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Paul Bocuse, the most celebrated French chef of the postwar era and a leading figure in the pathbreaking culinary movement known as nouvelle cuisine, died on Saturday, his family said in a statement. He was 91.

Mr. Bocuse emerged as the first among a brilliant band of chefs who developed a modernized version of classic French cooking in the late 1960s and early ’70s, cheered on by Henri Gault and Christian Millau, the publishers of the influential Gault-Millau Guide. Following the lead of Fernand Point, the spiritual father of nouvelle cuisine and a mentor to many of its pioneers, Mr. Bocuse shaped a style of cooking at the Auberge du Pont de Collonges, his three-star restaurant near Lyon, that stressed fresh ingredients, lighter sauces, unusual flavor combinations and relentless innovation that, in his case, rested on a solid mastery of classic technique.

His signature dishes not only pleased the palate; they also seduced the eye and piqued the imagination. He stuffed sea bass with lobster mousse and encased it in pastry scales and fins. He poached a truffled Bresse chicken inside a pig’s bladder.

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A mural of Mr. Bocuse was painted in Lyon in 2015. Despite his international status, the chef remained deeply rooted in his native soil.CreditJeff Pachoud/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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