For world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse, preserving the flavor his ingredients goes hand in hand with preserving the flavor of the cities that make each of his restaurants distinct.
"I concentrate in my work on preserving and displaying the original flavor from each ingredient in a dish," he said shortly before a tribute dinner in his honor Saturday at the 10th anniversary of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Ducasse said that while he brings the same passion and commitment to quality and sustainability to his restaurants around the globe, each property has a distinct, local personality. It's was he calls a "glocal" approach to food.
"The restaurants express the spirit of the chef, the spirit of the city, the country," said Ducasse, who was the first celebrity chef to sign on to the Miami Beach festival 10 years ago.
Ducasse, the first chef to earn three Michelin stars in three different cities, has 27 restaurants in eight countries. He said the stars are "good for my ego" but are not what motivates him.
"I have an obsession for quality," he said. "I work for my guests, not to obtain Michelin stars."
J.M. Hirsch is food editor of The Associated Press. To see all of the videos from AP's coverage of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, go to: http://bit.ly/f4lFT6