France is the place to be if you want to become a culinary genius. That what I have always thought and according to its rich history, that seems to be a pretty accurate thought. I was surprised though to discover that French cuisine was strongly influenced by Italian chefs, mostly because of the monarchy in France at the time, but also because Italian chefs were years ahead of French chefs, this was all happening around the 15th century. Frances food history starts even before that though in the middle ages. At that time French cuisine took on a Moorish cuisine, which incorporated a large amount of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables and meats such as mutton, beef, chicken, camel, rabbit and seafood. Chefs believed that the more colorful the dish was the better it was so they added ingredients like egg yolk, spinach, sunflower, and saffron. Then French cuisine was greatly influenced by Italian cuisine as I mentioned earlier. After this transition, in the 18th century, Paris was deemed the “central hub of culture and economic activity and as such the most highly skilled culinary craftsmen were to be found there.” This period of French cuisine was deemed the Ancien Regime. In addition to Paris being the food capital of the world, the frist ever “true” French cook book was written in the 18th century by a chef named La Varenne. Also in the 18th century the dishes being produced in France were of much smaller proportion focusing on quality over quantity. After the French Revolution guilds, which were basically rations put on restaurants by the French government were removed and this allowed for French cuisine to become “enlightened.” French chefs were finally allowed to put their creative genius to work. In the 19th and 20th century French kitchen practiced what is called the brigade system which separates the kitchen into sections so you have chefs specializing in one part of the food production.
work cited: www.personal.psu.edu/srh122/French