Restaurants were invented by a French philanthropist : Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau, in Paris, near the Louvre.

Only the nobles who had cooks ate well

In 1765, Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau invented the “restaurant”. He opened the first modern restaurant in the Louvre district of Paris. What he offers is a revolutionary service: individual tables and dishes to choose from a menu. Until now, eating out was an activity reserved for travelers. If we already ate in taverns or inns on collective tables, the cuisine most often consisted of a single dish whose main quality was to hold the body, but not to delight the taste buds. Since the Middle Ages, the concept of “eating well” has been a concern of nobles. Most French people are peasants, and their priority is just to eat. With the invention of the restaurant emerges a new idea: that of paying to enjoy a unique dish. Until then, there were inns which were frequented by travelers stopping to allow their horses to rest and who took the opportunity to eat… we ate a single dish on a large table. It was often very bad. Only the nobles who had cooks ate well. Contrary to what one might think, Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau was not a cook or an innkeeper… but an economist.

The circulation of money and a better distribution of wealth

The French Revolution will throw many cooks into the street, deprived of their jobs in noble families. The latter will then join these places of restoration or open new ones. Liberal and philanthropist, Roze advocates the circulation of money and a better distribution of wealth, but also the abolition of corporations… In short, everything that he believes blocks the economy. He even presented a tax program to King Louis XVI in order to pull the kingdom out of the doldrums and increase the money supply without raising taxes or encouraging inflationary pressures. Revolutionary ideas that will lead him to the Bastille for a while…

A return to a simpler cuisine

Progressive, Roze de Chantoiseau is marked by the ideas of his time, those of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, and in particular Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who advocates a return to a simpler cuisine, made of vegetable soups and dairy products… There are only a few restaurants before 1789, there are 3000, 30 years later. Born in Paris, the restaurant will soon flourish in the provinces before conquering the whole world.

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