LONDON (Reuters) - French chef Alain Ducasse was given a lifetime achievement award on Monday by The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards for "pushing the boundaries of excellence in cooking" over a 30-year career.
Ducasse, 56, is one of the world's most decorated chefs who won his first three Michelin star award at the age of 33 with Le Louis XV restaurant in the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco.
He was the first chef to win three Michelin stars in three different cities and his empire now includes more than 20 restaurants around the world, a culinary publishing house, and a culinary institute.
"This is an acknowledgement from the restaurant world itself of chef Ducasse's achievements and positive influence," said William Drew, Editor of Restaurant magazine, organizers of The World's 50 Best Restaurants.
He added in a statement that the award acknowledged not only Ducasse's reputation for innovative French cuisine but also his influence over a generation of chefs and restaurateurs.
The lifetime achievement award is voted for by a 936-strong international voting panel who comprise the World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy.
Past winners include Americans Thomas Keller and Alice Waters, Spain's Juan Mari Arzak, French chefs Joël Robuchon, Paul Bocuse, Albert and Michel Roux, Italy's Gualtiero Marchesi, and Austrian Eckart Witzigmann.
Reporting by Paul Casciato, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith