Three Michelin star French chef, dies aged 91

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Master French chef Paul Bocuse has died at the age of 91, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb announced Saturday.

"Mr Paul was France". He was at the forefront of the Nouvelle Cuisine revolution, sweeping away the rich and heavy sauces of the past in favor of fresh ingredients and sleek aesthetics that favored good health. "Simplicity and generosity. Excellence and art de vivre".

Bocuse's main restaurant, L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Lyon, France, long has been hailed as one of the world's top restaurants, winning the maximum three stars from the Michelin Guide.

Decades before the era of the foodie and celebrity TV chef, Bocuse enjoyed rock star status among the world's culinary cognescenti and started restaurants from Tokyo to NY. A truffle soup and sea bass stuffed in a puff pastry shell are among Bocuse's signature dishes there.

He could have settled for being a renowned chef with a prized bistro but he chose to extend his culinary skills into an array of food operations ranging from haute cuisine to fast food that spanned the world.

Bocuse was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor, one of France's highest civilian awards, in 2004.

Bocuse is credited with defining French cuisine for more than half a century and raising the profile of top chefs from invisible kitchen artists to worldwide celebrities.

"His name alone sums up French gastronomy; his generosity, his respect for traditions but also his innovation", Macron said. He also trained generations of French and foreign chefs, letting them in on the secrets of his culinary genius.

Chefs across the country would be "crying in their kitchens", he added.

American celebrity chef Tom Colicchio described Bocuse as "the giant (whose) shoulders we all stood on".

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