The Quiet Revolutionary

Louise Simpson lunches with the world’s most Michelin-starred chef, Joël Robuchon.

“I’ll never achieve everything I’d like to in life because I have so many projects in my head,” says Joël Robuchon.

Perched on a high chair at the chef’s table in his Hotel Metropole gastronomic flagship, Joël Robuchon speaks French so softly that I have to lean in to catch his words. This unassuming man was named Gault Millau’s “Chef of the Century”, while his first Parisian restaurant, Jamin, was voted “Best Restaurant in the World” by the International Herald Tribune (now published as the International NYT). With more Michelin stars than any other chef in history and a culinary empire of 16 restaurants, Robuchon is probably the world’s greatest chef. You’d think this 71-year-old would be taking things a little easier at last. Instead, he’s opening three new restaurants abroad: two in the US, one in Shanghai..

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