Bon Vi­vant

Joël Robu­chon, the chef of the cen­tury, lets us in on his in­sa­tiable ap­petite for growth and nur­tur­ing the next gen­er­a­tion

T. Dining by Singapore Tatler - - News -

Leg­endary chef and restau­ra­teur Joël Robu­chon on defin­ing his legacy and stay­ing true to his culi­nary phi­los­o­phy

Even as he grows his em­pire with open­ings in New York, Mi­ami and Geneva, this leg­endary French chef is lay­ing the ground­work for his most am­bi­tious legacy project open­ing in 2019. Hav­ing just turned 73 in April, there seems to be no stop­ping “chef of the cen­tury”, Joël Robu­chon. Long be­fore hold­ing the most Miche­lin stars un­der his group of restau­rants, Robu­chon was renowned for his rigour, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and cre­ativ­ity in the kitchen, earn­ing the ti­tle of Meilleur Ou­vrier de France (Best Crafts­men of France) in Culi­nary Arts at age 31 in 1976.

Sin­ga­pore is one of the chef ’s favourite stops, where he would visit at least three times a year to over­see the menus at three-star Joël Robu­chon Restau­rant and two-star L’ate­lier de Joël Robu­chon. Un­for­tu­nately, he has since de­cided to close both restau­rants. Their lo­ca­tion away from the city in Sen­tosa can be a chal­lenge Robu­chon con­cedes, yet both have been a suc­cess due in part to the draw of the Miche­lin guide and the strong cul­ture of the restau­rant group. While lit­tle more was re­vealed at the time of print, there is spec­u­la­tion he would re­lo­cate L’ate­lier de Joël Robu­chon to the heart of the city on Or­chard Road.

Ad­just­ments, it ap­pears, are nec­es­sary in this ever com­petitve in­dus­try. Ar­riv­ing from New York af­ter open­ing L’ate­lier de Joël Robu­chon in Man­hat­tan in Novem­ber last year, the im­pos­ing chef looked fresh and alert—and 27kg lighter—some­thing he at­tributes to his or­ganic, healthy new eat­ing habits on which he man­aged to shed the weight in 2013, lead­ing him to co-au­thor a book with his doc­tor, Na­dia Volf, called Food & Life. “Food has to be more and more healthy; this will be very im­por­tant to din­ers,” he em­pha­sises, not­ing that his restau­rants are in­cor­po­rat­ing more or­ganic and health­ful in­gre­di­ents such as turmeric and pome­gran­ate.

IN THE SPIRIT

Robu­chon takes great pa­ter­nal de­light in talk­ing about

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