This is a preview of the content in our French Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play


a thick tenderloin steak

Portrait of Chateaubriand

Montmireil, the chef of the Breton vicomte and writer François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), named this steak after his boss who was then serving as French ambassador to beef-loving England.

To keep a large, boneless cut of beef moist while roasting, Châteaubriand’s chef, instead of wrapping it in barde, sandwiched it between two fatty steaks. When the steaks were charred, he knew the beef wrapped inside was done—and threw away the steaks. One hopes at least the dogs had a nice meal!

Chef Montmireil also came up with pommes de terre château—potatoes cut into the shape of olives, sautéed in butter.


Today a châteaubriand is a thick tenderloin steak (generally 3cm or so) grilled hot to seal in the juices, then constantly basted in butter as it is cooked at a low temperature until done inside (by preference, quite rare) and served with sauce béarnaise.


Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson , Open Food Facts