Chef Dominique Lory helms the kitchen at Monte-Carlo’s famed Louis XV inside the Hôtel de Paris. Alain Ducasse, the man in-charge of the establishment’s integrity, would never trust his kitchen to just anyone. So, he hand-selected Mr. Lory to join the team and utilize his extreme talent to impress and satisfy the most discerning clientele. We spoke with Mr. Lory about his kitchen, his love of the craft of cooking and the inspiration behind his incredible dishes.
IC: When did you know that being a chef was your life’s calling?
DL: I wanted to be a cook since I was 6 years old, and I decided to be a chef when I started to work as a cook. When I finished my apprenticeship, my tutor, M. Pastoureau, helped me decide to be a chef. He was awarded the “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” title, and had always impressed me with his knowledge and mastery.
IC: What influences your daily menus and culinary focus?
DL: My cuisine tells the story of the Riviera more than ever. Products, flavors, colors – everything is there. Fish originates from local fishing, herbs and vegetables from the inland. Today’s cuisine must be light, even more so when on the Riviera. For this I use Provence garden vegetables, black truffle, green steamed asparagus and seasonal vegetables, which add a botanical tone to the menu. The preparation’s feature highlights like jus and broths which concentrate the flavors.
IC: What are your favorite ingredients to work with and why?
DL: I work with the best of local produce. When using such stunning produce, everything is good. I enjoy cooking vegetables. For example, pea pods are centrifuged to achieve a juice that will moisten the cookpot vegetables. Respect to nature is expressed by focusing my attention, paying tribute to the nobility of the produce throughout the process.
IC: What is your recommendation for a dish that anyone can prepare their guests that is easy yet delicious?
DL: My recommendation is to cook high quality produce. When using such quality ingredients, everything is good.
IC: What is the essence of a successful kitchen?
DL: I think the essence of a successful kitchen is attention to details. For example, the seasoning and the cooking time should be very precise. Moreover, you must be very attentive to each guest’s needs.
IC: When and where are you at your happiest?
DL: I am at my happiest when people leave their feedback about their dinner. I sincerely value their reviews and I take notes of their comments. My staff and I are concentrating our efforts towards a common goal – making every meal a unique and unforgettable experience. I am very pleased that they spent a wonderful moment in the restaurant Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris.