Pierre Troisgros, the legendary French chef and head of the country's greatest gastronomic dynasty, died on Wednesday aged 92, his restaurant told AFP.
The chef and his brother Jean helped found the nouvelle cuisine movement, with their signature salmon with sorrel dish copied the world over.
Troisgros is the third great French chef to have died in two years, with his lifelong friend Paul Bocuse and the world's most starred chef, Joel Robuchon, both passing away in 2018.
The Michelin guide called him "a giant who was the equal of Bocuse, with whom he revolutionised cooking.
"His name will continue to shine bright," it added.
Troisgros and his son Michel have held the maximum three Michelin stars since 1968 — making the provincial town of Roanne in central France a place of pilgrimage for gastronomes.
The same year the Gault & Millau guide proclaimed their hotel restaurant the best in the world, an honour again bestowed by the Zagat guide in 2007.
"We have a heavy heart this evening," tweeted the Paul Bocuse restaurant near Lyon, founded by Troisgros' friend, who was known at the "Pope of French cuisine".
Although Pierre Troisgros had long stepped back from the stove, he was a jovial presence at the family's hotel until they quit their ancestral restaurant opposite Roanne's train station three years ago for the neighbouring village of Ouches.
The new restaurant, which has held onto its three Michelin stars, is now run by Michel and his son Cesar.
He is the fourth generation of the Troisgros clan to preside over the kitchen, which wowed its first customers in 1930 when his great grandparents took over a hotel on a strategic stopping off point on the National 7 road that led from Paris to the beaches of the Mediterranean.
Jean Troisgros died of a heart attack while playing tennis in 1983.
Pierre Troisgros' two other children are also both restaurateurs, his son Claude in Brazil and his daughter Anne-Marie in Bordeaux in southwest France.