Dominique Lory has been showcasing his talents at Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris for 18 years. The chef trained here, in the kitchens of this three-Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant, alongside Franck Cerrutti and Alain Ducasse. He tells Inspiration about the restaurant and its menu and about his love of his work and the Principality of Monaco.
Tell us about the gastronomic restaurant imagined and developed by Alain Ducasse. How have you made it your own?
Dominique Lory: Alain Ducasse is the conductor, and I interpret his score with my own sensitivity. His intention for this restaurant is to tell the story of the Riviera. Ingredients, flavors, colors—that’s what it’s all about. Our fish comes from local fishers, and our herbs and vegetables are grown in the nearby countryside. Above all, we want the menu to be modern and fresh.
What is your relationship with Alain Ducasse like today?
DL: I was lucky enough to work in several of his kitchens. In fact I have been working for Alain Ducasse for 23 years now. Our relationship is based on trust and sharing.
What new iconic dishes are on the menu this year? Can you tell us about them?
DL: The Blue lobster éclade with rhubarb, myrtle berries, and pine shoots is a lovely, lightly smoked, grilled lobster dish, served on a bed of pinecones and plated in front of the customer. It is a very visual and delicate dish.
And we also have the vegetables and condiments of a minestrone, with crushed basil. This is a plant-focused, gourmet and delicate starter made with all the elements of a simple minestrone soup combined with the finesse and elegance of our cuisine.
What is dining at your restaurant like?
DL: Our guests come for a unique and timeless experience. They are attracted by the harmony created between the dining room, kitchen, patisserie, and wine cellar. They form a complete package that strikes the perfect balance.
What is the best compliment you have ever been given?
DL: A little girl who was all of six years old flashed me her brightest smile and said: Thank you very much, this is the best meal I’ve ever had!
Do you remember the first time you visited Monaco?
DL: It was for an interview with Franck Cerutti, who was the chef at Le Louis XV at the time, in September 2003. I remember being impressed by how clean the streets were and the rich architecture of the buildings and hotels.
What is your fondest memory from your time in Monaco?
DL: The restaurant’s 25th anniversary. It was the biggest event I have ever done with over 300 Michelin-starred chefs attending the gala reception. That memory will stay with me for a long time.
Which utensil can’t you live without?
DL: A spoon, for tasting.
What is your philosophy in the kitchen?
DL: Treat yourself to treat our guests.
What is your favorite ingredient?
DL: Menton lemons.
What is your favorite sense?
This past year has been challenging for us all; what has it been like for you personally?
DL: It has allowed me to spend time with my family and cook for them. But I also stayed in close contact with the teams throughout lockdown to prepare for reopening and the implementation of the Covid safety measures.
Has it affected how you see things?
DL: The restrictions have forced us to rethink the organization and efficiency of our services. I think that our teams are now stronger, closer. We take care of each other. It also showed us that we have the ability to bounce back and adapt. Above all, I remember how emotional it was to see our guests ready and waiting for us as soon as we reopened. It was hugely rewarding.