Joel Robuchon, a master Parisian chef who challenged the status quo of French haute cuisine, has passed away. He was 73.
Robuchon challenged traditional mindsets in his industry by creating simple dishes that wowed diners, like simple mashed potatoes, and by giving diners a glimpse inside his kitchen.
According to USA Today, a spokesman for Robuchon confirmed his death – that he passed away in Geneva on Monday from cancer. Robuchon’s career in the culinary world was matchless.
He was named among the best craftsmen in France in 1976, was crowned cook of the century in 1990, and was named one of the cooks at the “dinner of the century.” Also, for many years, he was holder of the most Michelin stars in the world.
He was known for his constant innovation, even his carefree playfulness in the kitchen. That attitude played contrarian to a traditional mindset among the world of stuff French haute cuisine.
“To describe Joel Robuchon as a cook is a bit like calling Pablo Picasso a painter, Luciano Pavarotti a singer, Frederic Chopin a pianist,” Patricia Wells, a cook and food writer, wrote in “L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon,” which is a book about the chef and his students.
She added, “Joel Robuchon will undoubtedly go down as the artist who most influenced the 20th-century world of cuisine.”
Robuchon’s philosophy in creating dishes was simple. He liked to use only three or four ingredients when cooking. This way he could show off the flavors, rather than mask them.
He also created a revolution with his French workshops, which were small, intimate restaurants where diners sat at a counter surrounding the kitchen. There were no tables and no reservations in these restaurants.
By 2016, Robuchon had achieved 32 Michelin stars, a record, and still held 31 stars in 2018. Five of his restaurants held three stars alone.
Please pray for his family during this difficult time of loss. In recent news, celebrities and co-stars paid tribute to Charlotte Rae, an “incredible force of a woman.”