PARIS (Reuters) – Joel Robuchon, a world famous chef who at one point earned more than 30 Michelin stars across nearly two dozen restaurants on three continents, died on Monday at his home in Geneva aged 73, his staff said.
FILE PHOTO: French Chef Joel Robuchon attends the opening of the Taste Festival at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, May 21, 2015. Picture taken May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
Named the “chef of the century” by the Gault et Millau cooking guide in 1990, Robuchon was regarded as a perfectionist, toiling to make even ordinary seeming dishes — such as mashed potatoes — the very best they could be.
He came into his own in the 1980s and early 1990s, when gourmet food went global. He steadily expanded his renown, from being one of Paris’s most recognized three-star chefs to become a worldwide phenomenon.
In France, Robuchon is regarded as a chef who ushered in an era of authenticity after the restraint of nouvelle cuisine.
“The older I get, the more I realize the truth is: the simpler the food, the more exception it can be,” he told Business Insider in an interview in 2014.
“I never try to marry more than three flavors in one dish. I like walking into a kitchen and knowing that the dishes are identifiable and the ingredients within them easy to detect.”
Born in Poitiers, western France, in 1945, Robuchon rose quickly through apprenticeships, learning techniques from across the country, before taking over as head chef of what was then the Hotel Concorde La Fayette in Paris at the age of 29.
As with many other star chefs, his brand eventually became a business in itself and he opened restaurants from Las Vegas to Shanghai, Bangkok, Macau, Tokyo and New York.
In June this year, his company closed its two restaurants in Singapore, with five Michelin stars between them.
Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Marine Penetier; Editing by Luke Baker and Robin Pomeroy