We pay tribute to culinary genius Chef Paul Bocuse who sadly passed away last month at the age of 91. This favourite son of France; holder of 3 Michelin Stars for over 50 years, The Culinary Institute of America’s Chef of the Century, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, and the Légion d’honneur – just some of accolades received by the recognised Father of French Cuisine, legend, and one of our most revered contributors and columnists.
When Food and Travel Arabia asked me to become a contributor to their esteemed publication I could see they shared my passion for commitment and quality. I always wanted to be a chef, I grew up in the family restaurant, and for almost 75 years I have strived to be the best chef I can be; and my love of French food and an unbridled commitment to quality has always served me well.
For my first column I was asked to write a little about my formula for success and some of my most treasured achievements – I think many people were expecting me to say earning 3 Michelin stars, an accomplishment of which I am immensely proud, and I still have them over 50 years later; however I would say my proudest moment was in 1961 when I was awarded the title of ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ (Best Craftsman of France).
I do believe that if you work hard and persevere you get better every day, being consistent isn’t enough; you must always to strive to improve. My dishes tend to be perhaps more refined and more delicate, using only the freshest and finest of ingredients and a healthy respect for nature.
My flame for French cuisine has never dwindled, and at 90 years of age I hope my legacy will be my desire to pass along my knowledge to the next generation, and encourage them to reach for success and culinary excellence; which is why 30 years ago I created the Bocuse d’Or, a gastronomy contest that places the emphasis on inspiration, refined techniques and passion for the culinary arts. This is the spirit of Paul Bocuse and the spirit of the Bocuse d’Or.
Which is why I am pleased to see that Food and Travel share my commitment to excellence, with the Food and Travel GCC Awards being judged on the basis of quality, talent and consistency by panel of expert judges. “To the winners my congratulations, to the finalists well done and if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – because you will get better and better with every day.”
bocuse.com ~ bocusedor.com
This was his debut column for Food and Travel Arabia and it perfectly sums up his, unbridled talent, innate humility and intense passion, which were all evident in abundance