Vendôme is the capital of Loir-et-Cher in northwest France. In the sixteenth century, the encompassing county was made a duchy and bestowed upon César, the illegitimate son of then king, Henri IV. César – thus the duc de Vendôme – had his private residence in Paris, at what has become the Place Vendôme.
To discover then that the restaurant boasting so French a name as this really resides in Germany – in Westphalia on the outskirts of Köln to be exact – may be a surprise. However, it is a fact that Germanic fine dining is firmly founded on classical cuisine française – a convention started with the restoration of formal court dining when the nation’s Emperor and Empress, King Wilhelm and Queen Augusta of Prussia, hired legendary French chefs and co-collaborators on the culinary magnum opus, la Cuisine Classique, Urbain Dubois and Émile Bernard. This custom was then compounded over the next century with young Teutonic chefs moving to France to learn to cook the French way in French kitchens.
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