Guillaume Tirel

Culinary Articles » Famous Chefs

180px-Tombe_Guillaume_Tirel.jpg The picture to the right is the tomb of Guillaume Tirel and his two wives. Image extracted from the works of Baron Jérôme Pichon et Georges Vicaire (Paris, Techener, 1892)

Guillaume Tirel, alias Taillevent (Old French: "slicewind") (born ca. 1310 in Pont-Audemer – 1395) was cook to the Court of France at the time of the first Valois kings and the Hundred Years War. His first position was enfent de cuisine (kitchen boy) to Queen Jeanne d'Évreux. From 1326 he was queux, head chef, to Philip VI. In 1347, he became squire to the Dauphin de Viennois and his queux in 1349. In 1355 he became squire to the Duke of Normandy, in 1359 his queux and in 1361 his sergeant-at-arms. The Duke of Normandy became Charles V in 1368 and Tirel continued in his service. From 1381 he was in service to Charles VI. He died in 1395 at around 80 years of age.

He wrote a famous book on cookery named Le Viandier that was influential on subsequent books on French cuisine and important to food historians as a detailed source on the medieval cuisine of northern France. During the reign of Philip VI, Taillevent was a major influence in the rise of imperial favor for the strong red wines being produced in the south of France as well as those coming out of Burgundy.

Today, many restaurants named "Taillevent" capitalize on the reputation of Guillaume Tirel. "Guillaume Tirel" was also the name of a catering business in Brussels (1989–1999).


  • Johnson, Hugh, Vintage: The Story of Wine Simon and Schuster 1989
  • Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of All Extant Manuscripts, University of Ottawa Press 1988 ISBN 0-7766-0174-1
  • Le Viandier de Guillaume Tirel dit Taillevent, le Baron Jérôme Pichon et Georges Vicaire, Paris 1892 (reprint by Slatkine Reprints, Genève, 1967)
  • online version of Le Viandier, translated by James Prescott:
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