The History of Restaurants

Junior Burger
2012/06/23 23:09:26
I'm sure there is a history of take-away places. Below is my comment on a history of restaurants: 1766 to 1965.-Ron Price, Tasmania
In a review1 of Rebecca L. Spang’s The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomy, I discovered that the restaurant's first true author was Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau. The winter solstice had just passed here in Australia and I was one month short of the age of 68 when I came across this review in the online journal Other Voices
This first restaurant opened its premises in 1766 in the rue Saint Honoré.  It was utterly unlike any previous eating places in Paris.  It was not classifiable with cookshops, caterers, cafés, cabarets, inns or the public "host's table."  In this latter location, and for a fixed fee at fixed hours, travellers and hungry mouths of all types fought over communal dishes of pot-au-feu, pté and veg. But they were not restaurants. Mathurin Roze was "friend of all the world" and an entrepreneur who edited an annual business directory.  In that directory he recommended himself as the "king's restaurateur" and founder of the first "house of health.”
Roze borrowed the concept of sensibility from Jean-Jacques Rousseau(1712-1778), a political philosopher of the time and the era's creative consultant, This was the idea that the highest human ideals were found in persons of feeling and sensitivity of soul. Such people had "visceral responses to any and all stimuli." They had nervous physical reactions to "beautiful sunsets, resolute orphans, Roman ruins," or a lump of roast duck plonked on the common table at the second sitting for dinner.1 -Ron Price with thanks to 1Vera Rule in The Guardian, 23 September 2000.
My first memory of such a place
was at the Dundas Restaurant in
1964 where my parents and I ate
just before my father died in ‘65.
The first meal I remember was fish-
fingers before going home, around
the corner where we lived, my last
months before leaving the parental
nest at the age of 20: two-hundred
years after the invention of popular
& common places to eat in the five
epochs that will have been my life.1
1 1944 to 2021
Ron Price