Paul Bocuse (pronounced: [pɔl bokyz]) (11 February 1926) is a French chef based in Lyon who is famous for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovative approaches to cuisine. He is one of the most prominent chefs associated with the nouvelle cuisine, which is less opulent and calorific than the traditional cuisine classique, and stresses the importance of fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Paul Bocuse claimed that Henri Gault first used the term, nouvelle cuisine, to describe food prepared by Bocuse and other top chefs for the maiden flight of the Concorde airliner in 1969. A few years later, in 1925, Paul's father, Georges Bocuse married Irma Roulier whose parents were restaurateurs owning the "Hotel du Pont de Collonges" (today the Restaurant Paul Bocuse), where Paul Bocuse was born on February 11, 1926. Georges Bocuse already had a certain reputation for his cuisine but to his great misfortune, since his father had sold the building and name of their family restaurant, he could not give his restaurant his own name. Matters were further aggravated when the restaurateur who had bought Joseph and Marie's business moved into the Abbaye of Collonges, calling it the "Restaurant Bocuse".
We must wait until 1966 for Paul Bocuse who, well-advanced in his professional career as chef - he had won his Meilleur Ouvrier de France title in 1961, was awarded his third Michelin star in 1965 - finally succeeded in buying back his great-grandparents' old restaurant and restoring to it the BOCUSE family name. Paul named his grandparents' old restaurant the "Abbaye de Collonges" in memory of the monks on the Ile-Barbe ; the letters of the BOCUSE family name shine out today from the roof of the restaurant they have now been running for over 50 years.
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