Joel Robuchon’s hometown Poitiers, France

No chef on earth achieved the acclaim of Joel Robuchon. He was a master among masters, and I have to admit I shamelessly copped his mashed potatoes recipe for my own uses.

If you like mashers and aren’t afraid to put in some work, Robuchon redefined the dish, and gained 32 Michelin stars, a record, in the process.

Robuchon began his career peeling potatoes at the age of 15. A scant 14 years later he was commanding a brigade of 90 cooks at the Hotel Concorde La Fayette in Paris.

“These mashed potatoes, it’s true, made my reputation. I owe everything to these mashed potatoes,” he offered. “Maybe it’s a little bit of nostalgia, Proust’s madeleines. Everyone has in his memory the mashed potatoes of his mother, the mashed potatoes of his grandmother.”

In a bit of whimsy, Robuchon had just opened a new restaurant in Paris just four months ago. La Boutique Dassaï is devoted to tea, and cakes…and saki.

Lunch there is a steal at €49-per-person.

I never had the money to visit any of Joel Robuchon’s ateliers. But I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made his mashed potatoes. You can make a big lovely pot of them for under $10.

Here’s how.

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