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History of the Abbey
A brief history of Paul Bocuse's Abbaye of Collonges
Back in 1765, one of Paul Bocuse's ancestors, the wife of the miller of Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or was known for her cooking by the local countryfolk who brought their corn to the mill. When the Paris-Lyon-Marseille main line railway was built in 1840, running a few metres from where the Restaurant Paul Bocuse stands today, the mill was demolished. The Bocuse family had to move a little way downstream, to a farm once belonged to the monks on the Ile-Barbe. Generations later, in 1921, Paul's grandfather Joseph, married to Marie, one day suddenly decided to sell this establishment and with it went the name of the first family restaurant on the river Saone, the "Restaurant Bocuse".
A few years later, in 1925, Paul's father, Georges Bocuse married Irma Roulier whose parents were restaurateurs owning the "Hotel du Pont de Collonges" (today the Restaurant Paul Bocuse), where Paul Bocuse was born on February 11, 1926.
Georges Bocuse already had a certain reputation for his cuisine but to his great misfortune, since his father had sold the building and name of their family restaurant, he could not give his restaurant his own name. Matters were further aggravated when the restaurateur who had bought Joseph and Marie's business moved into the Abbaye of Collonges, calling it the "Restaurant Bocuse".
We must wait until 1966 for Paul Bocuse who, well-advanced in his professional career as chef - he had won his Meilleur Ouvrier de France title in 1961, was awarded his third Michelin star in 1965 - finally succeeded in buying back his great-grandparents' old restaurant and restoring to it the BOCUSE family name.
Paul named his grandparents' old restaurant the "Abbaye de Collonges" in memory of the monks on the Ile-Barbe ; the letters of the BOCUSE family name shine out today from the roof of the restaurant they have now been running for over 50 years.
The Abbaye is also ideal for banquets and marriages, with its background of the chef's collection of ancient fairground organs, his passion. In one of these newly-designed rooms in the Abbaye's principal diningroom, "La salle du Grand Limonaire" - stands the most majestic of them all, a "Gaudin" that beats out the music, like an
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