Paris — Former French chef and restaurateur, Marie-Jeanne Van Heeswyck, has died, French news agency ANSA reported Saturday.
The Associated Press first reported the news on its website, quoting a statement from her family.
The family said Van Heerswyck died Saturday.
She was 95.
The Associated Press was unable to independently verify the story.
She started her career as a chef at the Royal Courtyard in Paris, where she built her reputation for cooking French food and making it accessible to the masses.
She also worked as a hostess and as a cook at the Chateau d’Herreux.
In the 1960s, Van Heerwys career as an executive chef at a restaurant in Paris came to an end.
She worked in the United States for more than 20 years and retired in 1996.
Her daughter, Yves, told AFP that Van Hereswyck was a woman of exceptional integrity and was a lifelong friend and supporter.
She was an advocate for the environment, and a woman who gave the world a taste of the wonderful foods she had made.
“She always made me laugh and made me think that she is just one of those people who always knew what was good for the planet,” Yves Van Heertwys told AFP.
Van Hereswys son, Marcel, said she was “a true pioneer and great woman.”
The Van Heerews’ statement said they were deeply saddened by the loss of their mother and her legacy of culinary excellence.
In 2012, she was recognized with the Le Cordon Bleu Award for Outstanding Contribution to Food and Cooking.
She said at the time that the award had been “a dream of mine for more years than I can remember.”
Van Heerswys has served as a consultant for restaurants in France, Italy, England and the United Arab Emirates.
In addition to her cooking career, she is also a certified public accountant and a board member of the International Federation of the French Culinary Federation.
In 2008, she launched a cookbook, which she wrote with her son Marcel, which was later adapted into a series of films.
The cookbook was released in 2013.