Paul Bocuse, a renowned chef credited with transforming French cuisine, has died at age 91, the French interior minister said Saturday.
"Much more than a father and a husband, he is a man of heart, a spiritual father, an emblematic figure of world gastronomy, and a tricolore porte", his family said in a statement.
They stress that Bocuse loved life, loved transmitting his knowledge of the kitchen to other chefs and loved the team of chefs that he worked with in his hometown of Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or. "These same values will continue to inspire us forever".
Bocuse, whose signature dishes included truffle soup and fricassée of Bresse chicken, gained many awards and accolades throughout his life.
In 1987, he launched what has become a prestigious global gastronomy contest, in which chefs from around the world compete to create the best dishes in front of a live audience.Bocuse was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor, one of France's highest civilian awards, in 2004.
The pioneering chef, who is often referred to as he "pope of French cuisine", died in the town of Collonges-au-Mont-d'or where he was born and where he ran his main luxury restaurant, which has three Michelin stars.
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In a statement, Macron underlined Bocuse's "generosity, his respect for traditions as well as his inventiveness".
Chefs across the country would be "crying in their kitchens", he added.
During a gathering to honor Bocuse in 2013, a celebrity French chef Alain Ducasse said of Bocuse, "He has been a leader".
Bocuse opened a restaurant in the early 1980s in the France Pavilion in Walt Disney World's Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida, where he headed by his son Jerome who is also a chef by profession.
Gomez, who met "Mister Paul" several times, said Bocuse was the first to widely appear in the media so that chefs' work was better recognized.
High profile Spanish-American chef José Andrés said "The angels will have a feast today. Paul Bocuse has joined them".