Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon (French pronunciation: [ʒɔɛl ʁɔbyʃɔ̃], 7 April 1945 – 6 August 2018) was a French chef and restaurateur. He was named "Chef of the Century" by the guide Gault Millau in 1989,[1] and awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (France's best worker) in cuisine in 1976. He published several cookbooks, two of which have been translated into English, chaired the committee for the Larousse Gastronomique, and hosted culinary television shows in France.[2][3] He operated more than a dozen restaurants across Bangkok, Bordeaux, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Macau, Monaco, Montreal, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, and New York City. His restaurants have been acclaimed, and in 2016 he held 32 Michelin Guide stars among them, the most any restaurateur has ever held.[4][5]

Joël Robuchon
Joël Robuchon, September 2010
Born(1945-04-07)7 April 1945
Died6 August 2018(2018-08-06) (aged 73)
Geneva, Switzerland
Culinary career
Current restaurant(s)
  • Joël Robuchon (Las Vegas)
    L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Gustavia, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Macau, Miami, Monaco, Paris, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai)
    La Table de Joël Robuchon & Le Chateau de Joël Robuchon (Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo)
Previous restaurant(s)
  • Bankgkok, Jamin, London, Montreal, New York City
Television show(s)
  • Cuisinez comme un grand chef (TF1, 1996–1999)
    Bon appetit, bien sûr (France 3, 2000)
Award(s) won


Robuchon was born in 1945 in Poitiers, France, one of four children of a bricklayer.[6] He attended the seminary in Châtillon-sur-Sèvre (now Mauléon), Deux-Sèvres,[7] briefly considering a clerical career. In 1960, at the age of 15, he became an apprentice chef at the Relais de Poitiers hotel, starting as a pastry chef.[7]

After he turned 21, he joined the apprenticeship "Compagnon du Tour de France", enabling him to travel throughout the country, learning a variety of regional techniques.[7] At the age of 29, Robuchon was appointed head chef at the Hôtel Concorde La Fayette, where he managed 90 cooks.[6] In 1976 he won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France for his craftsmanship in culinary arts.[7] While working as an Executive Chef and Food and Beverage manager of the Nikko hotel in Paris he gained two Michelin stars.

In 1981 he opened his own restaurant, Jamin, which holds the rare distinction of receiving three Michelin stars in the first three years of existence.[6] In 1984, Jamin was named "Best Restaurant in the World" by International Herald Tribune.[4] Between 1987 and 1990, he became a regular of cooking shows on French television.

In 1989, prestigious restaurant guide Gault Millau named Robuchon the "Chef of the Century". He mentored many famous chefs, including Gordon Ramsay,[8] Eric Ripert,[9] and Michael Caines.[10]

In 1995, seeing many of his peers die of stress and heart attacks, Robuchon retired at the age of 50. He subsequently staged a comeback, opening several restaurants bearing his name around the world. He hosted Cuisinez comme un grand chef on TF1 from 1996 to 1999; in 2000, he hosted Bon appétit bien sûr on France 3. Through his various restaurants, including the newly awarded 3-star rating for his restaurant in Singapore, he accumulated a total of 32 Michelin Guide stars – the most of any chef in the world.[4]

In June 2018, Resorts World Singapore stated that both the three-Michelin-starred Joel Robuchon Restaurant and the two-starred L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon would close at the end of the month.[11]

Robuchon was a Freemason of the Grande Loge Nationale Française, but claimed it did not affect his career.[12]

Robuchon died from cancer on 6 August 2018, a year after receiving treatment for a pancreatic tumour.[13] He was 73.

Personal life

Robuchon and his wife Jeanine, whom he married in 1966, had two children, son Eric Robuchon, a pedicurist and podiatrist based in Paris, and daughter Sophie Kartheiser, who manages a restaurant named La Cour d'Eymet in Dordogne with her husband, chef François Kartheiser. He also has a son Louis Robuchon-Abe (born 1988) with a Japanese woman. Louis is a wine import company's owner in Japan. Robuchon was survived by his wife, his three children and four grandchildren.[14]


Robuchon has been the most influential French chef of the post-nouvelle cuisine era. Since the mid-1980s, he has been called the primus inter pares of Paris' three star chefs for his work both at Jamin and at his eponymous restaurant.[15]

Robuchon has been known for the relentless perfectionism of his cuisine; he said there is no such thing as the perfect meal – one can always do better. He was instrumental in leading French cuisine forward from the excessive reductionism of nouvelle cuisine toward a post-modern amalgam of the nouvelle, international influences – especially Japanese cuisine – and even select traditions of haute cuisine. In particular, his style of cooking was often seen as of celebrating the intrinsic qualities of the best, seasonal ingredients (dubbed "cuisine actuelle" by Patricia Wells in her book, "Simply French").[16] Drawing his inspiration firstly from the simplicity of Japanese cuisine, he led the way in creating a more delicate style respectful of natural food ingredients.[17]


Joël Robuchon restaurants are present worldwide:[18]

Robuchon's restaurants in Tokyo are located in the Château of the Ebisu Garden Place.
  • Asia
    • Dubai – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon[19]
    • Hong Kong – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (3 Michelin stars), Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon
    • Macau – Robuchon au Dôme (3 Michelin stars)
    • Shanghai – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (2 Michelin stars), Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon
    • Taipei – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (2 Michelin star), Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon
    • Tokyo – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (1 Michelin star), La Table de Joël Robuchon (2 Michelin stars), Le Chateau de Joël Robuchon (3 Michelin stars)
  • Europe
    • Bordeaux – La Grande Maison de Joël Robuchon
    • London – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (1 Michelin star), La Cuisine de Joël Robuchon (1 Michelin star)[20]
    • Monaco – Restaurant de Joël Robuchon (2 Michelin stars), Yoshi (1 Michelin star)
    • Paris – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (1 Michelin star), La Table de Joël Robuchon (2 Michelin stars)
  • North America
    • Las Vegas – Joël Robuchon, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
    • Miami – L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (2 Michelin stars)[21]

Past locations: Bangkok, Singapore, Montreal, New York City.


  • Best French Restaurant, Best Chef in Las Vegas, Las Vegas Life International Epicurean Awards[22]
  • "Hot Tables", CondeNast Traveller
  • Five-Star Award, 2006–2011 Forbes Travel Guide
  • Best French Restaurant in Las Vegas, 2006–2010, Hotel Concierge Association.
  • The Laurent Perrier 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award at The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2009


Robuchon has published numerous cookbooks in French and English, some of which are:

  • Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon[23]
  • Tout Robuchon[24] (published as The Complete Robuchon in English)
  • Joël Robuchon Cooking Through the Seasons[25]
  • La Cuisine de Joël Robuchon: A Seasonal Cookbook[26]
  • L'Atelier of Joël Robuchon: The Artistry of a Master Chef and His Protégés[27]
  • Le Grand Larousse Gastronomique[28]
  • Food and Life[29]
  • My Best: Joël Robuchon[30]
  • Grand Livre de Cuisine de Joël Robuchon[31]
  • French Regional Food[32]
  • Robuchon Facile[33]
  • Le Meilleur & Le Plus Simple de Robuchon: 130 recettes[34]
  • Le Meilleur & Le Plus Simple de la France: 130 recettes[35]
  • Le Meilleur & Le Plus Simple de la pomme de terre: 100 recettes[36]
  • Ma Cuisine Pour Vous[37]
  • Cuisine des Quatre Saisons[38]
  • Larousse Vegetables & Salads[39]
  • Emotions Gourmandes[40]
  • Les Dimanches de Joël Robuchon[41]
  • Il Grande Libro di Cucina di Joël Robuchon[42]
  • Best of Joel Robuchon[43]
  • Bon Appétit Bien Sûr: 150 recettes à faire à la maison[44]

See also


  1. Leuzzi, Jennifer (9 August 2006). "A Top Chef Arrives in New York (Finally)". The New York Sun. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  2. "Chefs Around the World" (PDF). Travel International. Spring 2005. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 November 2007.
  3. "L'Atelier of Joel Robuchon: The Artistry of a Master Chef and His Proteges". Wiley & Sons. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  4. "Career Highlights of Joël Robuchon". MICHELIN Guide. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. Masterchef: The Professionals 2010 (Episode 16)
  6. "biography Joël Robuchon – Le Monde de Joël Robuchon". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  7. "Liste des lauréats du concours de Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Classe Cuisine" (in French). Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Cuisine. 2004. Archived from the original on 28 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  8. "The London Food World Reacts to the Death of Joël Robuchon". Eater London. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  9. "Gordon Ramsay Leads Tributes to Joël Robuchon, Who Has Died at 73". Eater. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  10. "'A special relationship' – An evening with Raymond Blanc & Michael Caines – Lympstone Manor". Lympstone Manor. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  11. Eunice Quek (8 June 2018). "Robuchon Restaurant to close end June". The New Paper.
  12. Interview to L'Express
  13. "Joël Robuchon, Michelin star French chef, dies aged 73". BBC News. 6 August 2018.
  15. MacDonogh, Giles (8 May 1995). "Star performance – Giles MacDonogh takes a fresh look at the culinary capital of the world and assesses the city's top eight restaurants". Financial Times Guide to Eating Out in Paris. p. 3.
  16. "Simply French". Patricia Wells. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  17. Jezer-Morton, Kathryn. "AM Food Interview:
    Chef Joel Robuchon"
    . AskMen. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  18. "Joël Robuchon Restaurants". Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  19. "L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Dubai)". Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  20. "L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon – London : a Michelin Guide restaurant". Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  21. "L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Miami – Miami – a MICHELIN Guide Restaurant".
  22. Stevens, Muriel (2007). "Dining, Joël Robuchon". Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  23. Wells, Patricia; Robuchon, Joël (1991). Simply French : Patricia Wells presents the cuisine of Joël Robuchon (1st ed.). New York: W. Morrow. ISBN 0-688-06642-9. OCLC 23771182.
  24. Robuchon, Joël (2007). Tout Robuchon. Impr. Bussière (New ed.). Paris: Perrin. ISBN 9782262027162. OCLC 470949486.
  25. Robuchon, Joël (1995). Joël Robuchon: Cooking Through the Seasons. Rabaudy, Nicholas de. New York: Rizzoli. ISBN 0-8478-1899-3. OCLC 32167297.
  26. Robuchon, Joël (2001). La cuisine de Joël Robuchon. Rabaudy, Nicolas de. London: Cassell. ISBN 1-84188-134-1. OCLC 48871437.
  27. Wells, Patricia; Robuchon, Joël (1998). L'atelier of Joël Robuchon : the artistry of a master chef and his protégés. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-02652-8. OCLC 37277523.
  28. Robuchon, Joël (2007). Le Grand Larousse Gastronomique (2007 French ed.). Paris: Larousse. ISBN 9782035823601. OCLC 300160450.
  29. Robuchon, Joël; Volf, Nadia (2014). Food & life. New York, N.Y.: Assouline Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61428-264-8. OCLC 881094314.
  30. Joël, Robuchon (2015). My best. Paris: Alain Ducasse Publishing. ISBN 9782841237920. OCLC 907189953.
  31. Robuchon, Joël; Amiard, Hervé (2013). Grand livre de cuisine de Joël Robuchon. Issy-les-Moulineaux, France: Alain Ducasse. ISBN 9782841236183. OCLC 869804537.
  32. Robuchon, Joël (2014). French Regional Food. Bienassis, Loïc. London: Frances Lincoln Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7112-3605-9. OCLC 874223934.
  33. Robuchon, Joël; Uchisaka, Yoshimi; Watanabe, Takshi (2009). Robuchon facile. Paris: Alain Ducasse. ISBN 9782841232635. OCLC 703468187.
  34. Patricia, Wells; Robuchon, Joël (1992). Le meilleur & le plus simple de Robuchon : 130 recettes. Paris: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2221072928. OCLC 319877446.
  35. Robuchon, Joël; Millau, Christian; Amiard, Hervé (1996). Le meilleur & le plus simple de la France : 130 recettes. Paris: R. Laffont. ISBN 2221081099. OCLC 761345030.
  36. Robuchon, Joël; Sabatier, Patrick P. (1994). Le meilleur & le plus simple de la pomme de terre : 100 recettes. Paris: R. Laffont. ISBN 2221076265. OCLC 33206316.
  37. Joël, Robuchon; Michel, Catherine (1986). Ma cuisine pour vous. Paris. ISBN 2221045645. OCLC 17413375.
  38. Joël, Robuchon (1994). Cuisine des quatre saisons. Rabaudy, Nicolas de. London: Pavilion. ISBN 1-85793-438-5. OCLC 32925499.
  39. Robuchon, Joël (2011). Larousse gastronomique. Vegetables & salad. Larousse (Firm). London: Bounty Books. ISBN 978-0-7537-2141-4. OCLC 743288959.
  40. Frédy, Girardet; Michel, Catherine; Delessert, Pierre-Michel (2000). Emotions gourmandes. Lausanne: Favre. ISBN 2828905691. OCLC 717704375.
  41. Robuchon, Joël; Rabaudy, Nicolas de; Amiard, Hervé (1999). Les dimanches de Joël Robuchon. Paris: Éd. du Chêne. ISBN 2842772148. OCLC 468238246.
  42. Joël, Robuchon; Amiard, Herve (2011). Il grande libro di cucina di Joël Robuchon. Firenze: Giunti. ISBN 9788809768536. OCLC 898539915.
  43. Robuchon, Joël (2015). Best of Joël Robuchon. Paris: Alain Ducasse édition. ISBN 9782841233830. OCLC 944228844.
  44. Robuchon, Joël (2001). Bon appétit, bien sûr : 150 recettes à faire à la maison. Paris: Compagnie 12. ISBN 2903866759. OCLC 468995120.
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