Alain Ducasse’s special summer dinners at Versailles

Russian and Bastille Day-themed dishes from the king of French cuisine

Alain Ducasse, whose Ducasse au Château de Versailles is hosting the dinners
Alain Ducasse, whose Ducasse au Château de Versailles is hosting the dinners | Image: Patrick Tourneboeuf

Newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron recently invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to Versailles. Their meeting concluded with lunch at Alain Ducasse’s Ore, and the summer dinners at Ducasse au Château de Versailles (as the space is known at night) may give Putin cause to return.

The view from the restaurant, on the first floor of the recently renovated Pavillon Dufour
The view from the restaurant, on the first floor of the recently renovated Pavillon Dufour | Image: Patrick Tourneboeuf

The “A Tsar in France” dinner on Thursday June 22 (from €350 per person, €500 with wine pairings) takes its inspiration from the Peter the Great, a Tsar in France 1717 exhibition at Versailles’ Grand Trianon. Drawing on traditional Russian recipes, it will include a delicate green lentil gelée and gold caviar appetiser, Kamchatka king crab, a stroganoff-style fillet of beef, and raspberry pavlova.

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Putin’s feelings about the special Bastille Day “Feast & Fireworks” menu on Friday July 14 may be less certain. Part of a reimagining of the opulent celebrations staged by Louis XIV at Versailles around 1664, the dinner (€350, including wine) will feature chilled lobster and summer vegetables with crustacean vinaigrette and a roasted grenadin of veal, girolles and jus. Proceedings will be rounded off with a Le Louis XIV signature chocolate dessert, followed by a post-dinner firework show in the Orangerie gardens entitled “Louis XIV, the Fire King”.

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Ducasse au Château de Versailles – situated on the first floor of the recently renovated Pavillon Dufour, overlooking Versailles’ Royal Courtyard – will also be hosting special dinners to coincide with Versailles’ summer fountain shows (Saturdays from June 17 to September 16). Created by executive chef Stéphane Duchiron, the seasonal menu (€39 for two courses, €45 for three) will include a chilled green pea velouté, wild pollock with Paris mushrooms, roast saddle of lamb and, of course, more post-prandial pyrotechnics.

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