In the 16th century, during the reign of King Henry II, France struck an alliance with the Florentines of Italy and made Catherine de Medici their queen. Oddly enough, this proved to be a major turning point for the country's cuisine, as French chefs were captivated by the Italian cooking methods the new queen requested. Over the next several centuries, France would see comparable contributions from culinary masterminds of its own. In the 19th century, Marie-Antoine Carême revolutionized France's food scene with his group of "mother sauces," which became the bases for countless dishes. Later, Chef Georges Auguste Escoffier instituted a new way to run restaurants: have individual chefs specialize in the preparation of certain menu items. These techniques have withstood the test of time and are still held sacred in French restaurants throughout the world—including those in Phoenix.
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