The Food Lovers' Cookbook Collection
Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France by Curnonsky
Maurice Sailland was born in 1872 in Angers. He studied literature at the Sorbonne and then moved on to a career in journalism. He became an important figure in the French gastronomic movement and published some important journals that set out to preserve regional French recipes. In fact, these writings gave rise to an increased interest in the regional foods of France. He died in 1956.
Operating under the name Curnonsky, he was a larger-than-life figure both literally and figuratively. He was a celebrated fictional author, a bon-vivant, a raconteur and a gourmand.
In 1927 he was awarded the honour of Prince of Gastronomes following a public vote organised by the newspaper Paris-Soir.
He was concerned about the internationalisation of food brought about by hotel chains at the start of the twentieth century therefore collected and published a broad range of traditional French provincial recipes to ensure that they were preserved and promoted. And that was the genesis of the cookbook entitled Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France written by Curnonsky.
He also worked on or founded a number of influential publications such as Le Magazine de la Gastronomie Francaise and La France Gastronomique which was released every two months and dealt with regional cookery and tourism in a different region of France.
Towards the end of his long life (1872 - 1956) he became so obese he was scarcely able to move.
His major legacy, however, was the publication Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France in which some 300 recipes are arranged by region throughout almost 500 pages of text.