chapter  L
39 Pages


The seventeenth-century French chef Pierre François de la Varenne, the first cookbook writer to achieve an international reputation, introduced the tradition of classic French cuisine. For members of the French upper class during the reign of Louis XIV, dining in a lavish, luxurious style was integral to the display of wealth and privilege. La Varenne was the most renowned and imitated chef of the period. With information and expertise they obtained from the market stalls and vendors of Paris’s Les Halles, men such as La Varenne and Nicolás de Bonnefons, the king’s valet de chambre and the author of Les Delices de la Campagne (The Delights of the Countryside, 1654), codified kitchen techniques that have been preserved and passed on by subsequent generations of culinary innovators.