Written to the memory of the great Paul Bocuse

I have never heard of a chef like Paul Bocuse – someone so determined, so dedicated to have been mastering the culinary arts for almost 50 years. Paul Bocuse’s undisputed talent, refined cooking techniques and burning desire for preparing masterpieces from local fresh produce, everyday put him on a pedestal as the chef who contributed the most exquisitely in guiding 20th Century French cuisine.

Due to the dozens of medals, awards and of course his World Record of 3 Michelin stars continuously held since 1965 – at his Lyon restaurant L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges – it is no wonder that he has been called the Chef of the Century.

The Bocuse story began in the 17th century, with the family line of cooks’ regional dishes and recipes combining the simple with the prestigious, culminating centuries later in the era of Paul Bocuse; an era that has turned gastronomy upside down in the best possible way.

The history of his joy in regaling gastronomes with regional delicacies, passing on his ethos to future generations that is  reflected in his commitment to culinary art –  encouraging all of the prospective great chefs worldwide. Bocuse collaborated with many world-class chefs and organised cooking schools in oriental Japan where he also opened a number of patisseries under his own label.

Combining his entrepreneurial spirit along with the diligence to refine the skills of youngsters, in 1987 Bocuse launched his own cooking contest for professionals named Bocuse d’Or, a biennial event that culminates in a grand finale at Sihra the international hospitality and food service event centre in Lyon.

This contest has been bringing together determined chefs from each continent for over 30 years now and has considerably contributed to exhibiting and encouraging young talent worldwide. For this reason it is no surprise that the whole concept of Bocuse’s work and his ethos have left an important mark on gastronomy.

Undoubtedly, it was no different even when we visited his famous 3-star restaurant in the outskirts of the French culinary capital Lyon. When we arrived it was obvious at first glance that the exterior of the restaurant itself was profoundly unique.

A cock – the national symbol of French pride on each side with the quote ‘au fond du pot git la vérité’ literarlly translated as ‘at the bottom of the pot lays the truth’ indicated that this place exudes the true French pride that attracts gourmets from around the world. Indeed it is more than the décor that makes the experience unforgettable. Once we were sat behind our table the waiter brought us aperitifs simple vodka martinis.

Even though I am only an occasional drinker this was the best martini I have ever had. Before I did not know that the right temperature is the key if you are after top quality aperitif. Now you are probably asking; how do I know? Well, martini should be served in a the glass that is pre-chilled and for those who do not drink very often it takes the slight irritating rough taste away so you can it at its best quality.

Traditionally, in a French restaurant you get fresh pastry with butter, not chilled from a fridge like we are used to from home but smooth, freshly made soft cubes kept at room temperature that spread wonderfully.

After, it was time for a starter and nothing could be a better choice than a classic foie gras – super soft texture, with spotlessly balanced tastes that melted in my mouth. Next was main course, we went for the tender beef fillet Rossini with dark creamy thick mushroom and beef jus sauce, along with juicy pigeon breast in delicate puff pastry – indeed everything proudly presented on the Paul Bocuse plates symbolizing  his determination to highlight and celebrate France on the gourmet world map.

When I go back to dig into my memories trying to recall all the details, especially because we did not take as many pictures as we usually do but I can tell that anyone who visits this restaurant will leave with a mark in their hearts via their stomachs that Paul Bocuse gifted.

And why? Because the love for cooking that Paul Bocuse represented and produced during his active years proves that such love can actually be transmitted to the stomach!

Merci Chef

Hi guys! We are Milica and Daniel or Millie and Dan, a happy couple with Slovak-Australian origins that love to travel. But not just randomly! We explore to show other couples how to spend good times together and experience some of the best times wining, dining and enjoying places. Does it sound good to you? Read more and get inspired! Read our story here >>

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