Scrupulously researched and witty history... Academics and students alike will enjoy this fascinating study of the invention of the professional chef, of how ordinary workers influenced emerging trends of scientific knowledge, culture-creation, and taste in eighteenth-century France.
The Expert Cook in Enlightenment France will interest scholars and lay people alike, those with a passion for the history of cuisine, especially the labor and other tasks that went into the preparation of food and the creation of a profession.
The Expert Cook in Enlightenment France by Sean Takats fills a much needed gap in 18th century France...A concise and informative overview on cooks, their work, their precarious role in a society and how they hoped to strengthen that role through cooking during the Enlightenment... I definitely recommend it for 18th century libraries, French studies libraries, and anyone particularly interested in the role of cooks during the 18th century.
Fascinating and unique historical portrayal, thoroughly accessible to lay gourmands and scholars alike.
The Expert Cook vividly demonstrates how and why servant cooks, in propelling the gustatory desires of their masters toward perfection, became active participants in the Enlightenment and brought French cooking into the modern age.
The Enlightenment is a period in European history characterized by the use of reason to impose order on human knowledge with the objective of advancing humankind's progress and material happiness. Generally, the intelligentsia, most notably the French philosophes, led this endeavor. In this well-researched study of the period, however, Takats highlights the role of the domestic servant, the cook, in systematizing knowledge and advancing French culture.
1. Defining the Cook
2. Corrupting Spaces
3. Pots and Pens
4. Theorizing the Kitchen
5. The Servant of Medicine