Great meals without fuss for Nouvelle Cuisine pioneer

Leading French chef Alain Senderens.
Leading French chef Alain Senderens.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • Leading French chef Alain Senderens, one of the founders of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement, has died at age 77, food critic Gilles Pudlowski said on Monday.

"He was one of the last great creators of Paris. This creator was a visionary," he said of Senderens.

The latter, along with Paul Bocuse, Michel Guerard and others, was a stalwart of France's Nouvelle Cuisine in the 1960s and 1970s.

"We will never forget you, dear Alain. We miss you already," Pudlowski wrote on his blog.

Nouvelle Cuisine was characterised by super-sleek aesthetics and lighter, more delicate dishes than traditional, sauce-heavy French fare.

Senderens ranked as one of France's top chefs for decades, holding on to a prized three- Michelin-star rating for 28 years.

In 1968, he rolled out his restaurant L'Archestrate in Paris before shutting it in 1985.

He then became the chef of Lucas Carton restaurant in Paris, where he famously renounced in 2005 the three Michelin stars he had earned and renamed the restaurant after himself.

He wanted to take a simpler, less formal approach to dining. "So I want to open a different restaurant, a great meal without all the fuss," he said at the time, adding that prices would be more affordable at about €100.

Senderens delighted in upsetting the world of French gastronomy by pushing sweet-and-sour combinations such as lobster with vanilla or by digging up ancient recipes such as roast Apicius duck, a dish dating back to Roman times.

He once caused an uproar by proclaiming that white wine should be served with cheese.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'Great meals without fuss for Nouvelle Cuisine pioneer'. Subscribe