Haute cuisine
Haute cuisine or grande cuisine was characterised by French cuisine
French cuisine
French cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from France that has developed from centuries of social change. In the Middle Ages, Guillaume Tirel , a court chef, authored Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe collections of Medieval France...

 in elaborate preparations and presentations served in small and numerous courses that were produced by large and hierarchical staffs at the grand restaurants and hotels of Europe.

The 17th century chef and writer La Varenne
François Pierre La Varenne
François Pierre de la Varenne , Burgundian by birth, was the author of Le Cuisinier françois , the founding text of modern French cuisine. La Varenne broke with the Italian traditions that had revolutionized medieval French cookery in the 16th century...

 marked a change from cookery known in the Middle Ages, to somewhat lighter dishes, and more modest presentations. In the following century, Antonin Carême
Marie-Antoine Carême
Marie Antoine Carême , known as the "King of Chefs, and the Chef of Kings" was an early practitioner and exponent of the elaborate style of cooking known as haute cuisine, the "high art" of French cooking: a grandiose style of cookery favored by both international royalty and by the newly rich of...

, born in 1784, also published works on cooking, and although many of his preparations today seem extravagant, he simplified and codified an earlier and even more complex cuisine.

Georges Auguste Escoffier is a central figure in the modernisation of haute cuisine as of about 1900, which became known as cuisine classique
Cuisine classique
Cuisine classique is a style of French cookery based on the works of Auguste Escoffier. These were simplifications and refinements of the early work of Antoine Carême, Jules Gouffé and Urbain François Dubois. It was practised in the grand restaurants and hotels of Europe and elsewhere for much of...

The 1960s were marked by the appearance of nouvelle cuisine
Nouvelle Cuisine
Nouvelle cuisine is an approach to cooking and food presentation used in French cuisine. By contrast with cuisine classique, an older form of French haute cuisine, nouvelle cuisine is characterized by lighter, more delicate dishes and an increased emphasis on presentation.-History:The term...

, as chefs rebelled from Escoffier's "orthodoxy" and complexity. Within 20 years, however, chefs began returning to the earlier style of haute cuisine, although many of the new techniques remained.

Further reading

  • Cooking, Cuisine and Class, A Study in Comparative Sociology, Jack Goody, University of Cambridge, June 1982, ISBN 978-0521286961
  • Food and love: a cultural history of East and West By Jack Goody, Verso (April 1999), ISBN 978-1859848296
  • Tasting food, tasting freedom: excursions into eating, culture, and the past by Sidney Wilfred Mintz Beacon Press (1997) - ISBN 0-807-04629-9
  • Viandier
    Le Viandier is a recipe collection largely credited to Guillaume Tirel, alias Taillevent. However, the earliest version of the book has been dated to around 1300, about 10 years before the birth of Tirel...

     attributed to Guillaume Tiret dit Taillevent
    Guillaume Tirel, alias Taillevent was cook to the Court of France at the time of the first Valois kings and the Hundred Years War. His first position was enfent de cuisine to Queen Jeanne d'Évreux. From 1326 he was queux, head chef, to Philip VI...

    , medieval manuscript
  • Haute Cuisine: How the French Invented the Culinary Profession By Amy B. Trubek, University of Pennsylvania
    University of Pennsylvania
    The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

    Press (December 2000), ISBN 978-0812217766
  • Food culture in France By Julia Abramson, Greenwood Press (November 2006), ISBN 978-0313327971
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