A Great Chef has passed. Paul Bocuse one of the early developers of nouvelle cuisine in France and around the world passed away last week at the age of 91. Bocuse was an inspiration for my friend and culinary muse Lucien Vendome (pictured together in 2012). Lucien had an impactful career with Nestle as their director of Cullinary innovation, and innovation was something Bocuse clearly mastered.
In his obituary, The NY Times said “Following the lead of Fernand Point, the spiritual father of nouvelle cuisine and a mentor to many of its pioneers, Mr. Bocuse shaped a style of cooking at the restaurant that stressed fresh ingredients, lighter sauces, unusual flavor combinations and relentless innovation that, in his case, rested on a solid mastery of classic technique”.
One of my favorite stories from Lucien on Bocuse was, when being asked about the explosion of Nouvelle Cuisine around the world, Bocuse said: “I love Dover Sole and I love Blueberrys just not necessarily together”. Combining unusual ingredients can be a beautiful thing. Great chefs find ways to bring ingredients together, layering in flavor in such a way that delights the eye and amazes the palate.
“It is not true that Paul Bocuse invented Nouvelle Cuisine,” he told The Wall Street Journal in 2011. “There were a few dishes that were developed lighter, but that is normal in cooking. The term Nouvelle Cuisine as it came to be known was nothing to do with what was on the plate, but what was on the bill.”
One of my favorite things about Bocuse was his gift for marketing. The NYT said:
Mr. Bocuse, a tireless self-promoter, was a constant presence in the news media and on television. “You’ve got to beat the drum in life,” he told People magazine in 1976. “God is already famous, but that doesn’t stop the preacher from ringing the church bells every morning.”
To the point of self promotion, next week will be a big one for Impromptu Friday Nights – A Guide To Supper Clubs:
January 28 – Central Illinois Regional Radio – an interview on Impromptu Friday nights on “Sunday Morning Easy” with Orv Graham at 11:15 am
January 29 – WREG TV’s Live at 9 Monday Morning at 9 am talking about the keys to hosting a Super Bowl Party
January 30 – Impromptu Friday Nights – A Guide To Supper Clubs is published by Morgan James Publishing.
February 1 – Book Signing at Novel Bookstore
Where: Novel Bookstore (The Old Davis Kidd)
When: Thursday February 1, 2018
Time: 6 pm
Address: 387 Perkins Extd Memphis TN 38117
Hoping to see you there.