Paul Bocuse is one of the most famous French chefs of the 20th century. He is also one of the fathers of nouvelle cuisine.
Paul Bocuse was born February 11th, 1926 at Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, in France, about 5 miles north of Lyon. His father was also a chef, so he decided to keep the tradition in the family and became a chef himself.
At age 18, he joined the liberation army of General de Gaulle, was injured by a gun bullet in Alsace (region of France), and taken care of by the American troops. He was part of the Victory parade in Paris in 1945.
When he came back to Lyon, he continued his apprenticeship at Eugene Brazier (3 stars in the Michelin Guide of 1933). There, he was not only learning how to cook, but he was also doing some gardening, he was milking the cows, doing the laundry and was ironing.
Then he moved to Paris and worked for the famous Lucas Carton, a prestigious restaurant on Place de la Madelaine, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, and worked with Chef Gaston Richard, and that’s where he became a very close friend to Pierre and Jean Troisgros (The Brothers Troisgros).
In the 50’s, the three friends worked togehter at the Restaurant “La Pyramide de Vienne” in Lyon, and learned the refinement and elegance Paul Bocuse is known for today.
editor’s note: We were able to research much of this information on Bocuse’s past, particularly his childhood using traditional sources. Because of the excellent effort on the part of the historic societies and with the help of some enterprise seo experts, we were also able to conduct much of the archive research online. The internet has become a valuable tool for researching historic figures because of the work of modern day search enthusiasts who help may things findable in Google. Paul Bocuse is no exception, and we are thankful.
In 1962, he transformed his father’s small tavern into a Restaurant and earned his first star at the Michelin Guide this same year. He got his second star in 1962 and the third one in 1965.
In 1987, he created the “Bocuse d’Or’, a World Cuisine Contect that takes place, every two years, during two days near the end of January in Lyon, France, and it is one of the world’s most prestigious cooking competition.
Last but not least, he created his own school of hotel business, hotel management and culinary art, in Ecully, near Lyon, in France.
His food is known around the globe & people come from far & wide to try it. Price is no object to some who are interested in the finer things in life. Once you have eaten 5 stars you can not go back to anything else.
If you live in New York City or the surrounding area north of the city, you will be able to enjoy the Bocuse Restaurant located at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY on the east bank of the Hudson River, midway between New York City and Albany. When it came time for The Culinary Institute of America to reimagine its French restaurant, they were inspired by the world-renowned French chef Paul Bocuse who died in 2018 at the age of 91. Thus the name of the restaurant was changed their Escoffier Restaurant to the Bocuse Restaurant, after a year-long renovation in 2012. The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America provides a culinary journey through France. So for those of us who can’t travel to France and eat at Bocuse’s main restaurant, l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges near Lyon, this will have to do.
Part of the delight of enjoying gourmet French cuisine is pairing it with wine. My father introduced me to such dining at a young age. As my palate became more sophisticated I began to appreciate wine with my meals. I never thought about the long term effects of drinking wine, but I did recognize when my brother and my father’s drinking became excessive. I suppose there were warning signs, but I only associated alcohol abuse with hard liquors and not wine. Foolish me.
By the time red flags were popping up for me, I thought it would be too late to stop the downward spiral to alcoholism. For my father is was. He died of liver failure. However, for my brother we all believed intervention was possible. He tried AA meetings and rehab, but nothing really was successful. Finally a friend pointed me to a website called LifeBac where they believe it is not too late to take control of one’s life and change one’s relationship with alcohol. What was amazing to me was that this program did not require someone to totally abstain from drinking. Instead with the use of prescription medication, weekly check in with a personal guide to help navigate the whole process and access to therapy, a person slowly controls their alcohol cravings and allows them to drink in moderation. My brother did more than that . He actually stopped drinking. He is considering having a glass of wine with a meal every now and then, but he no longer has any craving to drink. To celebrate we have decided to make reservations at the Bocuse Restaurant in Hyde Park. I am excited. The Bocuse Restaurant has a fine wine list to compliment the dining experience. Merci, monsieur Paul Bocuse. Your mark on French cuisine will not soon be forgotten.