Jan. 20 (UPI) -- After long having Parkinson's disease, France's celebrated chef Paul Bocuse died Saturday at age 91.
"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. "Mr. Paul loved life, sharing, transmission, and his crew. These same values will continue to inspire us forever."
Bocuse, known for modernizing French cooking, earned three Michelin stars at his restaurant Auberge du Pont de Collonges near Lyon. Among his signature dishes was a soup made of truffles and foie gras in chicken broth, baked in a single-serving bowl and covered in puff pastry.
Other famed dishes includes his stuffed sea bass with lobster mousse, and truffled Bresse chicken poached inside a pig's bladder.
The chef was named Chef of the Century in 1987 by the Gault Millau restaurant guide, the same year he created the Bocuse D'Or, a prestigious gastronomy contest equivalent to a culinary Olympics that would draw chef teams from all over the world. In 2004, Bocuse was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor, one of his country's highest civilian awards.
A statement by French President Emmanuel Macron released by the Elysée Palace said Bocuse was the "epitome of French cuisine."
"Today French gastronomy is losing a mythical figure that will have profoundly transformed it," Macron said. "The chefs cry in their kitchens, at the Elysee and everywhere in France. But they will continue his work."
World-wide, chefs expressed their sentiments on social media. American celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain said Bocuse was a "hero to me from my earliest days as a cook."
"A great, great chef who was very kind to me. To have spent time with him was an honor and a dream come true. Rest In Peace," Bourdain said.
High profile Spanish-American chef José Andrés said "The angels will have a feast today. Paul Bocuse has joined them. #RIP Amazing influence in so many chefs and people."