Bocuse's family released a statement on Saturday morning
"Much more than a father and a husband, he is a man of heart, a spiritual father, an emblematic figure of world gastronomy, and a tricolore porte," the post reads. "Mr. Paul loved life, sharing, transmission, and his crew. These same values will continue to inspire us forever."
Bocuse is celebrated for pioneering light, ingredient-driven French cooking that's inspired generations of chefs since. Soon after the announcement, figures in food took to social media to reflect on his influence.
Anthony Bourdain tweeted, "A hero to me from my earliest days as a cook. A great, great chef who was very kind to me. To have spent time with him was an honor and a dream come true . Rest In Peace." Noma's Rene Redzepi also took to Twitter to honor the chef. "RIP Paul Bocuse - sleep well chef, and thank you for a lifetime of work and inspiration," he wrote.
Tom Colicchio recognized Bocuse's impact, tweeting, "Saddened to wake up to this news this morning Chef Bocuse was the giant who’s shoulders we all stood on."
One of Bocuse's many cookbooks, Paul Bocuse’s French Cooking (1977), served as inspiration for chefs and home cooks alike.
"It opened whole worlds for me—braises, all the classic French techniques," chef John Folse told Food & Wine in 2015. "Thirty years later, that book is still on my kitchen table because it inspired me to look at books. It made me open the leaves and read and learn because I had no mentors at the time.”
“Later, I got to spend time with Bocuse,” Folse continued. “He gave me a terrine de sanglier—a beautiful crock terrine with a wild boar sitting on top. He signed it on the bottom, ‘To my friend John, from Paul Bocuse.’ Now it’s sitting by his book on my table. Sometimes when I’m down I look at those two things and remind myself, ‘You’ve met the greatest people in the world in cooking. Get up and go back to work and forget about it.’”