Legendary French chef Paul Bocuse died Saturday, January 20 at the age of 91. Bocuse is largely credited with popularizing nouvelle cuisine, the now-ubiquitous style of cooking characterized by careful presentation, light sauces, and fresh produce. Bocuse rose to international prominence in the 1970s, and his influence spans decades; he is also considered one of the first celebrity chefs.
Since the French Interior Minister announced the news Saturday, Bocuse’s acolytes and admirers have shared their memories of the chef on social media. The giant of modern cuisine that he was, Bocuse influenced many of today’s biggest-name chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud, and Thomas Keller, just to name a few. Over the weekend, many shared photos from various points in Bocuse’s storied career in their social media eulogies.
Merci #MonsieurPaul for your friendship and sense of humor. I will always treasure our times together, especially that time we were in Florida working at an event together. When we were relaxing in the jacuzzi only you would call it “pot au feu.” I laughed so hard. I still do. Merci, Chef. You are the definition of a #Legend. #RIP
Adieu #monsieurpaul ❤️la grande famille des chefs dans le monde est si triste d’avoir perdu notre icône de la #cuisinefrancaise #chefpaulbocuse , mes pensées vont a sa famille et toutes les brigades qui l’entourent a #collonges @paulbocuse_officiel #lyon . my thoughts goes to his family and his teams in Lyon .Thank you #monsieurpaul for being the greatest influence in my life since i started cooking at 14 .your love ,generosity & legacy will continue to guide me as a chef forever #mercichef @bocusedor @bocuserestaurant @bocuse
Bon voyage Chef Paul! A Giant among men a true legend in the culinary world. It was an honor to serve in your brigade. The invaluable lessons I learned at the restaurant gave me all the inspiration and encouragement to succeed as a Chef & restauranteur. You will be dearly missed #monsieurpaul ❤️❤️❤️
Others expressed their sadness at his passing, and some chefs, including those who did not know him personally, acknowledged Bocuse as an inspiration.
Saddened by the passing of Paul Bocuse, one of my first mentors. He was an amazing chef who showed the world great French Cuisine. He will be missed.— Emeril Lagasse (@Emeril) January 20, 2018
Chef Paul Bocuse changed our lives and the lives of millions. He set the example for chefs and restauranteurs. He helped us understand the importance of evolution, teaching, mentoring, sharing, and building meaningful relationships. Join me in celebrating his exemplary life. pic.twitter.com/e38ye2tuUP— Thomas Keller (@Chef_Keller) January 20, 2018
Our industry lost a great this weekend. Thank you for your friendship @PaulBocuse. Your leadership and dedication to the craft touched many and will continue to live on through the talented chefs and patrons who have been influenced by your legacy.— Wolfgang Puck (@WolfgangPuck) January 21, 2018
Ma peine est immense mais une petite voix intérieure atténue ma tristesse...Monsieur Paul est parti retrouver son ami, mon père Jacques Pic, là-haut dans les étoiles au paradis des grands chefs...au revoir Monsieur Paul @paulbocuse_officiel #paulbocuse #3etoiles #guidemichelin #légende #papedelacuisinefrancaise #lesgrandestablesdumonde #instachef #instabocuse #gastronomie #cuisine #grandchef #collonges #lyon -Magnifique photo de @philippe_schaff
The angels will have a feast today. Paul Bocuse has joined them. #RIP Amazing influence in so many chefs and people....— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 20, 2018
Thank you for the incredible path you’ve built for us, your passion, creativity and commitment has changed the culinary world forever . You’re the reason why our profession is getting recognized in the way it does you’ve made being a chef noble. Sending my love to you Chef, your family and your entire team. Rest In Peace Monsieur Paul! #makeitnice
Bocuse’s influence was clear well before his death (the bi-annual Bocuse d’Or, an international cooking competition named for the chef, is 30 years old) and a video tribute to the chef, created a year ago, is also making the rounds on social media. In it, several familiar faces describe the profound effect Bocuse had on contemporary cooking.
According to Lyon newspaper Le Progrès, a funeral for Bocuse will be held January 26 at the Lyon Cathedral. But, given his role in the highest echelons of the culinary scene, these surely won’t be the last tributes to the chef.