French chef Joël Robuchon died today at age 73. Over three-plus decades, Robuchon built a restaurant empire that spans three continents and earned renown in the culinary world for his “cuisine moderne.” His industry peers and admirers are paying tribute to an influential icon, and among the outpouring of remembrances, French dining guide Michelin released a statement to acknowledge “the most starred of chefs in the world.”
According to the statement, at the time of Robuchon’s death, he had a total of 24 Michelin stars at 13 restaurants in nine different cities. “He made his mark in the history of gastronomy and shone the spotlight on French cuisine and culinary art on all continents,” the statement reads. “From Paris to Tokyo, as in New York, he displayed his signature style and unique know-how.”
Three Robuchon restaurants — Robuchon au Dome in Macau, Joël Robuchon in Tokyo, and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong — have three stars, Michelin’s highest honor. A fourth restaurant with three stars, Joël Robuchon in Singapore, closed earlier this year.
Michelin hails Robuchon as one of “the world’s greatest chefs,” and Jean-Dominique Senard, president of the Michelin group, calls him “a unique man, an extraordinary chef who revolutionized French cuisine.”
Senard adds that Michelin and the culinary world are mourning the loss of an artisan, an artist, and an entrepreneur: “Through his talent and creativity, he has contributed to the highest degree to restore gastronomy to its nobility and elevate it to the status of a recognized art. From his restaurant Jamin, famous around the world, and through his Ateliers de Joël Robuchon, he became a true entrepreneur at the head of a gastronomic group which he has spread worldwide.”