The Johnston Collection

ACQUIRED TASTE: The Invention of the Restaurant in 18th century Paris with Sylvia Sagona

This lecture is presented on-site at TJC. Please see your ticket for details.

Panels, Lectures & Ideas

Event Details


Panels, Lectures & Ideas

Event Starts

Nov 24, 2022

Event Ends

Nov 24, 2022


The Johnston Collection


Please see your ticket for details.

The restaurant as we know it, with separate tables, fixed prices, flexible hours and a menu was actually invented in late 18th century Paris for those whose weak constitution, delicate tastes and superior sensitivity made it impossible for them to swallow the rough food of the local tavern.

Indeed, restaurants were for those who did not eat but required just a broth or “restorer’.

After the Revolution, unemployed cooks of the aristocrats opened up this new service to the public using the dinner sets and cutlery disposed of by the exiled nobles. New ways of eating were invented with the old-fashioned service à la française being replaced by the service à la russe where each type of dish required special cutlery to add to the display of the table.

This lecture will explore the development of the different forms of restaurant from the 18th century to today.

SYLVIA SAGONA is an internationally recognised specialist on 19th century French society. She retired from the French Department at The University of Melbourne to work on historical documentaries for French and Australian television.

This lecture is supported by The Colin Holden Charitable Trust

Image supplied : Le Petit Zinc, Paris

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