The influential Burgundian chef Paul Bocuse was hospitalized early last week in Lyon. One of the founders of France's revolutionary late-20th-century "nouvelle cuisine" — he claimed that the term was first used to describe a meal he and some colleagues created for the maiden flight of the Concorde in 1969, though it didn't take hold until four or five years later —Bocuse has long since ceased being "relevant" in the culinary world, but he remains enormously respected, and is sometimes called "the Pope of French gastronomy."
Bocuse has suffered for some years from Parkinson's disease, but was admitted to the hospital for severe back pain, which has caused him to walk with crutches for the past three months. A hospital spokesman has said that Bocuse is lucid and not considered to be in critical condition.
The famed chef, who will be 88 on Feb. 11, was hospitalized around the same time last year with a severe cold, but rallied quickly enough to preside over that year's Bocuse d'Or, an international culinary competition held biennually in Lyon, and to attend the opening of the Bocuse Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., the following month.