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Le Cuisinier Impérial

A[lexandre] Viard's Le Cuisinier Impérial (Paris: Barba, 1806) was a culinary encyclopedia that passed through at least thirty-two editions in its long career as the essential reference work for the French professional chef during the nineteenth century. During its long run it was a staple of its publisher, Barba. Viard is variously credited with being chef de cuisine to Louis XVI and to Napoleon. The cookbook appeared under various titles that reflected regime changes: with the restoration of the Bourbons it became Le Cuisinier Royal (Paris: Barba, 1817) in its ninth edition, and in 1852, in its twenty-second edition, Le Cuisinier National. The co-author Fouret appeared in editions of the 1820s. Its last edition appeared in 1875.

A German translation was published as Viard und Fourets Universal-Kochbuch (Stuttgart, Carl Hoffmann, 1827). A second edition was credited to Catharina Löffler, Pariser Kochbuch (Stuttgart, Weise and Stoppani, 1829)

An earlier, unrelated cookbook with a similar name, François Massialot's Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, one of the first French cookbooks, consisted of recipes from Louis XIV's kitchens and marked the beginning of haute cuisine.



  • Kansas State University: Le Cuisinier Royal, Paris 1817.
  • Bibliographie culinaire
  • William Carew Hazlitt, Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine [ The "introductory" describes twelfth edition incorrectly dated 1805.

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