Check it out. We all have a mother, an aunt, a mother-in-law or a friend who has a cookbook – new or in tatters – by Françoise Bernard. Icon of family cooking since the 1960s, the one that was born, just a hundred years ago, under the name of Andrée Jonquoy, died in Paris on Sunday, September 19.
“Before her, most cookbooks were printed in small print, recipes packed together, remarked Sébastien Gaudard, star pastry chef of the 9e arrondissement of Paris, author of a duo book – The best of desserts (Hachette Pratique 2009) – with the sparkling old lady. She rewrote family cooking, she also reinvented its form of presentation and introduced the notion of marketing in cookery books. “
Logical, when you yourself have been an invention of advertising. In 1953, this daughter of dyers from the North was still called Andrée Jonquoy and was bored, at the age of 32, as executive secretary at Unilever. A year earlier, the multinational launched an advertising campaign for Astra margarine, in which the recipes of a certain Françoise Bernard are given. Behind this name, made up of the female and male first names most commonly used at the time, hide the writers of the communication department.
Given the success of the campaign, Unilever decides to give a face to its imaginary cook. Seizing the opportunity, the young Andrée comes to the casting. “We had to give a living image to this sacred margarine, remembered, in 2008, during an interview with The world, the former face of Unilever. Qsomeone nice, not too ugly, liking to eat well. “
With his slender figure, his smiling and determined face of a young thirty-something with short hair, Andrée Jonquoy could embody a generation of women who no longer had their home for only horizon. At the start of the “glorious thirties”, the French family rediscovered gourmet pleasures after ration tickets. But the post-war period draws a new profile of housewife, more active and autonomous, with an accelerated pace of life.
“I repeated the dishes fifteen times”
The food and home appliance industry thrives on this quest for time to save. The character of Françoise Bernard guides the consumer towards this modernity. A real team surrounds the one who quickly passes from the role of potiche to that of patron: two full-time chefs, twenty or so typists … per year), then to record on Radio Luxembourg interventions, introduced on the air by Jacques Martin. Finally, still in Luxembourg, to shoot live every two weeks, from 1955 to 1960, one of the first cooking shows on television.
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