It’s hard to imagine a world before something as commonplace as the restaurant if we were born after the French Revolution and, since most likely all of our readers were, we can only try to envision it. In the past, only powerful people could afford to employ cooks, those who were exclusively dedicated to cooking and lived in the castle to serve these wealthy people.
Offering a good meal to your influential friends was an important aspect in showcasing your position. As for everyone else, they ate according to the whims of the cook and, if there was something similar to a restaurant, it was the inns, establishments where travelers on long journeys could stop to eat, but again, they were at the mercy of what was on hand and who cooked it.
The word “restaurant”
The word restaurant originates from the French to “provide food for” or “restore to a previous state.” The phrase itself comes from a chef named Boulanger who proclaimed in what was the first eating house in Paris, “Come to me, ye who have an empty stomach and I shall restore it.” Boulanger’s eating house differed from the inns in that it already had individual tables, a menu with various options, as well as lunch and dinner hours. Later on, he would declare that the four requirements of a restaurant were elegant ambiance, friendly service, superior cuisine, and a wine cellar selection and this concept of the restaurant as we know it emerged during the French Revolution.
The restaurant utopia of today is that we can sit in a comfortable space – anyone, from all walks of life – and the chef in charge of the restaurant does it as a passion. With this bit of knowledge, we recommend watching the movie Delicious, French of course. So, the next time we find ourselves in a restaurant, we can count ourselves lucky by remembering that this wasn’t always available.