A BRIEF HISTORY OF… JEAN ANTHELME BRILLAT-SAVARIN
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer and politician, was born in 1775 in Bresse, a region well known for food and wine. He was among the first to write about cuisine and gained fame as an epicure and gastronome. A brilliant individual, Brilliat-Savarin studied law, chemistry and medicine in Dijon. As a politician he was first elected magistrate, then mayor of his town. He was forced to flee the country after the French Revolution, eventually making his way to New York where he supported himself by teaching French and giving violin lessons. He met Thomas Jefferson and persuaded him to part with his wild turkey recipe while visiting Philadelphia. Brillat- Savarin returned to France in 1776 where he was a judge and writer. The rest of his life was spent entertaining friends and dining at the finest French restaurants. A prolific journalist, his gastronomic memoirs filled many pages with recipes and anecdotes.
Brillanr –Savarin is most well known for his work, The Physiology of Taste, published in 1825, and the book has not been out of print since. The most noted English translation was done by M. F. K. Fisher, food writer and critic in 1949 and is held in high esteem by all noted culinarians. He was so well respected that a cheese, an omelet, and a salmon dish all bear his name. Often considered the father of the low-carbohydrate diet, he may be better known for his famous quotes such as “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”. He died in 1826 just one year after completing The Physiology of Taste.
“A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.”
-Brillat-Savarin Chef Jules Pernell; FMP, CEC, CCE