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Thousands flock to Lyon food hall to honour chef Paul Bocuse

Paul Bocuse looks down fondly on Lyon from mural outside Les Halles
Paul Bocuse looks down fondly on Lyon from mural outside Les Halles Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Anne Devineaux
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The "pope of gastronomy" has been fondly celebrated in Lyon's capital food market 'Les Halles'.

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The day after his death, the soul of Paul Bocuse is more alive than ever in Les Halles, the famous food market in Lyon named after him. Because of his reputation, his businesses and many of those here are known and loved around the world.

 "These halls are the beating heart of gastronomy in Lyon. Paul Bocuse was always here. He came to choose his produce himself. Many traders knew him personnaly and have fond memories of him," said euronews correspondent Anne Devineaux. Among his close friends was cheesemaker Renée Richard. Bocuse made her family's cheeses world famous. She is at work today despite her sadness.

"He had a tradition, he came on Sunday morning here to have a coffee. The people passing by recognised him, of course," explained Richard. "He was a star, but he didn't act like one at all, he was very open to others and he answered people's questions. He would talk with with everyone." she added.

Even though Bocuse travelled around the world, he remained faithful to traditional French cooking, and promoted local and regional ingredients, that he understood perfectly, according to award-winning butcher Maurice Trolliet. "Mr Paul was a champion of Bresse chicken around the world, insisting on its quality and its taste," said Trolliet. "He would examine a bird's eye and its crest, holding it in his hands to feel how plump it was. He loved to cook chickens on a spit over a wood fire."

"We were very touched, it closes a chapter in the story. We were in Lyon and we planned to come to Les Halles; it's symbolic, it's a little thought for him," said one Swiss tourist.

Sentiments shared by a visitor from Wales : "I am here to pay homage to Paul and everything he stands for food, wine and to have a nice day at the market"

The funeral of the chef will take place in Lyon on Friday. In the meantime tributes to the pope of gastronomy continue to flood in.

Journalist • Anne Devineaux

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