Pseudonym: Curnonsky, famous as the Prince of Gastronomy.
Born in Angers, France in 1872.
Graduated from the Saint-Morille school in Angers and majored in literature in Paris.
In an era of prosperity for literature and journalism, Curnonsky met several people who became his inspiration for his work and his life. Louis Pasteur, a biochemist, Émile François Zola, Alphonse Allais, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette and Henry Gauthier-Villars who were writers.
He was active as a journalist of Le Journal and Le Matin from 1900 to 1925.
Curnonsky published many novels and gastronomic books. He wrote "Atlas de Gastronomy Française" in 1938, "L'Infortune du pot" in 1946, "Cuisine et Vins de France" in 1953, and 28 volumes of “Gastronomie Française”. He also wrote a total of 6 drama pieces.
In 1907, he acquired the position of advisor at Michelin and was charged with editing of the driver’s guide. It is the very same Michelin guide, which is now very well known all over the world. Curnonsky was a leading figure in combining travel with gastronomy.
He coined the name Bibendum for the Michelin man and wrote Michelin’s weekly column “Les Lundis de Michelin” in Le Journal and wrote columns in La Vie Parisienne. He also used Bibendum as his Pseudonym.
In 1922, he traveled all over France, from one town to another to experience French local gastronomy. These experiences are what drove him to write about gastronomy. Curnonsky wrote as many as 65 books over a period of 10 years.
In 1923, a movement called “The Ninth Art” was born among the members of Salon d’Automne. Curnonsky used to organize dinners for the members of Salon d’Automne.
On May 16ᵗʰ 1927, Curnonsky was elected as the Prince of Gastronomy at an election which was held by the French newspaper “Paris Soir”.
In 1928, he was honored with the title “King of Gastronomy”, and in the same year established the Academy of Gastronomy in Paris. He became quite famous for someone who originated a guide book and wrote newspaper articles about gastronomy.
In 1952, to honor his 80ᵗʰ birthday, 80 famous restaurants marked his favorite table with a copper plaque, reading: “This table is reserved for Curnonsky, Maurice Edmond Sailland, a prince of gastronomy, a champion and an expressive person of French cuisine and an honorary guest of this restaurant.”
On July 22nd 1956, when Curnonsky was 84 years old, he passed away while in Paris.
His achievements passed down to posterity.
To respect and admire the achievements of Curnonsky, Maurice Sailland, “Les Amis de Curnonsky” was established by the auspices of the Academy of Gastronomy. The first two chairmen were respectively, Vincent Presle and André Purina. Since 1985 Michel Sy, the honorary director of the National Center for Scientific Research and a former member of the National Diet is the current chairman.
In Paris’s 17th arrondissement, there is a street called “Curnonsky Street”. On March 24th 1994, the “Curnonsky Museum” was opened inside of a hotel school in Saumur, France.
Les Amis de Curnonsky holds an
annual large scale dinner, where the menu and a portrait of Curnonsky are
printed on special Limoges plates. Other dinners are held to introduce new