While France has long been considered by many to be the epicurean center of the universe, the origin story of the French restaurant industry — and consequently the worldwide dining scene that followed its birth — may surprise you.
Fine dining became popular only after the French revolution.
The French Revolution was the turning point of modern European history. It began in 1789 and ended with the ascension of Napoleon Bonaparte in the late 1790s. During this period, French citizens revolted against the current political landscape, causing mass upheaval against the monarchy.
Not only was it political combativeness, but there was a lot of stress on bakers, butchers, and everyone involved in the food industry as the government regulated the consumption and production of their goods during the revolution.
Due to the conflict, Chefs who worked for the Rich lost their jobs and hence the opened their own restaurants for the general public which became popular as Fine Dining.
Before the French Revolution, less than 50 restaurants existed in Paris. But with more individuals in the food industry on hand, the roles adapted from culinary visionaries to entrepreneurs. By 1814, there were 3,000 restaurants in the city of love.
The restaurant industry got a further boost with the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 1800s; the ruler declared that every French citizen had the “freedom of pleasure,” in hopes that by plying constituents with rich delicacies and free-flowing French wines, they would be too distracted to overthrow him. This moment in history inspired French citizens of all classes of life to dine out for the first time ever, finally feeling free to unwind and enjoy life’s little pleasures after a bloody decade-long war.
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