World Mourns Loss Of “Chef Of The Century” Joël Robuchon

joel-robuchonPhoto Credit: File photo

The world is mourning the loss of legendary French chef and restauranteur Joël Robuchon. The most Michelin awarded chef around the globe with 32 stars, he died today at his home in Geneva following a battle with cancer. He was 73.

Named “Meilleur Ouvrier de France (France’s Best Craftsman) in cuisine in 1976 and “Chef of the Century” by French restaurant guide Gault Millau in 1989, Robuchon came from humble beginnings in post-war France. Originally anticipating a career in the church, he learned to cook while in seminary, where he peeled potatoes and tomatoes for the nuns.

“Well you know, I began cooking not because of a love of cooking but because my parents told me that if I learned to cook, at least I would never go hungry,” Robuchon told Haute Living in 2016. “I started cooking in a seminary, working with the nuns to prepare food for everyone there; this was by no means the type of cuisine that is now seen in my restaurants. … but it was during this time that I learned that I wanted to cook – that I wanted to make something that could make people happy.”

At age 29, Robuchon took over the kitchen at Concorde Lafayette Hotel and quickly earned two Michelin stars as director of the hotel’s restaurant Nikko. Many stars and accolades would follow as he opened restaurants across the Asian, European and North American continents in cities from Las Vegas to London and Bordeaux to Bangkok. He also published several cookbooks and hosted culinary television shows in France.

Robuchon-smilesPhoto Credit: By Isaac Brekken

In a statement from MGM Resorts International‘s Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage Ari Kastrati, the global hospitality and entertainment company expressed sadness over Robuchon’s passing. Two of Robuchon’s Michelin-starred restaurantsJoël Robuchon Restaurant and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon are housed at MGM Grand Las Vegas.

“Mr. Robuchon always set the bar when it came to delivering the very best cuisine, service and hospitality- the many renowned awards and accolades he received during his career are a testament to his devotion to his craft,” said Kastrati. “Even more so, though, it was the way he inspired people that is so memorable. Whether in the kitchen working alongside his chef teams or at a culinary event where fans lined up to see him, you could always tell that he brought an immense amount of happiness to others. His culinary genius will continue to live on in the minds and hearts of all he touched.”

Added MGM Grand Vice President of Food and Beverage Jason Shkorupa: “The knowledge, innovation and talent he brought to the culinary industry are unparalleled and as a result, Chef Robuchon can be credited with igniting a deep passion within chefs and culinary professionals for decades passed and to come. His legacy will forever be remembered in restaurant kitchens, households and the hearts of those he inspired here in Las Vegas and around the world.”

A mentor to many modern-day chefs, Robuchon told Haute Living in 2016 that passing on his knowledge of French cuisine was an essential part of his business, whether it be to his staff or to a larger audience through television.

“This has opened up the kitchen to a much larger number people,” he explained, adding, “For me, cooking is an act of love.”

Tributes to the great chef continue to pour in on Twitter from friends, colleagues and admirers around the world: