French cuisine is a style of cooking originating from France having evolved from centuries of social and political change.
The Middle Ages brought Guillaume Tirel, better known as Taillevent. The modern age, starting in the 17th century, however, saw a move toward fewer spices and much more liberal usage of herbs and refined techniques, beginning with La Varenne and further developing with the notable chef of Napoleon and other dignitaries, Marie-Antoine Carême.
French cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Georges Auguste Escoffier to become the modern version of haute cuisine. Escoffier's major work, however, overlooked much of the regional character to be found in the provinces of France. Gastro-tourism and the Guide Michelin helped to bring people to the countryside in the 20th century and beyond, to sample this rich bourgeois and peasant cookery of France. Gascony cuisine has also been a great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France.
Ingredients and dishes vary by region. There are many significant regional dishes that became both national and regional. Many dishes that were once regional have proliferated in variations across the country. Cheese and wine are a significant part of the cuisine, playing different roles regionally and nationally with many variations and appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) (regulated appellation) laws.