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The gastronomic world reacted today to the news that legendary French chef, Paul Bocuse, has died, aged 91.
Bocuse was one of the most influential chefs of his generation, helping shape and push the refinement of Nouvelle cuisine under his mentor Fernand Point at La Pyramide restaurant in Vienne, France. Later, in his own restaurants, he created numerous dishes, styles, techniques, approaches and presentations that rippled across French cuisine and beyond.
In 1956 Bocuse started work at his family’s restaurant, Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Lyon and within two years recieved his first Michelin star. By 1965 the restaurant held three Michelin stars, an accolade it retains to this day.
In terms of training, there isn’t an important chef in the modern day cooking landscape who wasn’t somehow directly taught or inspired by the work of Bocuse – a chef who continued throughout his career to open successful restaurants around the world.
In 2011 he was named Chef of The Century by the Culinary Institute of America, an award his also received in 1989 from Gault-Millau – showing just how far the influence of one chef spanned. Many of the great kitchen mentors of today – the likes of Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud – were formed working alongside Bocuse in one of his kitchens.
In 1987, the chef was responsible for the launch of the world famous culinary competition, Bocuse d’Or, which sees teams from around the world compete in a biannual event now referred to as the Olympics of cooking. The competition alone has highlighted some of the best talent in the industry and pushed the likes of the U.S to create all-star teams of chefs to bring home gold for their country.
As the food world comes to terms with the passing of such an influential and inspiration icon, many of the world’s best chefs are expressing their own sentiments towards the news.