One of the finest chefs of our times, Paul Bocuse, who practically gave the French cuisine its present form, taking it from an unknown abyss to its present height is no more. He was 91.
The news of his death was announced by none other than French Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb. While making the announcement, the French minister said, “Paul Bocuse is dead. Gastronomy is in mourning. Mister Paul was France. Simplicity and generosity. Excellence and the art of living. The Pope of gourmets is leaving us,” Gerard Collomb.
No one will disagree with the description of the legendary chef. Paul Bocuse was a father figure in the industry and his presence will be missed not just in France, but among the French food connoisseurs throughout the world. many people claim that his contribution is all encompassing the cuisines across the world as many chefs in different parts of the world incorporated his ideas in their local cuisines.
Born on 11 February 1926, Paul Bocuse dominated the French cuisine for more than half a century. To be true he had an all encompassing presence in the industry and won respect and admiration from almost everyone.
Paul Bocuse’s innovative ideas made him a celebrity in his own. This was something exclusive domain of Hollywood star. Based in Lyon, he 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.
It is said that Paul Bocuse’s restaurant, the Auberge du Pont de Collonges, near Lyon, has now held its three Michelin stars for a half century. A truffle soup and sea bass stuffed in a puff pastry shell are among Bocuse’s signature dishes there. His fans across the world will agree that they were simply bemused when in 1987, he launched what has become a prestigious international gastronomy contest, the Bocuse d’Or. Chefs from around the world compete to create the best dishes in front of a live audience. This was something unprecedented.
Paul Bocuse cause of death was reportedly Parkinson’s disease. He breathed his last 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.
A Telegraph report while detailing his family and love life has this to say,
“Bocuse calls the principal women in his life “my three wives”. First there is Raymonde, the woman he married after the war and with whom he has one daughter, Francoise. Ravishing when young, Raymonde retains serenity and charm into later life. “She has great inner strength,” says an acquaintance, “and has probably needed it.”…Then come Raymone Carlut and Patricia Zizza, fixtures in Bocuse’s life, for 50 and 35 years respectively. Carlut, 60, the retired director of a medical clinic, bore him a son, Jerome, who has followed his father into cooking, though in America…Zizza, 56, has a communications agency. Her daughter, Eve-Marie Zizza-Lalu, 36, born before Bocuse entered her life but brought up by him “as if she were my own”, has written Le Feu Sacre (The Sacred Fire), the richly illustrated book that seems set to be a French Christmas bestseller.”