Often referred to as the “pope of French cuisine”, esteemed French chef Paul Bocuse has died at age 91.

Bocuse trained under French chefs Eugénie Brazier and Fernand Point and was an early proponent of nouvelle cuisine, a style of cooking that focuses on lighter dishes and artful presentation.

French president Emmanuel Macron described Bocuse as “the epitome of French cuisine”.

“The chefs cry in their kitchens, at the Elysée [Palace] and everywhere in France,” says Macron.

Bocuse rose to fame in the ’70s with iconic dishes such as fillet of red mullet covered in potato “scales” and his truffle soup V.G.E., which he originally created for a presidential dinner at the Elysée Palace.

He opened a number of restaurants during his career including l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, a three-Michelin starred restaurant in Lyon, and Les Chefs de France restaurant in the EPCOT Center in Florida, which is now run by his son Jérôme.

International cooking competition Bocuse d’Or was also named after the influential chef.

Tributes have poured in, with chefs from all over the world thanking him for his contribution to French gastronomy.

US chef Anthony Bourdain paid his respects via Twitter.

“A hero to me from my earliest days as a cook,” says Bourdain. “A great, great chef who was very kind to me. To have spent time with him was an honor and a dream come true.”

Danish chef René Redzepi tweeted: “Thank you for a lifetime of work and inspiration.”

Image credit: Robb Report

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