The legendary Chef Joël Robuchon was a visionary and trailblazer who transformed the way French cuisine was prepared and presented. At the time of his passing on August 6, 2018 he held 31 Michelin stars—more than any chef in history—and ran 29 restaurants spanning 11 countries, in cities including Paris, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Monaco, New York, and Tokyo, among others. Known for his impeccable technique, dedication to the craft of cooking, and ceaseless mentorship, his impact reached across the globe. He was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (France's Best Craftsman) in cuisine; was titled "Chef of the Century" by the guide Gault Millau; and mentored a generation of renowned chefs including Eric Ripert and Gordon Ramsay.
At his birth on April 7th, 1945 in Poitiers, nothing compelled this bricklayer’s son to walk off with all those titles and rewards. Pupil at the Petit Séminaire de Mauléon-sur-Sèvres in les Deux-Sèvres, he once thought about entering the service of God but he finally found his way into gastronomy by becoming at first an apprentice, then a companion.
At the age of 29, he took over the commands of the kitchen at the Concorde Lafayette hotel and managed 90 cooks, serving several thousand meals per day. His professionalism, his rigor, his assurance, and his creativity gave him a beautiful reputation. After a remarkable passage as an Executive Chef and as a Food and Beverage manager of the hotel Nikko, where he gained two Michelin stars, he opened his own restaurant in December 1981: Jamin.
In the first year, he received his first Michelin star; the following year, the second one and the year after, the third. Three years, three Stars, a feat never seen before in gastronomy!
For over ten years, his restaurant achieved remarkable success. In 1994, he settled on Avenue Raymond Poincaré, in a restaurant bearing his name.
The Joël Robuchon restaurant was awarded Best Restaurant in the World in 1994 by the International Herald Tribune. A worldwide success was already taking place.
As promised, Joël Robuchon, 50 years old, announced his retirement, to focus on handing over his knowledge. Far from the pressure of the stars, he decided with his friend, film director Guy Job, to bring the cuisine to television, making it more accessible and demystifying it.
For over 10 years, with the immensely popular TV show Bon Appétit Bien Sûr, Joël Robuchon proposed, with Guy Job, a daily rendez-vous. A real cuisine lesson, where he greets a fellow chef every week and presents simple and affordable recipes, tips and tricks, thus making it accessible to a broader public.
In September 2011, Joël Robuchon hosted a new TV show Planète Gourmande, produced and directed by Guy Job, in which he gives his tips and most delightful recipes to the audience.
During all these years, Joel Robuchon travelled the world and regularly went to Japan to discover new products and techniques that had been skillfully passed down to chefs for decades. He became passionate about the empire of the rising sun.
His Japanese experience and his discovery of tapas bars in Spain gave him the inspiration to offer new dynamics to his vision of cooking. He transformed the traditional restaurant concept to bring his cuisine in front of the guests, a cuisine of quality products offered in a spirit of conviviality.
The concept of L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon was born!
Joël Robuchon asked Pierre-Yves Rochon to design this luxurious place so as to put forward his chefs, his products, and flavors. A restaurant where classic gold and white colors, specific to many luxury French restaurants, were replaced by black and red.
As a conductor, Joël Robuchon calls upon his long-standing fellows; Eric Bouchenoire, Philippe Braun and Eric Lecerf to write the musical score of his cuisine; François Benot to create new pastries and Antoine Hernandez to create his wine list.
In 2003, the first L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon opened its doors in Paris, in the 7th arrondissement, and simultaneously in Tokyo thus disrupting the traditions of la haute gastronomie.
This place is unique, warm hearted, open to the kitchen’s stoves, where guests immediately feel at ease, far away from classic restaurants. The first guests were delighted to discover this innovative concept, where gastronomy harmonizes with conviviality. This opening made an echo in the French and foreign press who greeted the return of this great French chef.
The success of L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon in Paris encouraged Joël Robuchon to develop this concept on all continents: Las Vegas in 2005, New York, London and Hong Kong in 2006, Taipei in 2009, at the Publicis Drugstore in Paris in 2010 and in Singapore in 2011.
The same touch, the same know-how, the same use of products, but a cooking adapted according to the country and its culinary traditions where epicureans throughout the world meet in the same spirit of conviviality. The concept is appealing.
Joël Robuchon and his team get involved in each of the restaurants, going from London to New York, and from Hong Kong to Las Vegas. Between two journeys, between two countries or two continents, he heads to his Parisian laboratory where he crafts, prepares, tests and studies the future dishes to be offered to its customers worldwide.
To answer the different demands from worldwide guests and in addition to the ateliers, Joël Robuchon opened other establishments in luxurious environments always respecting this spirit of sublime simplicity; a 3 star gourmet restaurant in a French-style castle right in the heart of Tokyo, a 3 star restaurant situated in Macao at the top of a casino or in the model of a mansion, and a 3 star restaurant right in the heart of the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. Outside of these exceptional tables, he also has the Restaurant of Joël Robuchon in Monaco (2 stars) and his Japanese restaurant Yoshi (1 star), without forgetting satellites, tearooms, pastry shops and the other dining outlets that embody the spirit of Joël Robuchon.
In each of his restaurants throughout the world, Joël Robuchon remains faithful to his principles, which made him a guide of the French gastronomy; an exceptional choice of products and ease in execution thanks to his talent in choosing and training his team.
In 2014, Joël Robuchon has opened L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon in Bangkok. In 2016, a new L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon has opened in Shanghai and Montreal. In 2017, New York City opened, with the Miami location following in 2019.