Pierre Koffmann is the iconic French chef whose name has been synonymous with the finest French food since 1972, when he cooked alongside Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire.
Five years later, Koffmann opened his own restaurant, La Tante Claire, in 1977 in London's Chelsea with his late wife Annie.
Koffmann ran La Tante Claire for 25 years. His culinary style - a refined version of the French country cooking of his home region of Gascony - not only gained him the top accolade of three Michelin stars, but has also inspired the cooking of countless other chefs, among them Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Tom Aikens, Eric Chavot and Phil Howard.
Ramsay made Koffmann an offer he couldn't refuse when Ramsay bought the original La Tante Claire premises on Chelsea's Royal Hospital Road in 1998, prompting Koffmann, after more than 20 years, to relocate to the Berkeley hotel. The move cost La Tante Claire its third star, which it lost in 1999, and Koffmann never regained it.
But the loss of the third Michelin star did no lasting damage to the reputation of La Tante Claire, or Koffmann himself, who has been described as "God" by chefs.
However, Koffmann decided to close La Tante Claire in 2002, admitting he was unhappy working in a hotel restaurant. Despite announcing plans to retire, he remained involved in the industry, consulting on a number of restaurants and spending a year as head chef at the Bleeding Heart restaurant in London's Farringdon.
And, after years of rumours about a possible full-time return to the stove, Koffmann announced he would launch a pop-up restaurant for nine days at London department store Selfridges in October 2009, as part of the inaugural London Restaurant Festival.
The announcement created such a frenzy of interest that the organisers of the event extended the opening of the pop-up restaurant throughout the month.