Chef Joël Robuchon died Monday at age 73 of cancer, Le Figaro reports. The iconic chef, with a recent reopening in New York City of his fine dining chain L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, left behind a massively influential legacy of nouvelle French cooking. He is also the most Michelin-decorated chef in history.
With 12 locations of his L’Atelier around the world, Robuchon spread his style of cooking far and wide. The revered chef favored modernizing and casualizing French fare in playful and simple ways, most famously in his butter-heavy pommes purée and through implementing counter seating in traditionally more formal venues.
Here in NYC, he reopened his location of L’Atelier in October 2017 in west Chelsea after a five-year absence in the city. His original Midtown location closed in 2012. In those five years, the chef adopted a healthier outlook on life, and the Chelsea menu reflects that, with a larger focus on organic ingredients and a vegetarian tasting menu. It did not debut to rave reviews.
Robuchon made his name at his first restaurant Jamin in Paris, which scored three Michelin stars three years in a row — and trained chefs like Gordon Ramsay — before founding his eponymous restaurant. Over the years, L’Atelier grew into its now 12 locations and earned 32 Michelins stars across them all.