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Alain Ducasse: A Growing Empire

After the English-language release this summer of his cookbook Spoon, based on the menus at his successful restaurants of the same name in Paris, Mauritius, London, Tokyo, and Saint Tropez, Alain Ducasse has spent the early Fall launching three ambitious Paris projects: a culinary training center, a concept bakery/grocery store, and a bistro offering Lyonnais cuisine.

In late September, Ducasse opened a culinary training center offering one-day courses. Whether you're a novice or a more advanced cook, there's something for everyone. The 12 courses include Southern Classics, Vegetables & Greens, and Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Courses are offered on Fridays and Saturdays. €290 euros per person includes breakfast, lunch, and transportation (Paris / Argenteuil / Paris); 9am-6pm; 01 34 34 19 12;

On October 14, Ducasse and partners Éric Kayser and Laurent Plantier opened a new eat-in or takeaway concept, a combination bakery and "corner" grocery store. BE, which is short for "boulangépicier" or bakery/grocery, offers a variety of finished products including sandwiches and ready-to-cook meals; a selection of breads baked on the premises like "BE"'s own artisanal bread, "Corinthe" raisin bread, "Périgord" walnut bread, and "Kalamata" olive bread; as well as 250 grocery "essentials" such as butter, rice, ziti, yoghurt, and tea. BE boulangépicier is located at 73, blvd de Courcelles, 8th arrondissemaent; Mon.-Sat. 8am-9pm; 01 46 22 20 20.

A day later, October 15, Ducasse opened a "bouchon" dedicated to Lyonnais cuisine. Young chef Christophe Saintagne is running the kitchen at Aux Lyonnais. 32, rue St-Marc, 2nd arrondissement; Closed Sun.-Mon.; 01 42 96 65 04.

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