June 14 , 2018
The art of cooking and presenting beautiful dishes has been a topic on the minds of many. One reason for this could be the loss of some amazing chefs this year, with Mr. Anthony Bourdain being the most recent. Another legendary chef who passed away not too long ago was Mr. Paul Bocuse, a world-famous french chef who passed away this past January.
Bocuse was an extremely esteemed chef, winning numerous awards and teaching other admirable chefs. He transformed cooking culture by further popularizing the cooking style nouvelle cuisine, which is essentially a type of cooking characterized by delicate-looking dishes that focus on pristine, beautiful presentation. It shies away from heavy, rich ingredients and instead focuses on lighter, fresh dishes. So, while this type of cooking has a distinct fresh taste, there is also a visual aesthetic that is a focal point for this style as well. This movement piqued during the 60s and 70s because it was a modern version of traditional french cooking.
Bocuse created many signature dishes such as his Soupe V.G.E., which is a truffle soup and foie gras in chicken broth which is then covered in puff pastry. His innovation in the kitchen is what granted him his celebrity status as a renowned french chef who was, and still continues to be, revered by cooking experts around the world.
As well as this, Bocuse was incessant about self-promotion. He felt it was significantly important to make sure his presence was known in the media and news so that himself and his cooking stayed relevant in a fast-moving world. His focus on promoting his art and his efforts in the realm of cooking are what helped modern chefs be seen as celebrity figures in today's society. Bucose truly shaped the way we look at chefs and how cooking is viewed as an art form. He was even named “chef of the century” by the Culinary Institute of America. While he became widely known and was a prominent figurehead in the realm of cooking, he remained grounded in his french roots and stayed consistent with his placement near Lyon, France.
Anthony Bourdain, celebrated American chef, said of Bocuse: “Paul Bocuse. A hero to me from my earliest days as a cook. A great, great chef who was very kind to me. To have spent time with him was an honor and a dream come true.”
The cooking biography, Happiness is in the Kitchen by Giulio Albertoni, is not only a biography of the nouvelle cuisine style of cooking, but also of one of its main champions, Mr. Paul Bocuse. This is the last interview Bocuse did before his passing in January, making this biography even more special. Published under the imprint Brown Posey Press, this biography discusses the art of modern french cooking and the cultural phenomenon the movement turned into while also showcasing the story of one of France's (and the world's) greatest chefs of all time.