In a statement released on Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande called Coffe a bon vivant, meaning a lover of good living, and said the popular French figure had the good sense to share his fine tastes and experiences with his friends and all of France.
Coffe was born on 24 March, 1938 at Luneville in Meurthe-et-Moselle and was raised by a single parent after his father was killed in action in 1940. From a young age Coffe gravitated toward the kitchen and the theatre. Later, upon arriving in Paris, he decided to attend classes at the famous Cours Simon.
Said to be curious by nature, Coffe worked in a publishing house and later opened a restaurant. From there he launched a career on the small screen which included a stint on the French television program, "Les Grosses Tetes". On Tuesday night, host Laurent Ruquier said on Twitter, "I wish so much for him to come back and bug me again and give me a hard time."
In 2015, Coffe published an autobiography called A Life Coffe, in which he outlined many personal struggles, including a divorce and the death of his daughter to cancer at age 37. The book also spoke at length of his bisexuality.
In total, Coffe was the author of many well-known French books, most of which dealt with eating well. At the same time, he lent his image to such mass-market food companies as Carrefour and Leader Price.