Farwell to the beloved Chef Joel Robuchon
It is with heavy hearts that we say farewell to internationally acclaimed chef Joel Robuchon, a creative genius in the kitchen who earned a remarkable 32 Michelin stars spanning his industry-changing career. His unique approach to fine dining which invited a more informal, open-minded approach to classic French haute cuisine, yet with a constant drive for perfection, opened the doors to many of the greats: Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria and Rene Redzepi and his extraordinary talent will be sorely missed.
In March this year, we were lucky enough to be a part of the Maîtres Cuisinier de France - Annual Conference Macao, an event dedicated to the celebration and induction of the currently 555 Master Cooks of France. Each chef received a keepsake memento of a pouched Studio William textured spoon – a proud nod towards the innovative steps consistently being taken by chefs all over the world, delivering increasingly inspiring and exciting movements in the industry.
For the first time, for their 63rd International Congress, the International Radiance Award and the Asia Pacific Chef of the Year award from the Maître Cuisiniers de France was presented, with the honour going to the late Joel Robuchon.
This vitally important event not only gives thanks and appreciation to a small selection of chefs who truly deserve recognition, nor does its mission stop at promoting French culinary art worldwide, but it also carries a major duty – to pass on cultural and ancestral chefing techniques, keeping tradition and the idiosyncrasies of French cuisine intact all over the world – something which Robuchon helped to achieve in his lifetime.
The Association of Master Cooks of France, created in 1949, has become an integral part of keeping the wonders of French cuisine very much a part of fine dining, where it remains a key piece of the puzzle for many chefs in training. Joel Robuchon was born in Poitiers and began cooking at the unusually young age of 12 at the seminary in the village of Mauléon, Deux-Sèvres. It was here that he found his passion and at 21, he travelled to France to expand his knowledge of food in his home country. His career always remained dedicated to the regional dishes and ingredients that he was raised on, but with his own special flair and drive for perfection, and led to the creation of many visually stunning and technically flawless plates.
Much in the style of Maîtres Cuisinier de France events, Robuchon brought his skills and delightful French offerings to every corner of the globe, with restaurants in a huge number of cities including Bangkok, Las Vegas, London, Macau, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo. But in keeping with his ethos, every establishment has a French menu with a twist - designed using only the very best, local ingredients.
Joel Robuchon will be sorely missed by his wife and their two children and the loss of his presence on the culinary scene will be felt acutely by the many who were inspired and endlessly impressed by him.