What is French for “Yum!”?

By Anastasia Mills Healy

If you haven’t heard of Paul Bocuse, we suggest you put down your frozen dinner and hightail it to Lyon. Named the “Chef of the Century” by the Culinary Institute of America last year, the 85-year-old Bocuse has earned three Michelin stars without fail since 1965 for his traditional French cooking at Auberge du Pont de Collonges.

Set in his childhood home on the Saône River, the restaurant was run by his father until 1958. To give you a notion of how he feels about tradition, Bocuse still sleeps in his childhood bedroom.

During his more than 50 years in the kitchen, Bocuse has served presidents and celebrities and mentored some of the world’s most renowned chefs, including Daniel Boulud and Jean-George Vongerichten, who speak of him with reverence. He does not don his toque these days, but does oversee this and other restaurants and a small hotel in addition to his culinary institute and annual cooking contest.

What might you find on the menu? His most famous dishes are truffle soup in a puff pastry and Bresse chicken cooked in a pig’s bladder. Those with an aversion to fungi or on Lipitor should stay clear.

Eighty euros for a bowl of soup? Mais oui. But Ooh la la!

View of Lyon across the Saône River. Photo © Yenwen Lu.


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