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POSTED | 15:48 PM | 20-01-2018

‘Pope’ of French cuisine dies

Paul Bocuse, one of the greatest French chefs of all time, died on Saturday (Jan 20, 2018) aged 91 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, AFP reported.

Dubbed the “pope” of French cuisine, Bocuse helped shake up the food world in the 1970s with the Nouvelle Cuisine revolution and create the idea of the celebrity chef.

French President Emmanuel Macron led the tributes, calling him a “mythic figure who transformed French cuisine. Chefs are crying in their kitchens across France.”

“He was one of the greatest figures of French gastronomy, the General Charles de Gaulle of cuisine,” said French food critic Francois Simon, comparing him to France’s wartime saviour and dominant postwar leader.

A giant in a nation that prides itself as the beating heart of gastronomy, Bocuse was France’s only chef to keep the Michelin food bible’s coveted three-star rating through more than four decades.

The heart of his empire, L’Auberge de Collonges au Mont D’Or, his father’s village inn near Lyon in food-obsessed southeastern France, earned three stars in 1965, and never lost a single one.

“Monsieur Paul,” as he was known, was named “chef of the century” by Michelin’s rival guide, the Gault-Millau in 1989, and again by The Culinary Institute of America in 2011.

A great upholder of tradition as well as an innovator, several of his trademark dishes at the Auberge remained unchanged for decades including the black truffle soup he created for French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing in 1975, who named him a commander of the Legion of Honour.

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