Friday 19 January 2018

Bonne Cuisine: history of French food revolution

Amuse Restaurant, on Dawson St
Chez Max

Paolo Tulio

The history of food in restaurants can't be told without mention of France. After their revolution, there were a lot of chefs whose employers had lost their heads, and consequently, the chefs had lost their jobs. Many moved to Paris and opened up restaurants, much to the pleasure of the Revolutionary Council.

The French took to gastronomy with enthusiasm and by the start of the 19th century, Napoleon had embraced gastronomy as a necessary part of diplomacy. All through the 19th century, French cuisine was the state of the art. It was what chefs and their patrons aspired to. The great hotels of London and Europe's larger cities competed in their search for great French chefs to head their kitchens. The greatest perhaps was Auguste Escoffier, who transferred from the Riviera to London's Savoy Hotel to head their kitchens.

By the 20th century, there was no argument, top quality cooking was French cooking. There weren't many restaurants in Dublin in the first half of the 20th century, but many Dubliners will remember Jammets in Nassau Street, where the haute cuisine tradition prospered, as it did for a while longer in Stephen's Green's Russell Hotel, the first kitchen in Ireland to be awarded a Michelin star.

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