Alain Passard of Arpge in Paris has been awarded The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award 2016, as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, which will take place on 13 June at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan.
Passard is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his Paris restaurant this year. As well as holding three Michelin stars for 20 years, Arpge has also appeared regularly in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list over the last decade.
Originally from Brittany, Passard learned to cook with his grandmother, deciding to become at chef at the age of 15. He began his career at Le Lion d’Or in Liffr, where he worked from 1971 to 1975 and was exposed to the art of classical French cuisine.
Passard went on to work in a number of high profile restaurants including L’Archestrate, owned by the chef Alain Senderens, who became his mentor. Passard eventually bought L’Archestrate and renamed it Arpge.
Vegetables have been the centrepiece at Arpge since 2001, after Passard made the decision to remove red meat from the menu. In 2002, the restaurant’s first vegetable garden was put together in Fill sur Sarthe, later joined by two further gardens where the restaurant cultivates its own organic produce.
On receiving news of this award, Alain Passard said, “A big thank you to all the chefs, matres d'htel and sommeliers who have worked with me and helped me to shape the cuisine of Arpge. The most beautiful cookbook is dictated by nature and we are merely the spokesmen inspired by that.”
William Drew, group editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said, “We are delighted to be able to present this prestigious award to one of France’s most pioneering, influential and respected chefs. Alain Passard has led the way in making vegetables the stars of the plate, creating extraordinary and highly individual dishes at his elegant 7th arrondissement restaurant. This award is recognition of his unique talent and creative spirit.”
As the recipient of The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award, Alain Passard joins chefs including France’s Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse and Jel Robuchon, as well as Juan Mari Arzak, Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller.