February 11 ~á Come to France French at Table

"Without butter, without eggs, there is no reason to come to France." ~ Paul Bocuse

paul bocuse

World famous culinary wizard Paul Bocuse (1926-), born on this date in Lyon, France, comes from a long line of chefs. His restaurant, Abbaye de Collonges, on the banks of the Sa˘ne in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, was passed down from father to son for over two centuries.

His nouvelle cuisine celebrated lightly cooked vegetables, light sauces, less fats, and simple, artistic presentation. As an advocate of healthy dining, he once said, "The only real wealth is health."

Bocuse began his apprenticeship in 1942, then took time out the following year to valiantly join the French resistance Army in World War II. Injured and saved by U.S. medics with a blood transfusion, the witty Bocuse has admitted that he is proud to have American blood running in his veins.

In 1961 the chef and restaurateur was decorated as "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" and received his first Michelin star, an honor coveted throughout the world in collaboration with his father. He earned his second in 1962 and the third in 1965. Three stars mean legend. He's been one most of his life.

"Always use good products Look at what's going on, steal with your eyes, but also work, work, work in a way that is an example to others," he said. In 1989, the French dining guide GaultMillau named him "chef of the century."

Bocuse's advice? "Know how to smile, it costs nothing to be friendly."

paul bocuseThere are so many reasons to visit France.