Fulcrand-Joseph-Jean, marquis d’Aigrefeuille (1745–1818), to whom Grimod de la Reynière dedicated the Almanach des Gourmands, was a close associate of Second Consul, Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérèes, one of the most famous gastronomes of the period. Almost as powerful, fat, and famous for his epicurean refinement as his protector, Aigrefeuille became Cambacérès’s officier de bouche, in charge of organizing his celebrated tables, and as such was considered by many in the know to be the greater gourmand. Both appear with their bloated bellies frequently in satires of the period, as in the above image of 1814, as France began to pay the full price of Napoléonic folly.
Aigrefeuille appears to have been less than best pleased by the controversial Grimod de la Reynière’s dedication and, in spite of the writer’s sycophantic request for patronage, completely ignored the Almanach des Gourmands.
(c) Carolin C. Young, 2013.