Joël Robuchon, who at one point in his career won 31 Michelin stars, died from cancer Monday in Switzerland, according to Le Figaro. He was 73. The French chef, named “Chef of the Century,” by Gault Millau in 1989, was treated for a pancreatic tumor more than a year ago.
Robuchon’s “Cuisine Moderne” style led a wave of French cuisine following the “nouvelle cuisine” era. His cooking took few ingredients and prepared them to showcase their best features, like his famed mashed potato dishes. The iconic pommes purée used a 1:2 butter to potato, and became one of the most well-recognized fine-dine dishes across the globe.
Robuchon operated a dozen restaurants across three continents. He first gained renown at his Paris restaurant Jamin in the early 1980s. He’s credited as a mentor for chefs Gordon Ramsay, who got his start at Jamin, and Éric Ripert, among countless others. Jamin, Robuchon’s first independent restaurant that opened in 1981, won three Michelin stars in three consecutive years. He relocated to Joël Robuchon in 1994, before retiring in 1995 and returning in 2003. Joël Robuchon and sister brand L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon expanded worldwide.
Robuchon was a culinary show host on French TV and the official Euro 2016 chef.
Earlier in the year, the French chef world lost another giant in Paul Bocuse, who died January 20 on the dawn of his 92nd birthday.
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