I am sad to tell you that legendary French Chef Paul Bocuse passed away a couple of weeks ago at the age of 91. The culinary world has certainly lost a legend. He was considered to be a “lion of modern cuisine”. Anyone who has studied the art of cooking for as many years as I have knows his name. I guess you could say that he was one of the first celebrity chefs in the world.Eons ago, when I studied for my Grand Diplôme with Le Cordon Bleu London, he was already a star. He held three Michelin stars for decades at his l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges. But I know him best for being now of the early champions of nouvelle cuisine which focused on lighter sauces, very short cooking times and plates that look works of art. This cuisine became a movement that emphasizes the quality of ingredients, beautiful presentations and a mastery of technique. Then it succeeded in reshaping the very meaning of cooking and dining at the highest level.
Chef Bocuse was most famous for such iconic dishes as his much-imitated fillet of red mullet covered in playful potato “scales,” and his truffle soup V.G.E. which is comprised of truffles and foie gras in a chicken broth cooked in a dish covered in puff pastry.
He parlayed his success in France into international acclaim, appearing on the covers of many magazines in the 1970s and opening a restaurant in EPCOT center in the ’80s which is now run by his son Jérôme. The bi-annual 30 year-old international cooking competition Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious cooking competition thought of as the Olympics of cooking is named after him.
Unfortunately he spent his later years battling Parkinson’s disease and died in the very same home he was born in. The same home that he had previously turned into L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges.