A trailblazing chef not only piques the imagination of diners but also nudge the traditions of cooking forward. Such is the case with the most celebrated French chef in the world, Paul Bocuse, who developed a modernised version of classic French cooking in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The fundamental culinary revolution was called ‘nouvelle cuisine’. And the eminent Bocuse, whose restaurant L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges has had three Michelin stars since 1965, was the spiritual father of this cuisine style that emphasises fresh ingredients, delicate flavours and exquisite presentation.
Thus, it was with great sadness that the world learnt of the passing of this larger-than-life culinary giant last Saturday. French president Emmanuel Macron has described Bocuse as ‘the incarnation of French cuisine’ and that ‘his name alone sums up French gastronomy’. The same sentiment also resonated with many Malaysian chefs who are inspired by his refined simplicity, masterful classic techniques and immaculately honed palate.
Bocuse’s generosity and words of wisdom have touched the hearts of many, just like how his famous truffle soup has brought warmth and comfort to diners and a legion of aspiring chefs that spanned generations. This is what some of our local chefs have to say about the ‘Pope of gastronomes’: