'Top Chef' Celebrity Guest Joel Robuchon Dead at 73

Angelo Anderson
August 7, 2018

French chef Joel Robuchon, who owned and ran gourmet restaurants in three continents including several awarded three Michelin stars, died today in Geneva aged 73, his staff said.

French Chef Joel Robuchon attends the opening of the Taste Festival at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, May 21, 2015.

In 1990, Robuchon was declared "Chef of the Century" by the Gault et Millau cooking guide, and he lived up to that title.

The chef became renowned for his innovative style and playfulness in the kitchen and was known for revolutionising traditional French cuisine. "Joel Robuchon will undoubtedly go down as the artist who most influenced the 20th-century world of cuisine". Robuchon was credited with transforming restaurant tradition with his notion of ateliers (workshops) - intimate restaurants where diners sat at a counter surrounding the kitchen.

Many took to social media to express their condolences, including fellow chef Andrew Zimmern who referred to him as an "amazing man".

The chef, who has won more Michelin stars than any other, sold his global empire of restaurants to an investment fund based in the United Kingdom and in Luxembourg when he fell ill, the daily newspaper said.

In 1981 Robuchon opened his first restaurant, Jamin, in Paris, which won three Michelin stars within three years and was considered one of the greatest in the world.

"You have to know when it's time to quit", the chef told The Associated Press at the time. For one, his most famous dish was the lowly mashed potato.

Guy Job, who produced Robuchon's cooking shows, called it '3-star food with stainless steel cutlery and glass glasses, not crystal ones'.

Robuchon was born just before the end of the second world war into a working-class family in Poitiers, western France.

"These mashed potatoes, it's true, made my reputation".

Tributes poured in from other top chefs, already mourning the death earlier this year of French culinary "pope" Paul Bocuse, and more recently globetrotting American celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain.

Robuchon told the Montreal Gazette past year that before he was approached by Loto-Québec, he didn't know much about Montreal's cuisine except through reputation. "Maybe it's a little bit of nostalgia, Proust's madeleines".

They include L'Ateliere de Joel Robuchon Bangkok, on Narathiwas Ratchanakharin Road in Bang Rak district. But hours spent cooking with the nuns convinced him he had another calling. Everyone has in his memory the mashed potatoes of his mother, the mashed potatoes of his grandmother'. "I owe everything to these mashed potatoes", he once said during a demonstration.

The food world is already mourning the loss of the French chef, who has been an industry leader for decades.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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