Legendary chef Paul Bucose has passed away, aged 91. Born in France in 1926, Bucose would go on to become the chef and owner of L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, a three-star Michelin restaurant, as well as countless other venues around the world.
Sometimes regarded to be the first celebrity chef, Bucose was not one to shy away from self-promotion. He named the biennial Bucose d’Or competition after himself, travelled the world promoting himself and his restaurant, as well as becoming a household name for his promotion of nouvelle cuisine – although he distanced himself from the movement later on, saying that it was “not enough on your plate and too much on your bill”
“A craftsman extraordinaire, a significant innovator, a respected leader, an esteemed professional — and having achieved global fame in an era before even fax machines existed — Paul Bocuse stands out in the lineage of great chefs,” said Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America. ““While others influenced 20th century cuisine, it was his leadership, his vision, and his willingness to take risks that set in motion the century’s global culinary renaissance.”
The New Zealand Chef’s Association posted a tribute on Facebook, with commenters noting that “he was not only a great chef but a great host and personality, dedicated to his profession and his customers.”
Countless tributes have been pouring in from all around the world since his passing was announced, but perhaps the best tribute comes from an old review by food critic Egon Ronay, the Hungarian food critic who rose in parallel with Bucose.
“I unashamedly wax nostalgic about his … essence-like lobster soup with saffron,” he wrote. “Sole fillets in white wine with ethereal noodles, succulent layers of red mullet fused with sauté-type potatoes, saddle of lamb that puts Wales to shame, charcoal-grilled poulet de Bresse chicken carved with dramatic speed. And those desserts? They are laid out around you on three or four tables: gigantic yet weightless floating islands, mousses of assertive flavours, divinely silky sorbets …”