Hospitality Industry Needs To Reinvent Its Frontiers And Its Experiences: Elise Masurel, École Ducasse

In an exclusive chat with BW Education, Elise Masurel, Managing Director, École Ducasse, talks about the institution and more.

How has the Hospitality sector been affected by COVID-19? And how is it coping with the same?

This situation surrounding COVID-19 is considered a crisis but also an opportunity for the industry to transform, embrace the digitalization age, and innovate. Indeed, new practices regarding hygienic measures need to be implemented to mitigate the risks, however, the changes go beyond health and safety protocols. The Hospitality industry needs to reinvent its frontiers and its experiences.

Three Michelin stars Chefs, such as Alain Ducasse for instance, have implemented a home-delivered room service covering all of Paris to provide clients with a restaurant like experience at home and big cities such as Paris have decided to open its sidewalks for more restaurant tables in order for more people to enjoy the hospitality industry rebound.

Please elaborate on Sommet Education's recent acquisition with DUCASSE Education?

The decision to join forces was extremely natural, given the strong synergies and shared values on both sides: the passion for hospitality, gastronomy, and education. Indeed, Sommet Education and Ecole Ducasse are driven by a common ambition to achieve excellence by providing outstanding training and skilled professionals for the hospitality and gastronomy sectors. For Ecole Ducasse, it is a tremendous opportunity to be supported at the right level in our international development ambitions.

How this association is going to benefit the students?

As an example, students who register for the Bachelor in Hospitality Management at Glion Institute of Higher Education will have to opportunity to discover the universe of Alain Ducasse in Paris through an exclusive 2 weeks masterclass. They will gain a unique insight into France’s world-renowned gastronomic heritage; learn from influential chefs, food producers and restaurant directors – all of them at the forefront of innovation in culinary arts. Through the masterclass, the students will acquire in-depth knowledge of different types of cuisine, while discovering new trends and innovations in gastronomy, service and beverage. At the same time, they will be taught advanced sensorial analysis and food pairing skills. The course includes also lunches in signature Ducasse restaurants, visits to fresh produce markets and food production facilities.

What are the USP’s of DUCASSE?

Ecole Ducasse is a network of world-renowned schools by celebrity chef Alain Ducasse and reference point for excellence in culinary and pastry arts education. Since its foundation in 1999, Ecole Ducasse has been transferring a high level of expertise in culinary and pastry arts through its network of schools in France and abroad. Academic offers include Bachelor programs, courses for career changers, continuous professional training, as well as private courses for food enthusiasts, delivered across three schools in France and two campuses abroad (in the Philippines and soon in the United Arab Emirates), as well as through partnerships with overseas universities.

The main strengths of our institutions are the excellence in practice with a strong focus on gesture repetition, small classes of 10 to 14  students for a very personalized experience, and the quality of our chef instructors who have all been trained by Alain Ducasse and have worked in his gastronomic restaurants.

At the end of the year, we will be celebrating the inauguration of the Paris Campus. 5,000 sq. m campus in the Parisian suburb of Meudon will welcome between 300 to 400 students. As a state-of-the-art centre for culinary education, the new Paris Campus incorporates six technical kitchens for individual cooking and brigade set-up, a pastry lab, a bakery lab, an innovation lab and two signature restaurants that will be open to the public. The campus also incorporates seven classrooms, plus a knowledge centre and co-working spaces. The new flagship campus of École Ducasse set to become the global standard for training in culinary and pastry arts.

What are the culinary trends that are changing the industry?

World gastronomy specialists and other foodistas announced the advent of green cuisine, organic, more and more healthy and sustainable food combining the benefits for body and mind. More generally the awareness of what we eat everyday imposes itself in 2020 as we are now all turned to the link between food, our immune system and psychological balance in the days of worldwide confinement.

Healthy cooking will become the norm in terms of food for everyone from the Michelin starred restaurants to the street food stands. Chefs put vegetables in the foreground, relaying meat to the rank of garnish. Vegetables and plants become stars in the kitchen but not just any vegetables - those from quality agriculture guaranteed to be sustainable and without the use of chemicals. The chefs’ concern for the environment is growing. Supply from producers with human and ethical practices, aware of the duty to let the soils and seas regenerate, is not only trendy but essential.

Overall, we were moving towards a greener, more raw and authentic cuisine, which is waste as little as possible. A return to the culinary roots being Eco responsible, but always with as much fun and creativity. The actual crisis makes all these trends that were forecasted more valid than ever.

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