Alain Ducasse brings Rivea to London

Alain Ducasse, whose career spans 30 years, will open RIVEA at the Blugari Hotel in London in May

Legendary French chef Alain Ducasse is set to launch Rivea – an informal Mediterranean restaurant situated within the five-star Bulgari Hotel in West London - in May.

The concept will be based on Ducasse’s existing restaurant of the same name in St Tropez, serving up a mixture of French and Italian dishes from the site currently occupied by Il Restorante in the basement of the luxury Knightsbridge property.

Ducasse, who has 25 restaurants spread across eight countries - including his eponymous restaurant at The Dorchester in London – is championing his talented protégé Damien Leroux, who will head up the Rivea London restaurant when it opens in two months' time.

“I am delighted to bring Rivea to such a vibrant culinary scene as London,” said Ducasse. “The restaurant will encompass the essence of my cuisine, interpreted by my passionate young chef Damien and inspired by the many artisan producers we have met in the Riviera.

“Damien’s passion for vegetables will shine through in the dishes, where he will focus on the diversity of their flavours and textures.”

Informal setting

Leroux, who has spent more than 10 years under the tutelage of Ducasse in Provence and Monaco, will deliver a menu of small plates, incorporating the classic flavours and vivid colours of the French Riviera.

The setting at Rivea London will be ‘chic, convivial and relaxed’, with the current Il Restorante dining room at Bulgari Hotel & Residences - which itself has been headed up by Ducasse-trained chef Robbie Pepin - closing for a full refurbishment later this month. 

The Bulgari Hotel in London, which opened in 2012, is the third hotel for Marriott's designer brand, following the opening of the Bulgari Hotel in Milan in 2004 and of the Bulgari Resort in Bali in 2006. The hotel’s general manager Sylvain Ercoli said: “I have known and admired Alain for many years and believe his new informal restaurant Rivea is ideal for London.

"Our Hotel is very proud to have the first urban Rivea and we look forward to welcoming our guests, fellow Londoners and global travellers."

Lifetime Achievement

Ducasse earned three Michelin stars at the age of 33 for Le Louis XV restaurant at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and the chef has seen his restaurants score 14 positions on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list since it was introduced in 2002. Last year, Ducasse was awarded the World's 50 Best Restaurants' Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of 30 years of global success.

His restaurant group, Alain Ducasse Enterprise, is made up of 25 restaurants, three inns, an independent hotel association, a culinary publishing house and a culinary training centre for chefs. Ducasse has a 'glocal' approach - a global vision of what's going on globally but operating locally - to restaurants.

"In each of my restaurants the chef is the conduit between nature and culture," he said. "The question of the wise use of the planet's resources is essential to me."

Read an exclusive Pearls of Wisdom Interview with Alain Ducasse here.

Rivea London will open at the Bulgari Hotel & Residences in Knightsbridge this May.

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