Obituaries

Alain Senderens, 77, helped create nouvelle cuisine

NEW YORK — Alain Senderens, one of the most adventurous of the founding fathers of nouvelle cuisine, who made L’Archestrate and Lucas Carton in Paris two of the world’s most celebrated restaurants, died Sunday at his home in St.-Setiers, a village in south-central France. He was 77.

Gilles Pudlowski, a food critic and guide writer, announced the death to Agence France-Presse, which did not report the cause.

Like his fellow culinary explorers Michel Guérard, Paul Bocuse, and Pierre Troisgros, Mr. Senderens envisioned a more modern version of French cuisine, less reliant on buttery sauces, more international in spirit, and more insistent on high-quality, fresh ingredients.

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“I, like other chefs, didn’t want to do traditional cuisine anymore,” he told The Unesco Courier in 2001.

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His experiments could entice and, on occasion, shock. Baked lobster in vanilla sauce — “a triumph of taste over logic,” the restaurant critic Craig Claiborne called the dish in The New York Times — was regarded as scandalous when introduced in 1981. So was the use of soy sauce in a beurre blanc, an idea inspired by a trip to Asia in 1978.

“Almost nothing on L’Archestrate’s menu is available anywhere else,” the restaurant critic Raymond Sokolov wrote in The Times in 1972.