Remembering Joël Robuchon: Chefs React to the Death of a Culinary Giant
On Monday, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported that Joël Robuchon died of cancer at age 73. The pioneering French chef, who accumulated more Michelin stars than anyone else in the world, was a giant in the culinary world, mentoring such chefs as Éric Ripert and Gordan Ramsay and opening restaurants in just about every cultural capital on the globe.
After the news broke, chefs took to social media to share their memories of Robuchon, reflecting on his enduring influence on the restaurant world.
Éric Ripert: "The most rigorous, precise, demanding, and ultra gifted king of all Chefs."
Andrew Zimmern: "A very sad day for any of us in our industry and for the millions of others who were touched by this amazing man."
Gordon Ramsay: "He kept all of us on our toes."
David Chang: "You changed the whole game."
Nigella Lawson: "Thinking of Joel Robuchon, and his mashed potatoes."
Danny Meyer: "Our profession is in your debt."
Alex Guarnaschelli: "A legend."
Anne-Sophie Pic: "Another legend of French gastronomy disappears today."
In addition to his celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants, Robuchon was cherished for one dish in particular: his pomme purée, or super silky, buttery mashed potatoes. The chef's potatoes perfectly represented the simple, deeply thoughtful style of cooking for which he was so respected. In 2016, he summed up his cooking philosophy for Food & Wine.
"I very rarely do anything more than three main flavors on any dish," he said. "And what's important in cooking, to me, is the taste. And I think that's the true job of a chef, to create this flavor profile, these flavors of each of the dishes, and I think that that takes a lot of technique and a lot of knowledge to do correctly."