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Is Paul Bocuse The New Auguste Escoffier?

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Is Paul Bocuse The New Auguste Escoffier?
Photo Kitchen World/Blogspot

This week the Culinary Institute of America announced plans to renovate and rename its Escoffier Restaurant in honor of legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, who the institute has recognized as Chef of the Century.

When it opens next year, the Bocuse Restaurant will be a modern take on French cuisine, shifting away from formal French dining to a ''sleek, haute brasserie,'' as explained in an article by the New York Times. Chefs and professional cooks understand the significance of such a change. It is akin to the face of George Washington being replaced by Barack Obama's on the American dollar bill. 

Paul Bocuse has received many honors in his lifetime, including three Michelin stars. The celebrated chef has left his mark in gastronomy: from propelling nouvelle cuisine to conceiving the Bocuse d'Or, one of the most prestigious culinary awards in the world. The 86-year old is a living culinary legend. 

This begs the question: Is Paul Bocuse the modern day Auguste Escoffier? The latter is considered the godfather of classic French cuisine. He codified the culinary brigade system, popularized French food and made cooking a respected profession. Escoffier's name has been honored time and again in culinary schools and books. But the CIA's move marks a new page in culinary history.

Seldom do we see such changes take place before our eyes. Two great chefs, two big names, and much history made. There's no doubt Escoffier will continue to be an important figure in the history of French cuisine but it seems the torch has slowly been passed to Bocuse. Do you think the chef is the modern day Escoffier?


  • andresdangond said on

    With all due respect: No. He isn't. Auguste Escoffier is known for (among many other great things) codifying French cusine, creating the brigade system, impulsing classic French cuisine, and in general terms making 'cooking' respectable and important, then Ferran Adrià is the one who comes as near as possible, or even beyond, accomplishing something as impacting as that. Chef Adria is who deserves to be thought of as 'The New Escoffier'. Chef Adria deconstructed the kitchen and put it back together giving it new, fresh and infinite capabilities. He took the cooking world as we knew it and changed it completely, catapulting what can happen in a kitchen into endless possibilities.

    Paul Bocuse is definitely a legend, a master. Synonym of greatness and culinary royalty. Chef Bocuse without a doubt deserves enormous respect and admiration for all his work and amazing accomplishments. But no one -after Escoffier- has dedicated his time and career to record, codify, create AND TEACH new cooking techniques and dishes like Chef Adria has. Chef Adria is the genius that raised the culinary bar far beyond our imagination. He has unleashed an endless culinary revolution.

    In my humble opinion, Chef Adriá is the New August Escoffier.


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