Chefs, dignitaries pay respects to French chef Paul Bocuse

FILE - In this March 24, 2011 file French Chef Paul Bocuse poses outside his famed Michelin three-star restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Collonges-au-Mont-d'or, central France. Hundreds of chefs and French dignitaries are gathering in the culinary mecca of Lyon for the funeral of Paul Bocuse, a master chef who defined French cuisine for more than a half-century and put it on tables around the world. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

Hundreds of white-jacketed chefs and other French dignitaries are paying tribute to the late Paul Bocuse, often referred to as the 'pope of French cuisine'

PARIS — Hundreds of white-jacketed chefs and other French dignitaries are paying tribute to Paul Bocuse, often referred to as the "pope of French cuisine."

Bocuse died Jan. 20 at 91 in Collonges-au-Mont-d'or, where he was born and had his temple to French gastronomy, L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges.

Renowned chefs lined the pews of the Saint-Jean Cathedral in the culinary mecca of Lyon for Friday's funeral.

Speakers celebrated "Monsieur Paul" and his contribution to French cuisine and its global image as both refined and convivial. He was a pioneer in branding his cooking and image, and creating a worldwide restaurant empire.

A fan of butter and fresh produce, Bocuse's specialties included truffle soup topped with a golden bubble of pastry and fricassee of Bresse chicken served in cream with morilles.

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