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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Kitchen Information Reference Forum / 200 Year History of Restaurants
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    200 Year History of Restaurants

    Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:30 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster

    In a review1 of Rebecca L. Spang’s The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomy, I discovered that the restaurant's first true author was Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau. The winter solstice had just passed here in Australia and I was one month short of the age of 68 when I came across this review in the online journal Other Voices.

    This first restaurant opened its premises in 1766 in the rue Saint Honoré. It was utterly unlike any previous eating places in Paris. It was not classifiable with cookshops, caterers, cafés, cabarets, inns or the public "host's table."

    In this latter location, and for a fixed fee at fixed hours, travellers and hungry mouths of all types fought over communal dishes of pot-au-feu, pté and veg. But they were not restaurants. Mathurin Roze was "friend of all the world" and an entrepreneur who edited an annual business directory. In that directory he recommended himself as the "king's restaurateur" and founder of the first "house of health.”

    Roze borrowed the concept of sensibility from Jean-Jacques Rousseau(1712-1778), a political philosopher of the time and the era's creative consultant, This was the idea that the highest human ideals were found in persons of feeling and sensitivity of soul. Such people had "visceral responses to any and all stimuli." They had nervous physical reactions to "beautiful sunsets, resolute orphans, Roman ruins," or a lump of roast duck plonked on the common table at the second sitting for dinner.1 -Ron Price with thanks to 1Vera Rule in The Guardian, 23 September 2000.

    My first memory of such a place
    was at the Dundas Restaurant in
    1964 where my parents and I ate
    just before my father died in ‘65.

    The first meal I remember was fish-
    fingers before going home, around
    the corner where we lived, my last
    months before leaving the parental
    nest at the age of 20: two-hundred
    years after the invention of popular
    & common places to eat in the five
    epochs that will have been my life.1

    1 I was born in 1944 and feel my life has been lived by epochs

    Ron Price
    Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:37 am
    Forum Host
    Welcome to the forums, Ron. Very nice to meet a new friend. icon_smile.gif
    Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:37 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thank you, Molly53. I hope to drop in here occasionally as I head through the 3 stages of old age: 65-74, 74-86, and beyond---if I last that long.-Ron Price, Tasmania icon_arrow.gif
    Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:27 pm
    Forum Host
    icon_biggrin.gif Oh Ron! I found that history bit on restaurants so interesting!!

    There are several stories about "eating places" from the days of the horse-drawn carriages, so it's hard to know when exactly the "eating-place" started, but I'll accept your account.

    Welcome to!wave.gif Check out the many other forums, where your input could be enriching.
    Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:38 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks, Zune, for your interest in my post. I am certainly no authority on the history of restaurants. That book I referred to, though, had a author who could claim some authority on the subject. Still, as in so many things in the field of history, the subject is probably a complex one.-Ron Price in George Town Tasmania icon_cool.gif
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