Paul Bocuse

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Paul Bocuse
Paul Bocuse2.jpg
Bocuse in Stavanger 2008
Born(1926-02-11)11 February 1926
Died20 January 2018(2018-01-20) (aged 91)
Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, France
Culinary career
Cooking styleNouvelle cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
  • l'Auberge du Pont de Collonges

Paul Bocuse (French pronunciation: ​[pɔl bɔkyz]; 11 February 1926 – 20 January 2018)[1] was a French chef based in Lyon who was known for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovative approaches to cuisine.

A student of Eugénie Brazier, he was one of the most prominent chefs associated with the nouvelle cuisine, which is less opulent and calorific than the traditional cuisine classique, and stresses the importance of fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Paul Bocuse claimed that Henri Gault first used the term, nouvelle cuisine, to describe food prepared by Bocuse and other top chefs for the maiden flight of the Concorde airliner in 1969.[2]

Contributions to French gastronomy[edit]

Black and white portrait of older man taken at a 45 degree slant filling the image field, his chef hat and coat are just visible
Bocuse in 2007

Bocuse made many contributions to French gastronomy both directly and indirectly, because he had numerous students, many of whom have become notable chefs themselves. One of his students was Austrian Eckart Witzigmann, one of four Chefs of the Century and chef at the first German restaurant to receive three Michelin stars.[3] Since 1987, the Bocuse d'Or has been regarded as the most prestigious award for chefs in the world (at least when French food is considered), and is sometimes seen as the unofficial world championship for chefs. Bocuse received numerous awards throughout his career, including the medal of Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur.[4]

The Culinary Institute of America honoured Bocuse in their Leadership Awards Gala on 30 March 2011. He received the "Chef of the Century" award.[5] In July 2012 the Culinary Institute of America announced in The New York Times that they would change the name of their Escoffier Restaurant to the Bocuse Restaurant, after a year-long renovation.[6]

In 1975, he created soupe aux truffes (truffle soup) for a presidential dinner at the Élysée Palace. Since then, the soup has been served in Bocuse's restaurant near Lyon as Soupe V.G.E., VGE being the initials of former president of France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.[7]


Le Nord, one of Bocuse's chain of brasseries in central Lyon
Bocuse wearing his Meilleur Ouvrier de France medal, 2005
L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, Bocuse's main restaurant in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, the place of both his birth and death

Bocuse's main restaurant, L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, is a luxury establishment near Lyon, which has been serving a traditional menu for decades.[4] It was one of only 27 restaurants in France to receive a three-star rating in 2017 by the Michelin Guide.[8] However, it lost its record-breaking 55-year long 3-star rating in the 2020 Michelin Guide, sparking controversy in the French culinary world.[9] He also operated a chain of brasseries in Lyon, named Le Nord, L'Est, Le Sud and L'Ouest, each of which specialize in a different aspect of French cuisine.[10]

Paul Bocuse's son, Jérôme, manages the "Les Chefs de France" restaurant which the elder Bocuse co-founded with Roger Vergé and Gaston Lenôtre and is located inside the French pavilion at Walt Disney World's EPCOT.[11][12]

Bocuse was considered an ambassador of modern French cuisine.[13] He was honoured in 1961 with the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France.[14] He had been apprenticed to Fernand Point, a master of classic French cuisine. Bocuse dedicated his first book to him.[10]

Institute Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance[edit]

In 2004, the Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance was created.[15] In 2014, the Alliance brought together students of 14 nationalities for a course in Lyon.[15]


Bocuse died of Parkinson's disease on 20 January 2018 in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, in the same room above his restaurant, L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, in which he was born in 1926.[16][17] He was 91.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paul Bocuse, le pape de la gastronomie, est mort". 20 January 2018.
  2. ^ France on a Plate BBC Four TV programme 1 December 2008
  3. ^ "A First for the Michelin Guide: Three Stars for a German Restaurant; Making a Choice 'Can I Do Better?'". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Grimes, William (20 January 2018). "Paul Bocuse, Celebrated French Chef, Dies at 91". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Chef of the Century". Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Bocuse Restaurant".
  7. ^ "'Pope' of French cuisine Paul Bocuse dies at age 91".
  9. ^ "Paul Bocuse: Famed chef's restaurant loses three-star rating after 55 years". BBC News. 18 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Nos maisons".
  11. ^ Scott Joseph (17 July 2008). "Prestigious Bocuse d'Or competition to be part of Epcot Food & Wine Festival". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
  12. ^ "Paul Bocuse, Co-Founder of Les Chefs de France, dies at 91". Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Paul Bocuse".
  14. ^ "Biographie de Paul Bocuse".
  15. ^ a b "12TH YEAR OF THE INSTITUT PAUL BOCUSE WORLDWIDE ALLIANCE". OnlyLyon. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Paul Bocuse, le pape de la gastronomie, est mort". Le Point (in French). 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  17. ^ Grimes, William (2018). "Paul Bocuse, Celebrated French Chef, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  18. ^ Bocuse, Paul (12 October 1977). Paul Bocuse's French Cooking. ISBN 9780394406701.
  19. ^ "Bocuse a la Carte".

External links[edit]