The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has partnered with Erth Hospitality to launch École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio, the region’s first institute by École Ducasse founder, Chef Alain Ducasse, in December 2023.
Under the leadership of the culinary icon, the studio will be located in Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation and is set to enrich the culinary education landscape in the UAE. Short and professional classes will be taught in a contemporary and friendly space, with easy-to-use professional equipment. With a small group of students per class, allowing for one-to-one attention, the studio will be an ideal environment to help clients and learners enhance their talent, while offering a gourmet café and welcoming corporate events.
École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio will offer classes and courses for all abilities, from aspiring culinary enthusiasts to talent looking to broaden their skill sets. These include the Culinary Arts Essentials programme, which will provide the opportunity to discover the fundamentals of French cuisine, and the French Pastry Arts Essentials programme, where students will learn how to prepare emblematic pastries according to the Ducasse philosophy. Programme themes will range from First Cooking Lesson – Learning to Cook Without Inhibition, Cooking for a Special Event, Do it Like a Chef – Cuisine 3*, Healthy Cooking, Kids and Teens in the Kitchen, and Mediterranean Cuisine to the Famous Parisian Macarons Madness Class.
Located within the historic Al Hosn site, École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio is a meticulously designed, 418-square-metre space. The studio boasts a generous classroom area, a fully equipped workshop show kitchen, a bespoke chef’s table and a large outdoor terrace with views of the Abu Dhabi skyline.
His Excellency Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director-General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: "The expansion of Abu Dhabi’s thriving vibrant culinary landscape is part of our commitment to fostering and encouraging cultural expression in the emirate. The arrival of École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio in the UAE capital will transform the culinary sector while greatly contributing to the growth of the hospitality industry in the region. By nurturing local talent and fostering creativity and innovation, we aspire to create a lasting impact on the culinary scene in Abu Dhabi and beyond."
The announcement follows the launch of a more than AED360 million Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund launched earlier in 2023, which aims to attract leading brands to the UAE capital over five years and bolster Abu Dhabi's development as a gastronomical hub.
Erth Hospitality will serve as the official licence partner of the renowned culinary school École Ducasse, bringing more than 25 years of expertise and passion for the hospitality industry to the venture.
Shaikha Al Kaabi, Chief Executive Officer of Erth Hospitality, underlined its profound significance for the region of Abu Dhabi and highlights Erth Hospitality's pivotal role in bringing École Ducasse to Abu Dhabi.
Al Kaabi said: "École Ducasse stands as a beacon of global culinary excellence, and its arrival in Abu Dhabi signifies a momentous milestone. This collaboration not only solidifies our commitment to fostering culinary brilliance but also reaffirms Abu Dhabi's status as a burgeoning culinary hub, ready to host and inspire talents from Emiratis and beyond. Erth Hospitality is proud to spearhead this endeavour, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation, and ensuring that École Ducasse's world-class philosophy and expertise are woven into the fabric of our region's culinary identity. Together, we shall lay the foundations for the continuous growth and evolution of culinary arts, nurturing local, regional, and international talents alike."
Alain Ducasse has an impressive 20 Michelin stars to his name, making him Michelin's most decorated chef of all time. He launched his first culinary and pastry school in 1999 and has since established globally recognised institutes in India, the Philippines and Thailand. The launch of École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio in partnership with Erth Hospitality is a significant milestone, as the emirate welcomes an institution dedicated to gastronomic innovation and excellence, elevating the local culinary scene.
Elise Masurel de Laval, Managing Director of École Ducasse, said: “The launch of École Ducasse Studio in partnership with Erth Hospitality in Abu Dhabi is a great milestone for us in the Middle East region, and we are very happy to contribute to enriching the local gastronomic scene and encouraging culinary talents to flourish.”
Through personalised cooking classes, its café and corporate events offer, École Ducasse Abu Dhabi Studio will promote culinary excellence, innovation and cultural exchange in Abu Dhabi, an emirate that boasts a diverse population of more than 200 nationalities. As a melting pot of cultures, Abu Dhabi provides an ideal home for the institute, welcoming talents from around the world and fostering a nurturing environment for creativity and the space to develop new culinary trends.