Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1755-1826. Probably the greatest gastronome in history.
‘The discovery of a new dish is more beneficial to humanity than the discovery of a new star.’ ‘Animals feed, man eats, only a man of wit knows how to dine.’ ‘To invite anyone implies that we charge ourselves with his happiness all the time he is under our roof.’Brillat -Savarin
He wrote Physiology of Taste (1865), a book that never goes out of fashion. He gives recipes, a series of dinners for various incomes and offers advice on how to stay slim. During the French Revolution, he had to flee to America, living in Connecticut for some years. On returning to France, he became a familiar figure in the cafes of Paris . He was a lawyer who wrote on political economy and law, and penned a few licentious tales as well.
Marc-Antoine Carême, 1784-1833, ‘The King of Cooks and the Cook of Kings’ cooked for Czar Alexander I, the future George IV of England, Baron Rothschild and Louis XVIII of France.
“It is an error for those of lesser station to try to pattern their table after the rich. Better to serve a simple meal, well prepared and not try to cover the bourgeois’s table with an imitation of Les Grands”.Carême
He was born in Paris, in his own words: ‘one of the 25 children of one of the poorest families in France’. At 7, he worked as a kitchen scullion. He was accepted as an apprentice chef in his teens and soon became the Master Chef. His creations reflected his artistic abilities. His pastries often looked like sculpture. His books, as well as his 48 course dinner, made French cuisine sovereign throughout Europe.