Sur lemonde.fr: Le Pâtissier Gaston Lenôtre est Mort =(
EN: I just saw this. He died today the 8th of January, 2009, at the age of 88. Obviously, this was going to happen at some point, but I thought I would mention it because for years growing up the best pastries and desserts you could get in Paris were at Lenôtre (his shops were eponymous) and if I remember correctly, when I was little there was only one Lenôtre pastry shop in all of Paris and now there are about twelve or fourteen I think.
Anyway, when I was little, because there was only one shop, it was a rare treat to get a pastry from Lenôtre, and as a teenager my favorite cake and the one I would always ask for for my birthday was his Charlotte Cécile which is a chocolate and vanilla Charlotte. I'm going to find a copy of his original book and make it as a tribute (I'd love to get my hands on the original book anyway as it went in print in 1975 - when I was born - and as you can imagine, has become quite difficult to find). He changed the face of French pastry by favoring lighter fillings and mousses and great chefs such as Pierre Hermé and Alain Ducasse were trained in his kitchen.
R.I.P. Gaston Lenôtre: 1920-2008. Thank you for making all of our lives infinitely sweeter.