PARIS (REUTERS) - French chef Joel Robuchon, who owned and ran gourmet restaurants in three continents including several awarded three Michelin stars, died on Monday (Aug 6) in Geneva aged 73, his staff said.
Named the "chef of the century" by the Gault et Millau cooking guide in 1990, Robuchon was regarded as a perfectionist, toiling to make even ordinary seeming dishes - such as mashed potatoes - the very best they could be.
He came into his own in the 1980s and early 1990s, when gourmet food went global. He steadily expanded his renown, from being one of Paris's most recognised three-star chefs to become a worldwide phenomenon.
In France, Robuchon is regarded as a chef who ushered in an era of authenticity after the restraint of nouvelle cuisine.
"The older I get, the more I realise the truth is: the simpler the food, the more exception it can be," he told Business Insider in an interview in 2014.
"I never try to marry more than three flavours in one dish. I like walking into a kitchen and knowing that the dishes are identifiable and the ingredients within them easy to detect."
Born in Poitiers, western France, in 1945, Robuchon rose quickly through apprenticeships, learning techniques from across the country, before taking over as head chef of what was then the Hotel Concorde La Fayette in Paris at the age of 29.
As with many other star chefs, his brand eventually became a business in itself and he opened restaurants from Las Vegas to Shanghai, Bangkok, Macau, Tokyo and New York.
In June this year, his company closed its two restaurants in Singapore, with five Michelin stars between them.