Joël Robuchon, a French chef and restaurateur hailed as the “Chef of the Century,” died in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, August 6, according to multiple reports. He was 73.
Robuchon, who had been battling pancreatic cancer, owned and ran restaurants on three continents, including locations of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in New York City, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo. He also mentored Éric Ripert and Gordon Ramsay, hosted French cooking TV shows, and appeared on the American reality show Top Chef.
Over his nearly six-decade career, Robuchon was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award and was named “Chef of the Century” by French restaurant guide Gault Millau. He was also the world’s most Michelin-starred chef, according to his website.
In the book L’Atelier of Joël Robuchon, cook Patricia Wells said the French chef would “undoubtedly go down as the artist who most influenced the 20th century world of cuisine.”
She added: “To describe Joël Robuchon as a cook is a bit like calling Pablo Picasso a painter, Luciano Pavarotti a singer, Frederic Chopin a pianist.”
In the wake of Robuchon’s death, fellow celebrity chefs and restauranteurs have posted tributes to their colleague via social media.
“We’ve lost the godfather of Michelin, the most decorated chef in the world,” Ramsay wrote on Instagram. “He kept all of us on our toes! Even when we were sleeping! Merci Chef, God bless.”
Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern wrote: “A very sad day for any of us in our industry and for the millions of other who were touched by this amazing man. Over the years he was beyond kind to me.”
“RIP Chef Joël Robuchon,” Momofuku chef and Ugly Delicious host David Chang tweeted. “You the changed the whole game.”
Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group restauranteur, added: “Thank you for the profound inspiration, Joël Robuchon. Our profession is in your debt.”
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