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Medici; Catherine de

(1519-1589) - A member of the noble family of Florence, the city"s rulers from 1434 until they died out in 1737. She married the Duc d"Orleans in 1533, and brought her Italian chefs with her. The Duke later became Henri 11 of France. She is credited with the refinement of French cuisine. Many modern historians now dispute this, as recently released records suggest that French culinary skills didn"t become noticeably refined until a new cuisine was codified by Pierre François de la Varenne in "Le Cuisinier François" in 1651, which captured the imagination of the court.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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