Chef and restaurateur Michel Richard passes away

The Washington Post reported that he died of complications from a stroke

Michel Richard at Amtrak National Train Day 2014 at Penn Station in May 2014, in New York City (Paul Zimmerman/Getty).
Michel Richard at Amtrak National Train Day 2014 at Penn Station in May 2014, in New York City (Paul Zimmerman/Getty).

French chef, restaurateur and author Michel Richard passed away on Saturday morning (August 13) at the age of 68.

The Washington Post reported that he died of complications from a stroke.

The chef was known for using colours, textures and flavours in unexpected combinations, and for helping to turn Washington DC into a dining destination.

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Born in Brittany, France, Richard started a bakery apprenticeship when he was 14 years old to become a pastry chef and moved to Paris three years later to work at Maison Lenôtre under reknowned French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre.

In 1974, Richard, then aged 20, moved to New York to help open Lenôtre's restaurant and pastry shop Chateau France, after which he chose to live permanently in the US.

He opened Michel Richard Pastry Shop in Los Angeles in 1977 

Speaking to the New York Times in 2013 chef Wolfgang Puck said its launch caused traffic jams in the area and remarked that he had "never had a croissant that good, even in Paris”.

By the 1980s Richard was operating multiple restaurants in the US, blending American and French cuisine. He garnered acclaim with his flagship fine-dining restaurant, Citronelle, in Washington DC, which opened in the early 1990s and was one of the first restaurants on the East Coast to feature an open kitchen.

He was also known for his high-end bistro Central Michel Richard, which he opened in the US capital in 2007, and for authoring a number of culinary books, including Michel Richard's Home Cooking with a French Accent. 

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