01 December, 2011

Angers city lays the table for Curnonsky

Credit pictures Angers city
The end of the year festivities will certainly, in Anjou, one of the finest places of French cuisine, give to many families the opportunity to improve their daily menus. Angers town hall will help. The city has opened on Wednesday an exhibition dedicated to Curnonsky, the Prince of gastronomy in Chemellier hall. Better known for his pen-name, Maurice Sailland, (10, Contades avenue in Angers, 1872 - Paris 1956) became the most celebrated writer on gastronomy in France during the 20th century.

He wrote over 65 books and enormous numbers of newspaper columns. He is often considered the inventor of gastronomic motor tourism as popularized by the Michelin guide (though he himself could not drive).  The name "Curnonsky" means in Latin (cur + non : "why not?") plus the Russian suffix -sky, as all things Russian were in vogue in 1895, when he coined it. He once said that this nickname was "my tunic of Nessus, as I am neither Russian, nor Polish, nor Jewish, nor Ukrainian, but just an average Frenchman and wine-guy [sacavin]".

Often called the prince-elect of gastronomy, he had in fact been duly elected in a poll of 3,000 chefs in 1927. A celebrated aphorism of Curnonsky's was: "Good cooking is when things taste of what they are". He advocated simple food over complicated, rustic over refined, and often repeated the phrase "And above all, keep it simple!". In 1930, he co-founded the Académie des gastronomes, modelled on the Académie Française. 

In 1947, he started the magazine Cuisine et Vins de France. In 1950, he was a co-founder of the Confrérie de la chaîne des rôtisseurs. Curnonsky died by falling out of the window of his apartment. He was dieting at the time. [with the help of Wikipédia]

No comments:

Post a Comment