Published on January 30, 2024Updated on February 08, 2024
Renowned Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse and the Prince Albert II Foundation organized the inaugural edition of the Sustainable Gastronomy Summit at One Monte-Carlo in September 2023. This gathering of scientists, producers, and committed chefs, supported by Moët Hennessy and the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer group, aims to promote practices conducive to more responsible food consumption. The event revolved around five major themes addressing the challenges of sustainable gastronomy.
"We’re not going to give up. We need commitments from our
colleagues, fishermen, breeders and farmers to ensure that we can
all thrive on this planet without taking anything away from anyone.
It’s simply about changing the way we behave around food”, explained Alain Ducasse during the first Sustainable Gastronomy Summit, which was held at One Monte-Carlo in September 2023.
Convinced of the urgency to rethink food – as one-third of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the food industry – the Michelin-starred chef, in collaboration with the Prince Albert II Foundation, initiated this event that brought together a hundred chefs, as well as producers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and students. "Star chefs should serve as role models to influence the restaurant industry," explained Alain Ducasse during this inaugural edition. A determined chef, he aims to quickly establish a charter for sustainable gastronomy, which is expected to be published soon: "The awareness is now acknowledged. The focus, henceforth, is on execution."
The first step that every one of us can take is to cut down on meat. Its consumption has quintupled in 60 years and has a serious impact on global warming and deforestation! “It’s a real challenge to rethink the proportion of animal- and plant-based products we eat”, says Alain Ducasse, who estimates that our consumption of animal protein must drop to 20%, with 80% of our diet made up of plant-based foods. Eating better (less salt, fat, sugar) is part of the Monegasque philosophy, and is applied at the Louis XV with its strong focus on nature. Local production is also a priority for Mauro Colagreco. Mirazur in Menton – the first plastic-free restaurant – has a three-hectare garden that the chef draws from to create his dishes. “While not everyone can grow their own produce, we can all choose to work with high-quality artisanal suppliers,” he said. Many producers are indeed concerned about their environment.
“Artisanal fishing outfits in the Mediterranean put limits on where they fish. We make decisions together and we tailor our work to the fish we find, just like farmers who adapt to the seasons”, explains Sylvain Pagnon, who monitors fish populations. He makes sure not to capture species whose numbers are dwindling, nor those which are going through reproduction. Small-scale agriculture, the consumption of algae, and the use of wild plants as a sustainable alternative to imports are all solutions to be developed.
Is this applicable to everyone? Even on a tight budget? How should vegetables be cooked properly without spending hours on preparation? To guide consumers, two AgroParisTech graduates share their tips and recipes in Je mange pour le futur (I eat for the future), written with in collaboration with Ecole Ferrandi. The Ethic Ocean association provides scientific data to set purchasing recommendations that can help buyers choose species that are not overexploited. In short, there are plenty of ways we can embark on this new journey. “No solution can solve the environmental crisis in isolation. We can’t do it alone. That is why I hope that this initiative is just the first step, that other editions will follow, and that we keep on thinking about new solutions,” concluded Prince Albert II, who had recently returned from the United Nations General Assembly.
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