I’ve learnt this morning that Gaston Lenôtre died today. He was 88years old. If you live in the US, you may not have heard his name, eventhough he actually opened a restaurant with Paul Bocuse,another “maitre” in the cooking world, at Disney World, in Orlando(Chefs de France). But Lenotre was one of those people who helpedevolve the art of cooking, and more importantly the “patisserie”.
Forsome reasons, even though I love cooking, I’m not a big “sweet” fan. Iusually skip that part in a meal (even though I do prepare it for myguests!). And yet, I’m very sad about his death, since herevolutionized the desserts. He said it many times himself, he wantedto fight “conformism”. He hated to be like everybody else, or to dowhat everybody else was doing. So he invented much lighter desserts,with new tastes, like his famous “succes”. This really created a newtrend and inspired so many “patissiers” in so many places in the world.
On top of being a great chefs, Gaston Lenôtre was also a fantasticbusiness man. In 1960, he created a “traiteur” service, which becameinsanely successful. He actually built a real empire that he sold 25years later to Accor. He opened high end bakeries in the middle of Paris and all over the world, cooking schools, restaurants…
He was among that generation of French chefs who revolutionized cooking across the world, while following traditions and the “art of cooking”.