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Not much footage of ‘Eugénie Brazier’, the first woman to hold three Michelin stars and the first person to ever hold six, survives of the iconic French chef at work but here is some.
It’s only right that on International Women’s Day that we remember one of the greatest in the world of gastronomy.
Known as the ‘Mother of French Cooking’, Brazier was born 12 June 1895. She opened her first restaurant in Lyon at the age of 26 and her star soon rose with her brand of simple, elegant and very French food. In fact, she is attributed with inventing Lyonnaise cuisine, a style of cooking that earned her student, one Paul Bocuse an international reputation.
While Brazier cooked for the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Charles de Gaulle, who came from far and wide to eat her dishes like ‘Langouste Belle Aurore’, a whole lobster in brandy and cream or ‘chicken in half mourning', with truffle under the skin before the bird is poached, Brazier shunned the limelight.
She famously turned down the French Legion of Honour claiming that the medal "should be given out for doing more important things than cooking well and doing the job as you're supposed to."
Cooking for love, not glory was Brazier’s raison d'être. Orphaned at the age of 10 she claimed that she “had never eaten better,” than her mother’s simple dish of leaks and vegetables cooked in milk and water and enriched with eggs and poured over stale bread.