Joël Robuchon was the most decorated Chef in restaurant history, the first to receive three consecutive Michelin stars for one restaurant, and the only chef to ever hold an astounding 32 altogether – a feat achieved in 2016 across the Joël Robuchon restaurant group. A remarkable achievement, and testament to his rigorous work ethic, vision, and undeniable skill.
Robuchon was a pioneer in fine dining, revolutionising the classic concept by championing simplicity and precision over showmanship or theatrics, to focus on flavour. Placing the emphasis on a smaller number of ingredients, he elevated this concept to coin his very own ‘Cuisine Moderne’ style of cooking, earning him the reputation of ‘Cook of the Century.’ ‘Cuisine Moderne’ followed the ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ movement, and reintroduced to the plate a depth and complexity of individual flavours. This iconic signature style though undeniably skilful was more broadly accessible, and propelled him to worldwide success, leading to restaurants across 13 countries including London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and of course Paris.
Of all the haute cuisine in Joël Robuchon’s repertoire, he is perhaps most notably credited for elevating the humble mashed potato to the refined standards of the French kitchen. With a potato to butter ratio of 2:1, the now infamous signature recipe has consistently maintained the title of ‘best mashed potato in the world’. This passion for creating something truly extraordinary out of the otherwise modest, taking fewer ingredients and making them shine, is an ethos he carried throughout his kitchen career and into later life as a teacher and restaurateur.
Robuchon retired from the kitchen at 50, but not from restaurants altogether. He took the opportunity to travel, tasting his way through local cuisines, gathering inspiration, and gathering a wealth of experience he hadn’t the opportunity for behind the stove. His time in Asia proved to be particularly influential, and he later credited his taste travels there as helping him access a heightened sense of texture within his own dishes. He also felt particularly touched by the conviviality of tapas culture throughout Spain. On his return, with a renewed fervour, he curated a new restaurant concept hugely inspired by his culinary journey, in a marriage of sushi counter style preparation and the bustling warmth of a tapas bar, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was born.
Now, continuing the legacy of Joël Robuchon, the group is opening two new London concepts Le Comptoir Robuchon and Le Deli Robuchon, which will continue his vision for excellence, simplicity and consistency.