The legendary French chef Paul Bocuse died today at the age of 91. Credited as a pioneer of nouvelle cuisine, Bocuse was the most influential chef of the 20th century. The news was announced this morning by the French interior minister Gérard Collomb, who wrote in French, “The Pope of gastronomy has left us.”
The nerve center of Bocuse’s world was the restaurant L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, located near Lyon, which he took over from his father and turned into a three-star Michelin restaurant. He was deemed the “chef of the century” by the Gault et Millau dining guide, envisioned and gave his name to the Bocuse d’Or, and trained such influential chefs as Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Bocuse’s family released their own statement via the chef’s Facebook page, calling him “ab emblematic figure of world gastronomy, and a tricolore porte” while promising his “values will continue to inspire us forever.” The news was greeted by chefs and fellow travelers with an outpouring of respect and sadness. In a statement, France’s President Emmanuel Macron wrote, “Paul Bocuse was the incarnation of French cuisine.”