Last night, after watching on YouTube Anka Muhlstein lecture about one of the greatest fictional characters in Western literature, the Baron de Charlus, I stumbled upon this video...


Anka Muhlstein's point is that the modern restaurant has two sources: the city and the aristocracy. In this way, we can see it as a kind of democratization of good cooking. In the past, most people were stuck with badly or poorly prepared foods. An average person could never eat like the few who had access to talented cooks, to people who knew and loved the kitchen. But the city and progressive politics made it possible to spread the art of good cooking to a wider area of the population. Today, we, the urban masses, are pretty much liberated from the idiocy of our kitchens and can enjoy food that's been prepared by those who really know what they're doing.