AlUla in northwest Saudi Arabia has announced Ducasse in AlUla, a collaboration with multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse. This new partnership marks the launch of the limited-time pop-up restaurant, located adjacent to the ancient heritage site of Jabal Ikmah. The new venture blends sustainability with the flavors of Saudi Arabia, France and the whole Middle Eastern region. Ducasse has entrusted one of his young protégés, Afonso Salvação Barreto, as the executive chef of the restaurant.
Set against the backdrop of AlUla’s oasis palm trees, the restaurant delivers a combination of local ingredients sourced from nearby farms and traditional flavors with a French touch.
Ducasse started his career in 1972 as a 16-year-old in France, before working for restaurants including Michel Guérard, Gaston Lenôtre, Alain Chapel and legendary chef Roger Vergé’s Moulin de Mougins. Ducasse restaurants currently hold 20 Michelin stars worldwide.
Chef Alain Ducasse said: “When I visited AlUla with my chef Afonso, we were curious to discover and impressed to taste produce from the local farms. You have these natural oases growing everything from the dates and citrus the area is famous for, to green vegetables of all sorts. The region is in the middle of an ambitious project to diversify the economy and create opportunities for the local community. The agricultural training scheme is offering help to local farmers to supply the ingredients of the quality and scale required for the increasing hospitality offer.”
In alignment with AlUla’s commitment to sustainable development and preservation of its natural beauty, Ducasse in AlUla has been designed by French designer Aliénor Béchu and Donald Bovy from Volume ABC to "harmonize" with the surrounding environment.