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Alain Ducasse, Starfucker

Did Frank Bruni get Christian Delouvrier fired at Alain Ducasse? Sure sounds like it. In a circle jerk in today's Times, Ducasse himself tells Florence Fabricant that his resto's February demotion from the Times' 4-star club meant the chef had to go:

"I am at the top in Paris, in Monte Carlo and in Tokyo, and I cannot remain with three stars in New York. I knew we could not regain four stars with Christian Delouvrier at the helm, and I had to make important changes in the dynamic of the kitchen."Tony Esnault, who used to work for Ducasse in Monte Carlo, will try to regain Frank's favor. Meanwhile, over at eGullet, the peanut gallery is flummoxed by Bruni's power. "I simply can't imagine that [Ducasse] would choose Frank Bruni's judgment over his own -- it would be unprecedented and nonsensical," writes Steven A. Shaw, aka "Fat Guy," eGullet's executive director.
· As Restaurant Falls to Three Stars, Ducasse Drops Chef [NY Times]
· ADNY, Christian Delouvrier as chef de cuisine [eGullet]
· Tony Esnault Named Chef de Cuisine [alain-ducasse.com]