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  • Writer's pictureJulian Molteno


French celebrity chef Joël Robuchon, who is credited with winning the most Michelin stars in the world, has died aged 73. He was renowned for his perfectionism and for using few ingredients, keeping preparation simple and moving away from the excesses of French nouvelle cuisine - a healthier form of cooking. "The older I get, the more I realise the truth is: the simpler the food, the more exceptional it can be," he told Business Insider in 2014. "I never try to marry more than three flavours in one dish. I like walking into a kitchen and knowing that the dishes are identifiable and the ingredients within them easy to detect." I read this article today and was immediately reminded of one of my early bodybuilding heroines, Bev Francis. The most amazing thing for me as a young bodybuilder was the unbelievable way in which Bev transformed her bulky powerlifting body into a sleek and polished bodybuilding physique. I just could not believe a body could change that radically. It was a lesson to me that you can achieve what is seemingly impossible. After becoming the first woman to bench over 300lbs in 1981 a photo of her doing the most muscular or “crab” pose was circulated in many bodybuilding magazines. Bev had far more muscle mass than most of the female bodybuilders of the day and the brand new world of female bodybuilding beckoned. At her first contest she was deemed “too muscular” for the judges’s tastes so she set about reinventing her physique by slimming down and emphasising shape over mass. Bev was a hugely successful competitor and has left an indelible mark on the topsy turvy world of female bodybuilding but ironically by the time she was at the end of her career she was now deemed “not muscular enough” as female bodybuilding had progressed so quickly. Apart from admiring Bev’s amazing physique I also loved the aura of health and happiness she projected whilst on stage. So why did the death Monsieur Robuchon remind me of the wonderful Ms. Francis? Because Bev once said something I have never forgotten. In an interview about her dietary habits she said, “Just taste the potato.” In other words, simple ingredients, healthily prepared are a pleasure to eat. It does not have to be fancy to be a successful meal, so it turns out that the worlds most decorated chef and a bodybuilding pioneer from Down Under are in total agreement! As am I.  

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