Prepare your taste buds for an extraordinary culinary spectacle as two culinary titans join forces to host an unforgettable event. On 7 June, internationally acclaimed celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will collaborate with illustrious 20 Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience at the exquisite CUT at 45 Park Lane. Brace yourself for a culinary journey like no other, where these legendary chefs will present alternating gourmet masterpieces, with each dish complemented by exceptional wine pairings.
Adding to the excitement of this special event, each chef will be bolstered by their award-winning restaurant teams. Talented Executive Chef Elliott Grover of CUT at 45 Park Lane will pick up the baton for Wolfgang Puck’s team, while Alain Ducasse will be accompanied by his esteemed Executive Chef, Jean-Philippe Blondet, who spearheads the kitchen at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Together, these gastronomic geniuses will orchestrate a symphony of flavours, pushing the boundaries of culinary artistry.
Wolfgang Puck, a name synonymous with unparalleled restaurant hospitality and culinary brilliance, has built an empire encompassing three renowned companies and proudly holds two prestigious Michelin stars. Recently, he has gained widespread recognition for his remarkable catering at the Governors Ball, the exclusive post-Oscars celebration hosted by the Academy Awards.
Hailing from the picturesque Landes region of France, Alain Ducasse reigns over an empire of nearly thirty exceptional restaurants, ranging from authentic bistros and charming brasseries to his crown jewels: a handful of three-Michelin-starred establishments around the world, including the distinguished Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London. Ducasse’s influence extends beyond his own restaurants, as he founded Les Collectionneurs, an esteemed network of nearly five hundred independent restaurants and hotels across Europe.
Nestled on the ground floor of the opulent 45 Park Lane, CUT restaurant serves as Wolfgang Puck’s inaugural European venture. Enveloped within the glamorous art deco ambience of the Dorchester Collection hotel, CUT perfectly mirrors its award-winning counterpart in Beverly Hills. This exclusive venue provides the ideal backdrop for an evening of culinary brilliance, where flavours intertwine with luxury, and every bite tells a story of culinary perfection.
Ahead of this unmissable gastronomic event, FOUR catches up with CUT at 45 Park Lane’s Executive Chef, Elliott Grover…
What led you to become a chef?
It was when I was about 14 that I really started to become interested in food and becoming a chef. I didn’t know what I wanted to do before then; I was watching TV, and there was this chef that had cooked for the Queen, and he worked at The Ivy, so for some reason, I decided to go online and apply for the job with no experience. Surprisingly, I got offered the job and headed straight to London. When I was 16, I worked at Le Caprice and Scott’s Mayfair – I don’t think I realised quite what it was until recently. In 2018, I moved to The Ned, where I oversaw the culinary concept across many of the restaurants, including Millie’s Lounge and Lutyens Grill. Most recently, I took on the role of Executive Chef at Duck & Waffle and Sushi Samba managing the day-to-day running of the restaurants. In May 2022, I then moved to CUT at 45 Park Lane to work with the incredibly talented Wolfgang Puck as Executive Chef.
What inspires you most to cook, and has your motivation changed at all?
My inspiration behind most of my dishes is my ingredients. I like keeping it simple and using the best seasonal produce available. With the right produce, it’s hard to go wrong. I want my dishes to be comforting whilst still being luxurious. I also draw inspiration from Wolfgang Puck and California in general. I was just over in Los Angeles, cooking alongside Wolfgang at the Oscars. Whilst I was there, I dined at our sister hotels, Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel. This gave me the inspiration to create a Beverly Hills-inspired brunch and bring it to CUT, which is now available every Saturday. I find so much inspiration when visiting new places and looking at the different types of produce they have. Dining out is also a great way to find new inspiration and see how other chefs are innovating in the kitchen too.
My motivation has not changed, I would say. I’m so passionate about food and the industry, and if anything, my motivation has grown as my career has progressed. I strive to be the best at what I do and provide customers with a memorable experience through a luxurious meal with an element of showmanship.
Any advice you’d give to your younger self or the next generation of chefs?
My advice for the next generation of chefs would be to not be afraid to go out and ask for the opportunities that you want. I wouldn’t have been able to cook at the Oscars this year if I hadn’t simply asked Wolfgang if I could join him. This led to him asking me to cook one, then two and finally three dishes for the event. If you want something bad enough and you want to succeed, you have to go for it. I would also say to listen and never stop learning.
If you could convey one message with your cuisine, what would it be?
Keep it simple and relaxed, and let the produce do the talking.
Tell us more about the upcoming collaboration with Alain Ducasse – what sparked this collaboration, and why are such events important to you?
Two of the world’s most legendary chefs will come together to host a unique culinary experience on 7 June for one night only at CUT at 45 Park Lane.
Wolfgang and Alain Ducasse will both be creating a gastronomic fusion of excellence, with each chef presenting alternate dishes to complete a tasting menu. We did a similar event in 2014 where both chefs cooked a joint menu which was so popular and led us to want to bring it back but with more flair. The evening will take our guests on a culinary journey with exceptional pairings. I have the privilege of cooking alongside Wolfgang, heading up our team, and Jean-Phillippe Blondet, Executive Chef at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, will be heading up Alain Ducasse’s team.
We love doing these kinds of events as it allows us to spend some time with guests in an intimate setting. We don’t often have the opportunity to share with our diners and hear their thoughts as we are often busy cooking. These events are a good opportunity to hear from them and spend a wonderful time sharing over good food and wine.
What can guests look forward to on the evening of this event?
They can look forward to having a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Events like this rarely happen as it’s so difficult to arrange for a time when both chefs are free to cook together. Guests can have the bragging rights of saying they’ve been cooked for by the best chefs in the world, Wolfgang Puck and Alain Ducasse, during a one-off head-to-head dinner. The chefs will also be around to greet the guests as they embark on an exceptional culinary journey.
Are there any particular dishes you are excited for guests to try from this collaboration?
Definitely, the Duo of Australian Wagyu beef, grilled New York steak, crispy shiso with togarashi, and yuzu kosho emulsion. This is a Wolfgang Puck speciality and is not to be missed.
Tell us more about how the menus for such events are envisioned…
The inspiration for the menu has been taken from both chefs’ classic dishes. We want to give guests the best of both chefs. Wolfgang will be showcasing his favourite pretzel bread and a Duo of Australian Wagyu beef and grilled New York steak. CUT is renowned for serving some of the best steaks in London, so it was important for us to showcase this and have it on the menu as it is a signature of the hotel. We also wanted to showcase the cooking styles of both chefs through unique techniques used by them. For Wolfgang, he is known as the world’s best celebrity chef, so for his dishes, we had to show that off.
How do you hope that guests will experience the event?
I hope they come away knowing that CUT is one of the best restaurants in London and is a hotspot for the best foodie events in the city.
Do you have any other events/collaborations scheduled for the year? Or any other exciting news we should know about?
As mentioned earlier, we have just introduced a new Beverly Hills Brunch at CUT, available every Saturday. We are also working on a great Thanksgiving and Christmas menu for later this year. We have lots more things coming up, but unfortunately, I can’t give anything away.