First opened in 1946 by André Vrinat, the Taillevent luxury restaurant in Paris is named after the medieval cook and cookbook author Guillaume Tirel, known to history as Taillevent (meaning “wind carver,” evidently a reference to Tirel’s rather prominent Gallic nose). By royal command, Taillevent wrote the founding text of French cuisine, Le Viandier, in 1379.
Vrinat served a different French provincial menu each day at Taillevent, and by 1948 the restaurant had earned its first Michelin star. In 1950, Vrinat relocated to the splendid former hôtel particulier (town house) of the Duc de Morny, just around the corner from the Arc de Triomphe. A second Michelin star appeared on Taillevent’s horizon in 1956.
In 1962, Vrinat’s son Jean-Claude, a passionate wine connoisseur, joined his father in the business. Under Jean-Claude’s direction, Taillevent became a meeting place for the world’s most demanding gastronomes. Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas were regulars. Salvador Dali liked to order off the menu (he once had a peacock cooked in its own feathers). Perhaps partially in recognition of the younger Vrinat’s grace and aplomb under such international pressure, Michelin awarded Taillevent its third star in 1973. In 2007, Jean-Claude Vrinat announced the loss of the third Michelin star.
The Paris-based Taillevent group consists of the luxury Paris two Michelin stars Taillevent restaurant, brasserie Les 110 de Taillevent and the Caves Taillevent wine merchant.
The Gardinier family of Chateau Phelan Segur have bought a majority stake in the Taillevent group. The Gardiniers – brothers Thierry, Stephane and Laurent – own a holding company which runs orange plantations in Florida, the luxury hotel Domaine les Crayeres in Champagne, as well as the renowned St Estephe Cru Bourgeois, Phelan Segur.
The acquisition has been made along with Valerie Vrinat, who took over as head of the Taillevent group after the death of her father Jean-Claude Vrinat in 2008.