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Maison Bocuse Celebrates 100 Years: The History and Future of the Legendary "Gourmet Family"

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina maison bocuse

Founded in 1924, two years before Paul's birth, Maison Bocuse has outlasted him, albeit losing a star. Today it celebrates its centenary with a special menu, a theatrical performance, and a book dedicated to the family saga.

Cover Photo: @Le Progrès-Joël Philippon

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In 1924, Paul Bocuse, the father of gastronomes, had not yet been born. And yet, the maison already existed, where two years later, the cries of the destined one would resonate. The family, to tell the truth, had been practicing the profession since 1765, when a certain Michel Bocuse, a fisherman, had set up his "guinguette" on the banks of the Saône; then it was the nephew Nicolas in 1853 who bought the estate in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, where Paul's father, Georges, was already practicing in 1924.

restaurant paul bocuse

The rest is history, as Lyon Capitale recalls: the reopening after the Second World War, the tough apprenticeship with the great chefs Point and Brazier, the return home in 1957 and then 55 uninterrupted years of triple Michelin stars, during which Paul Bocuse revolutionized not only the cuisine but also the customs and imagery of the industry.

paul bocuse Ben Oyne

On the occasion of the centenary, the restaurant in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or has organized a series of celebrations: to start, on February 1st, they've resurrected the Elysée menu from February 25, 1975, served on the occasion of the chef's award of the Legion of Honor. Who hasn't heard of that iconic black truffle soup, served in a ramekin covered with golden puff pastry? But there were also salmon scallop by the Troisgros brothers, Michel Guérard's Claude Jolly duck, Renée Richard's cheeses, and Philippe Bernachon's spectacular dessert Le Président. A team of chefs worked to reproduce the entire experience in a journey through time, at a cost of 660 euros per person, wines included.

Maison bocuse piatto
Maison bocuse carne

The special centenary menu will be served throughout the year, consisting of signature and new recipes, which may vary according to the season and will be accompanied by wines chosen by the sommeliers who have officiated in the grand maison. At the moment, guests are served blue lobster, carrot cremeux, truffle soup, and perch quenelle.

Maison bocuse dessert

But the tribute will not stop at the table: in May, the abbey of Collonges will host an exclusive theatrical performance of "Monsieur Paul", an opera composed by biographer and director Philippe Bulinge in 2023, five years after the great chef's passing. And there is also a book forthcoming from Bocuse Edition, which will recount a century of family history for the price of 49 euros.

paul bocuse Joel PHILIPPON

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