Worldchefs mourns the death of Joel Robuchon, the Chef of Century.
French celebrity chef Joël Robuchon will be remembered for many reasons: earning more than 30 Michelin stars and creating the world’s best mashed potato. Joel Robuchon who has died aged 73, later revealed it was the only plate he had ever thrown during a decades-long career that saw him open restaurants across the world. The funny part of it: Joel Robuchon wanted to be initially to be a priest…
Lucky for us, Joel Robuchon discovered a passion for cooking while working alongside the nuns as a student at a seminary, and at the age of 15 entered his first kitchen as an apprentice.
Robuchon died from cancer in Switzerland on Monday, according to Le Figaro newspaper, more than a year after being treated for a pancreatic tumour. He was born in Poitiers in 1945, the son of a mason and a stay-at-home mother.
His dedication to creating the world’s best mashed potato is perhaps not surprising. Joel Robuchon was renowned for his perfectionism and for using few ingredients, keeping preparation simple and moving away from the excesses of French nouvelle cuisine – a healthier form of cooking.
“The older I get the more I realise the truth is: the simpler the food, the more exceptional it can be,” he told Business Insider in 2014.
“I never try to marry more than three flavours in one dish. I like walking into a kitchen and knowing that the dishes are identifiable and the ingredients within them easy to detect.”
Joel Robuchon made his name in the early 1980s after opening his restaurant Jamin at the age of 36. Within a year it had won a Michelin star. Over his career, Joel Robuchon would amass 31 such stars – the most of any chef, ever.
Less than a decade later, in 1989, he was named “Chef of the Century” by Michelin’s rival restaurant guide, Gault Millau.
“When an old man dies, a library burns down” Joel Robuchon said