a cook, at any rate, it’s a constant obsession.”

Sharing
Sharing is enriching. Don't keep anything just for yourself. The time for secret recipes and personal tricks has been over for a long time. I share everything I know and I expect everyone in my team to do the same.”

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Society

Single Parents In Portugal Turn "It Takes A Village" Into A Practical Reality

The death of a young child left alone at home while his single mother was out shocked a community. Now, single parents have banded together to offer support to each other. And they're succeeding in the face of overwhelming challenges.

Single Parents In Portugal Turn "It Takes A Village" Into A Practical Reality

Women from the association Jangada D'Emoções, which started Colo100Horas

Maíra Streit

SINTRA — The large and curious eyes of Gurnaaz Kaur reveal her desire to understand the world.

This four-year-old Indian girl doesn’t speak Portuguese yet. A few months have passed since she left her country on the family adventure across the European continent. She uses a few gestures to try to express herself and greets people with a “bom dia” (good morning), one of the few expressions he has learned.

Nahary Conniott, 8, is also looking for ways to interact. From Angola and on the autism spectrum disorder, she has already experienced difficult situations and was asked to leave the private school she attended. In the other schools in which the mother enrolled her, the refusal was always justified by the lack of vacancies.

Children with such different paths found the support they deserved in the Colo100Horas project. Started in 2021, it is a self-organized network of women who came together to help immigrants with their immense daily challenges in Sintra, in western Portugal.

The long list of problems meant they banded together to look for a solution: the strenuous routine of caring for children (still imposed in most homes as the responsibility of women), low salaries, the overcrowding of daycare centers, excessive work and the difficulty with shift schedules, which is common in jobs in the catering and cleaning industries.

A tragic case that occurred recently in the neighborhood that drew attention to the need for greater support for families: a six-year-old boy died after falling from the ninth floor of the building where he lived. He was at home with only his two little brothers, while his mother had left to go to the market, a few meters away.

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