Tattoo-Free Chef Winner: Alain Ducasse

Alain Ducasse is winner in the Tattoo-Free Chef category, rewarding the toque stars whose bodies aren't canvases.

alain ducasse
alain ducasse

And the winner is... the chef who truly goes his own way – who makes trends and doesn’t just follow ready-made ones. ‘Old School’ you might call him – wrongly. Because you don’t need to go down the ‘body art’ route, to cover yourself from nose to nail in otherworldly hieroglyphs, to exude that quality so important in a cutting-edge chef: individuality.

Once upon a time, during the hard times of the Second World War, a tattoo was a symbol of belonging to a tribe that swam against the tide. Today, being ‘ink free’ means just being yourself, pure and simple, focusing on what’s next, without chasing after mass-marketed allegiances.

The proud winner of this award is a man who is always ahead of his time, always hungry for knowledge and with an insatiable appetite for new challenges. Sure, he is no hipster; he sports no beard nor trendy clothes; he likes his jackets tailored to fit. But the man is very chic. He even called his Tokyo restaurant Beige in homage to Coco Chanel.

Alain Ducasse is a true individual. So why the hell would we expect him to waste time and money (there is never enough of either for him) on a daft tattoo, like almost every other fashionable chef in the world?