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Feuds: What’s The Boeuf?

2 minute read

When French master chef Paul Bocuse discovered his picture on a poster advertising McDonald’s, he was not amused. It’s not that France’s best-known chef is completely intolerant of fast food. But he does object to an ad showing a colleague dreaming of a Big Mac while Bocuse scrutinizes chickens from the renowned Bresse region of France. So he’s demanding $2.7 million in damages from the Golden Arches.

Although the ads were seen only on McDonald’s walls in the Netherlands, Bocuse remains unrelenting. “I have licensed my face and my name in all the countries of the world,” he says. “This confusion between fine products, between the art that we practice and the sandwichmaking they do cannot be tolerated.” McDonald’s says it is willing to negotiate a settlement with Bocuse, who says he will donate whatever award he gets to his Ecole des Arts Culinaires d’Ecully, where the new generation of topflight French chefs is trained.

“There is nothing that tickles me more than to think that McDonald’s is going to help train the young chefs practicing the art of cooking at my school,” he says. “If McDonald’s exists and functions, it’s because it answers a demand that certainly exists,” explains Bocuse. “But there is a world of difference between the art of cooking and what McDonald’s does.” Mais oui!

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