A lover of food and good wines Grimod trained as lawyer gaining fame during the reign of Napoleon,for his gastronomic lifestyle.
Though his father had built a stylish house in Paris with a garden that overlooked the bosquets of the Champs-Elysee's and kept a great table,the younger Grimod had been born with deformed hands was kept out of sight,a circumstance that developed his biting wit and dark sense of humor.
Upon returning from his studies in Lausanne he collaborated in the Journal des theatres in 1777-78, continuing to write reviews of the theatre some of which he published himself.
During his parents absence he gave grand dinner parties in the Hotel Grimod de la Reyniere at one at which his father returned suddenly, to find a pig dressed up and residing at the table.
The story made its rounds in Paris and a breach with the family ensued,which culminated in a lettre de catchet that disinherited him and confined him to a abbey close to Nancy,where at the table of the father abbot he began to learn the art of good eating.
He was a correspondent to the scandal chronicle,Correspondence secrete politique et litteraire (1790) relating to Paris during the reign of Louis XVl and formed a liaison with the actress Adele Feuchere,who bore their love child in 1790.
He reconciled with his mother,who was saved from the guillotine through his connections,and began a series of mock funeral dinners.
At the first public critic cooking,the first reviewer of the ambitious restaurants that cropped up in Paris in the late eighteenth century and flowered under the Napoleonic regime,his name is a by-word on par with Brillat-Savarin" and an equally rich source of quotations in "French Gastronomic" literature, through the eight volumes of his annual "La Almanach des gourmands"which he edited and published from 1803-12 inclusive.
Even though the Gourmand still retained its sense of "gluttony" on of the "Seven deadly Sins" and Grimod's choice of the word when "friand"usually connoted a connoisseur of fine food and wine,was a conscious one and wholly in character;gourmand and gourmet,first achieved their modern connotations in Grimod`s Almanachs,which among other where the first "restaurant guides."
The success of the Almanachs encouraged Grimod to bring out the monthly "Journal des Gourmandes et des Belles" which appeared for the first time in 1806.The editorial board met weekly at the " Hotel Grimod del La Reyniere"those "Diners du Vaudiville" composed of dishes sent round by the Premier restaurants of Paris for judgement, by Grimod as host and presiding genius.
His "Manuel des Amphitryons"("hosts") appeared in 1808.Whereby "Sainte-Beuve" called him the
"Father of the Table"
So this seemed to be an apt quote from such a man who brought about such changes in French cuisine terms of reference:
"Life is so brief we should not glance either to far backwards and forwards...therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate.
He inherited the family fortune at the death of his mother in 1812,married his devoted mistress, gave his own funeral to see who would come then retired to the Chateau de Villiers-ser-Orge,near Paris.
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Thank you, Chris [Chef]