“…..an ignorant and pretentious bunch try to improve on what is already the finest….. The improviser sets himself up at the stove just as he does anywhere else. With his eyes turned to heaven instead of on his saucepans, he drops in a pinch of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette powder here, a spoonful of brandy there, and somewhere else, something even worse — a few drops of custard! He uses any old stuffing, he dribbles in some frightful additive. . .. Old words, classic terms, and traditions are all flouted by these priests of improvisation — it seems that we are a long way removed from the discreet combinations of flavors, thought out at length, that were once the basis of French gourmandise. . . “.–Colette (Sidonie Gabrielle), French novelist, in Prisons et Paradis, 1933
Known as Colette, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, born into an upper middle class family, in France. She spent most of her childhood in Burgundy, and also maintained her taste for the freedom that country life lent. In Paris, she lived the Bohemian life and frequented the salons of the period. She started by writing for musical halls, signed by her first husband, and even showed up at the Moulin Rouge dressed as a man, but went on to journalism and literature. Her books remained in the spirit of music halls, often shocking the public with their explicit descriptions of sex and the senses.