In l927 a public referendum crowned Curnonsky Prince of Gastronomes and from then his name became a household word throughout France. Fifty culinary academies and clubs vied for his presidency and solicited his presence at their feasts. All of which was fine with Cur, as he was known to his intimates, for this was a man who loved public attention nearly as much as he adored his food.
Gertrude Stein wrote that Curnonsky resembled nothing more than a "physically amorphous creature, not dissimilar to an unfinished tub of butter." With his huge white napkin knotted bib-like around his huge chins, he became a familiar figure in every kitchen and restaurant of Paris.
In addition to being a gourmet of impeccable taste, Curnonsky may also have been one of the world's most delightfully pompous inhabitants. He enjoyed issuing forth such proclamations as: "Never eat the left leg of a partridge, for that is the leg it sits on, which makes the circulation sluggish." Although such pomposity leads to a chuckle, one must respect honor, and Curnonsky's honor was beyond reproach. Once, upon being offered an enormous lifetime income simply for stating that margarine was the equal of butter, he refused indignantly. "Nothing," he said, "can ever replace butter."
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