Chefs pay tribute to Michel Bourdin who passed away at 80

Alex South

Alex South


Hospitality professionals have left tributes to Michel Bourdin, maître chef de cuisine of London's Connaught hotel and a founder of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, after he passed away at the age of 80 on 3 February.

Commenting on news, The Royal Academy said: "It is with great sadness that we heard that the great Michel Bourdin sadly passed away. Michel was a founder of the Academy of Culinary Arts and instrumental in pursuing our royal title of which we are so proud. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

John Williams, Executive Chef of Ritz London, said: “With a heavy heart that I have heard the very sad news Michel Bourdin has passed away. He was chef of the Connaught for more than 20 years and. He was a master in his craft and helped form the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts always trying to improve our industry determined to improve the quality of training young chefs for the next generation of leaders in our Industry! Deepest condolences to Mireille and all his family RIP Michel!”


Chef and restaurateur Paul Heathcote said: "RIP Michel Bourdin you changed a whole generation of chefs careers keeping true to a century of skills and techniques never allowing them to fade, but then raising the level of your craft, so many will be grateful for being part of your kitchen brigade including myself."

Simon Hulstone, chef-owner at the Michelin-starred Elephant restaurant in Torquay, Devon, tweeted: "Sad to hear of Chef Michel Bourdins passing. He was someone as a young chef I greatly admired and when training for a major competition he welcomed me into his kitchens to teach me a few classic dishes. A real gentleman."

Born in June 1942, Michel’s passion for food was inspired from his grandmother, who ran Brasserie Bourdin, in the Rue de Temple, Paris.

At the age of 16, Michel began cooking professionally, spending the early part of his career at the two-Michelin starred Restaurant Ledoyen on the Champs Elysées, Paris; the Grand Hotel in Dinard, Brittany; and Apotel Etoile, Paris.

In 1975, Michel won the Connaught’s first Michelin star before gaining a second just three years later.

In 1980, the chef established the UK branch of the Academy of Culinary Arts.

Michel’s career and impact within hospitality was the subject of critical acclaim with the chef receiving a number of honours and accolades including the Chevalier du Merite Agricole, Officier dans l'Ordre National du Merite by the French government, and an honorary doctorate from Johnson and Wells University in the USA.

Michel retired from the Connaught in 2001, having spent 26 years at the hotel. He later took on a voluntary advisory role at The Ritz London.

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 6th February 2023

Chefs pay tribute to Michel Bourdin who passed away at 80