FoodReference.com (since 1999)
WHO’S WHO IN FOOD SECTION
Notable Men and Women in the World of Food, Agriculture and Food Science
Home | Food Articles | Food Trivia | Today in Food History | Recipes | Cooking Tips
Food Videos | Food Quotes | Who’s Who | Trivia Quizzes | Crosswords | Food Poems
Food Posters | Recipe Contests | Culinary Schools | Gourmet Tours | Food Festivals
It is frequently said that the first restaurant, by that name, was opened in in 1765 by Parisian soup maker M. Boulanger. His was the first establishment to offer a menu with a choice of dishes. Nothing is known about M. Boulanger (some say A. Boulanger), and this may not be his name, but simply his occupation (boulanger means baker).
There were other cultures that had what could be called restaurants much earlier then this. The general belief that Boulanger’s was the first restaurant, refers to western culture, and even with that qualification, it is a debatable point. More on this subject will follow in future updates.
September, 2008 -
The following is an Email from Chef Thomas L. Bruns with some additional insight.
Boulanger was a crafty fellow. Back in those days, if you were owned a shop or were a street vendor, you had to belong to a guild. There were tons of guilds: Breadmaker's Guild, Pastry Guild, Roaster's Guild, Winemaker's Guild, etc.
Boulanger wanted his shop, but he couldn't afford the dues that were openly demanded by guilds. And then he hit upon it. There was no Soupmaker's Guild. So his main offering was a soup made from sheep hooves. He claimed that the soup had restorative properties, hence the sign Restaurant (from "restaurer" meaning "restore") in his window.
Think about that for a moment. Our entire professional working area (the restaurant) stems from a con artist looking to avoid paying a bill.
Please feel free to link to any pages of FoodReference.com from your website.
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: [email protected]
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2019 James T. Ehler and www.FoodReference.com unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.
You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.