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Inventing French Cuisine

Inventing French Cuisine

(p.49) Chapter Two Inventing French Cuisine
Accounting for Taste
University of Chicago Press

Marie-Antoine Carême (1783–1833) was a great chef from France and an extraordinary cultural entrepreneur. He was a star whose celebrity extended beyond the kitchen into the culture at large. Carême not only refined the cuisine that he inherited, he also rebuilt and redefined it. In other words, he reinvented it. His cuisine corresponded to a new culinary paradigm that would rule French cuisine for at least a century. Carême reconfigured the aristocratic cuisine of the Ancien Régime into the elite and assertively national cuisine of the nineteenth century. His culinary code enabled the subsequent professionalization of cooking within France as well as its diffusion abroad; this coincided with the nationalization and internationalization of French cuisine. As a result of Carême's culinary nationalism, French cuisine became an integral part of a newly identified national patrimony even as it spread worldwide.

Keywords:   Marie-Antoine Carême, French cuisine, culinary code, France, cooking, nationalism, nationalization, internationalization, chef, cultural entrepreneur

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