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A Sensational Soup

A memorable meal at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges shaped the career of Cuisine Solutions Executive Chef Bruno Bertin.

By Morgan Fecto | Illustrations By Coen Pohl

It was a meal at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges that determined the fate of Cuisine Solutions Executive Chef Bruno Bertin. The 18-year-old Bertin had won a meal at Paul Bocuse’s iconic restaurant in Lyon, France, after placing first in the 1985 Concours International des Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs. “One of the defining moments in my life,” Bertin says. “I was already passionate, but when I met him and ate his food, that was it. It was this illumination, and I said, ‘I am going to be a master chef like him.’”

When Bocuse’s true soup arrived at his table—a picture of nouvelle cuisine topped with a delicate dome of puff pastry—Bertin instantly understood the legendary chef’s place in the culinary pantheon. “When you broke the crust, the scent of truffle would escape from beneath the pastry and rise up in steam that would meet your face,” Bertin remembers. “That was 30 years ago, and I can still smell it.” The memory of such an aromatic soup inspires Bertin’s cooking to this day.

“Bocuse cooked without shortcuts, with the full respect of technique. Because he did this, the cuisine got even more masterful,” Bertin says. “When you look at his recipes, he sharpened and refined them to make sure they were perfect.”

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