Brillat-Savarin, Jean Anthelme

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Brillat-Savarin, Jean Anthelme (1755–1826) the best known of three pioneering writers on gastronomy at the beginning of the 19th century (the other two being his fellow Frenchman grimod de la reynière and the German rumohr). McGee (1990) notes succinctly that he became a lawyer, fled the French Revolution, spent two years in New York teaching languages and playing the violin in a theatre orchestra, returned to France, and eventually became a judge on the Court of Appeals in Paris. He had a lifelong fascination with science and medicine, which accounts for much of the content of his gastronomic work. He published this privately and anonymously in 1826 under the title La Physiologie du goût: ou, méditations sur la gastronomie transcendante. The book has since gone through many editions in many languages, of which the English translation with commentary by m. f. k. fisher (1972) is an outstanding example.