The Daily Meal Hall of Fame: Michel Guérard

A pioneer of nouvelle cuisine, this one-time pastry chef became one of France's most influential culinary innovators

Michel Guérard invented a new cuisine along the way.

The Daily Meal is announcing the inductees into its Hall of Fame for 2016. The Hall of Fame honors key figures, both living and dead, from the world of food. We are introducing the honorees, one per weekday. Today's inductee is Michel Guérard.

Along with Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé, Alain Chapel, and the Troisgros brothers, Michel Guérard is one of the godfathers of French nouvelle cuisine, and the creator of a form of highly original light, healthy cooking known as la cuisine minceur (slimming cuisine). Guérard attracted initial attention and earned his first Michelin star when he operated a wonderful classic restaurant outside Paris in the mid-1960s called Le Pot au Feu. After gaining a second star in the early ’70s, he met and married Christine Barthélemy and moved to Eugénie-les-Bains in southwest France, where she was running one of her family’s spa-hotels. Here, they established Les Prés d’Eugénie, a luxury hotel-restaurant that would become famous for both its traditional French cooking and its cuisine minceur, garner the three Michelin stars in 1977 that it holds to this day, and influence chefs around the world for over four decades.


Widely imitated but rarely equaled, Guérard’s cuisine is brilliantly executed in a straightforward manner, supremely elegant but high on impact and flavor, and virtually unsurpassed in the keen craftsmanship and immense competence that only a true master chef ever achieves.