Joël Robuchon, the French chef famous for earning more than 30 Michelin stars through his restaurants around the world, died August 6 at the age of 73. The French newspaper Le Figaro reported that the cause of death was cancer.
Soon after the news broke, chefs including Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert paid tribute to Robuchon’s legacy to the culinary world on Twitter, while other fans remembered the best meals they’ve enjoyed at his restaurants throughout the years.
Merci #JoelRobuchon for your outstanding contributions to our profession. You were one of the greatest influences for our generation. With unparalleled precision, you captivated the culinary audience & made elevated dining approachable. Thoughts are with your family & teams. pic.twitter.com/Y117flXl1c — Thomas Keller (@Chef_Keller) August 6, 2018
Shocked and very sad by the loss of my Mentor Joel Robuchon. The most rigorous,precise,demanding, ultra gifted King of all Chefs... RIP Monsieur Robuchon pic.twitter.com/RCx8cj5m1I — Eric Ripert (@ericripert) August 6, 2018
However, one dish in particular stood out among the tributes: his mashed potatoes or pommes purée.
Thinking of Joel Robuchon, and his mashed potatoes — Nigella Lawson (@Nigella_Lawson) August 6, 2018
Nigella Lawson was just one of the many people who paid tribute to Robuchon’s signature dish.
Those potatoes are love in semisolid form. — Kat Kinsman (@kittenwithawhip) August 6, 2018
Food writer Kat Kinsman remembered a meal at Restaurant Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas as “the best solo meal of my life,” calling the mashed potatoes, “love in semisolid form.”
The secret to his famous potatoes—which he began serving back in the 1980s at his Paris restaurant Jamin—was that for every two pounds of potatoes, one pound of chilled butter was added.
According to the Washington Post, Robuchon once said, “I owe everything to these mashed potatoes. Maybe it’s a little bit of nostalgia, Proust’s madeleines. Everyone has in his memory the mashed potatoes of his mother, the mashed potatoes of his grandmother.”
While he parted ways with Jamin in the 90s, his legendary—and extremely buttery—mashed potatoes are still served at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon restaurants around the world, including the one that just opened in New York’s Chelsea Market location in October 2017. While those potatoes are certainly worth traveling for, you’ll also want to consider adding these Robuchon restaurants that each currently hold three Michelin stars to your travel list.
3 Joël Robuchon restaurants worth traveling for
Robuchon au Dôme in Macau
Even though Joël Robuchon got his start cooking in France, his flagship restaurant is actually located on top of Macau’s Grand Lisboa hotel. Go for the food that has won three Michelin stars for nine consecutive years, stay for the 360-degree views of Macau.
Joël Robuchon in Tokyo
While eating French cuisine in a 18th-century-style château in Tokyo’s Ebisu neighborhood might be an unexpected choice for a trip to Japan, the restaurant’s signature Le Caviar Impérial dish served at the beginning of each tasting menu is worth making a reservation.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong
Just like the other L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon locations around the world, the one in Hong Kong offers counter seating. But here you can also choose to eat in Le Jardin, which has views of a rooftop garden (plus, it’s the only L’Atelier currently holding three Michelin stars).