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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Joel Robuchon Wins St. Pellegrino Lifetime Achievmen 2009t

Prolific multi-award winning restaurateur Joël Robuchon wins the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award as chosen by Restaurant Magazine.

The award will be presented at The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards ceremony in London on 20 April.

Joël Robuchon has long been one of France¹s legendary culinary masters. He is renowned for his rigour, skill and passion, and for reinventing the notion of fine dining. In addition to building up a culinary empire, he has taught and inspired many of today¹s great chefs.

Robuchon will be presented with his award by chef Claude Bosi in the magnificent surroundings of the Freemasons’ Hall in London’s Covent Garden. In accepting this honour the Hibiscus chef-proprietor Bosi extolled the great chef’s influence:

Having accomplished what most chefs can only dream of in their careers, Joël Robuchon has made a huge impact on our industry. Building his empire using basic fundamentals; discipline, honesty and consistency; he has achieved the formulae of worldwide success. Joël Robuchon is one of the few who I can personally say has been instrumental in developing the food and restaurants we have today."
Claude Bosi, chef-proprietor, Hibiscus

On Monday 20 April Joël Robuchon will be surrounded by his peers, all fellow members of the restaurant nobility, to hear the annual roll call of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. 

Paul Wootton, editor of Restaurant magazine which organises the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, explains why Joël Robuchon was chosen to be recipient of this award:

His embracing of other culinary cultures and dining experiences propelled him to new heights when he re-emerged on to the restaurant scene in 2003, allowing him to create a restaurant empire that spans the globe. He demonstrated how great food can both absorb and transcend cultural and linguistic differences. While he may now be a global culinary superstar (the fact that he holds more Michelin stars than anyone else attests to that), he remains a stickler for detail and as infatuated with the art of cooking as he has ever been. That he can disseminate his culinary vision without diluting it is a rare achievement indeed.”

Paul Wootton, Editor, Restaurant 

In accepting this award Joël Robuchon joins previous winners Gualtiero Marchesi (2008), Alice Waters (2007), Michel Roux Sr. and Albert Roux (2006) and Paul Bocuse (2005), all of whom have made an outstanding contribution to the pursuit of culinary excellence.

Despite having achieved such heights of culinary excellence, Robuchon shows no sign of him taking his foot off the pedal. Robuchon opened his first “pure” Japanese restaurant, Yoshi in Monaco in January this year.

Joël Robuchon will be in the UK for a limited period and will be available for a select number of interviews on Monday 20 April only.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by Laurent-Perrier. 

Biography Joel Robuchon

Joel Robuchon was born on April 7, 1945 in Poitiers.  His father was a mason, his mother a housewife.

He entered the seminary at the age of twelve, and was intended for the priesthood.  Three years later, however, family difficulties forced him to find work, and as his best moments at the seminary had been spent in the kitchen, he consequently became an apprentice at the Relais de Poitiers for three years, where he learnt the basics of traditional culinary techniques.

In 1966 Robuchon became the official chef of La Tour de France namely “Compagnon du Tour de France”, enabling him to travel throughout the country, learning a variety of diverse regional techniques.  As a companion he also became inculcated with the spirit of reaching moral, manual and physical perfection.  

Aged 28, Robuchon was named head chef of the new hotel, Harmony-Lafayette, overseeing 3000 meals everyday.  Two years later, he received the highest distinction to which a manual worker can aspire to in France “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”.

In 1981 Robuchon set up his own restaurant, Jamin, in Paris.  Within three years, he received three Michelin stars and was subsequently elected “Cuisinier du Siècle” (“Chef of the Century”) by the Guide Gault Millau. 

In 1996, at the age of 50, Robuchon left the eponymously Parisian restaurant which he had opened two years earlier. Rather than retire, he maintained the direction of his restaurant in Tokyo. He opened L’Atelier Joel Robuchon Tokyo in 2003 followed swiftly by further L’Ateliers in Paris (2003), Las Vegas (2005), New York (2006), London (2006) and Hong Kong (2006). He also established Restaurant Joel Robuchon Monte-Carlo (2004), Restaurant Joel Robuchon Las Vegas (2005), La Table de Joel Robuchon Paris (2004), La Table de Joel Robuchon Tokyo (2004), La Table de Joel Robuchon Nagoya (2007) and a shop La Cave de Joel Robuchon Paris (2007).

With no sign of him taking his foot off the pedal, Robuchon opened his first “pure” Japanese restaurant, Yoshi in Monaco in January this year. 


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