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24 - À table !

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Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson

Shaping Culinary France: Identity, Institutions, Ideology

Le Temps des médias n° 24, Printemps-Été 2015, p. 13-25.


The culinary identity of France is a function of both ideology and institutions. Although claims to the superiority of French cuisine are advanced as early as the 17th century, the authority of Culinary France is most particularly the product of the 19th century, with the culinary system of M-A Carême, the gastronomic criticism of A.B.L. Grimod de la Reynière, and the analyses of J.A. Brillat-Savarin. The 19th century is the great period of expansion for the restaurant which gave an institutional base for the practice of gastronomy. In modern times, gastronomy remains crucial to identity, supported by institutions (competitions of MOF, Bocuse d’Or) and by artistic productions such as the film Les Saveurs du Palais (2012). Will the country of this traditional, quasi-mythic cuisine welcome culinary contributions from elsewhere ? What forms will Culinary France take in our 21st century ? Stay tuned.

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