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Joël Robuchon
Photograph: Courtesy Christian Brun/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Famed chef Joël Robuchon has passed away

Written by
Alyson Penn

Less than one year after opening his big comeback restaurant in NYC, chef Joël Robuchon has passed away from cancer at 73 years old in Geneva, Switzerland.

Robuchon was one of the most successful chefs of his generation. Throughout his long career, he racked up 32 Michelin stars, the most of any chef in history. Additionally, in 1989, he was named "Chef of the Century" from Gault et Millau, a French restaurant guide.

At the young age of 29 he was named head chef at the Hotel Concorde La Fayette in Paris, and by age 36 (in 1981) his Parisian restaurant Café Jamin earned its first Michelin star. It would then earn a Michelin star for the next two years, an accomplishment unheard of at the time from the restaurant guide. Robuchon was also a culinary mentor to celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay (Hell's Kitchen) and Éric Ripert (Le Bernardin).

His distinct style of nouvelle French cooking allowed him to open dozens of restaurants around the world, including in London, Monaco, Paris, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo, among others. His highly anticipated NYC restaurant debut in 2006, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, opened in midtown’s Four Seasons to rave reviews and earned two Michelin stars before it shuttered in 2012.

Robuchon reopened L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in the Meatpacking District in October 2017. This January, Time Out New York gave it a glowing five stars. Our critic wrote of its tasting menu, "It’s a dinner that transcends quality, extravagance or privilege to become an absolute, unfettered joy.” Even though Robuchon will undoubtedly be missed, his food will continue to bring that same joy to diners around the world. 

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