The cooking traditions and practices of the country are grounded in a strong tradition of agriculture and independent, free thinking peasants. It was, and remains, a creative power-base for foods that are both healthy and refined.
In the 17th century, chefs François Pierre La Varenne and Marie-Antoine Carême took French cooking away from its foreign influences and developed France’s own specialist and indigenous style.
French cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Georges-Auguste Escoffier to become the modern haute cuisine though he left out much of the regional culinary character to be found in the regions of France.
Gastro-tourism and the Guide Michelin helped to acquaint people with the rich bourgeois and peasant cuisine of the French countryside starting in the 20th century.
Gascon cuisine has also had great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France. Many dishes that were once regional have proliferated in variations across the country.