Christian Millau, French restaurant guide author, dies at 88

FILE- In this Dec. 5, 1977 file photo, French chefs and restaurant critics Christian Millau, tasting and holding their book, right, with Henri Gault, at left, pose near an oven in a Parisian restaurant in Paris, France at the occasion of the presentation of their new "Gault and Millau" restaurant guide. Millau, who built a renowned French restaurant guide with colleague Gault and was among the originators of the Nouvelle Cuisine food movement in the 1970s, died in Paris over the weekend at 88. (AP Photo/Jacques Langevin, File)

Christian Millau, who built the renowned Gault & Millau restaurant guide series and was among the originators of the nouvelle cuisine food movement in the 1970s, has died at age 88.

PARIS — Christian Millau, who built the Gault & Millau restaurant guide series and was among the originators of the nouvelle cuisine food movement, has died at age 88.

The Gault & Millau publishing house announced Monday that Millau died Sunday. It did not provide details, but described him as "impertinent and independent."

Born in 1929, Millau started as a journalist and joined Henri Gault to produce their first restaurant guide in 1969. It sold 100,000 copies and evolved into a French diner's staple. The series uses a rating system based not on stars, but the number of "toques" or chef's hats.

Millau preached against food fads and for a focus on fresh products and minimal sauces and seasonings. He was credited with discovering chefs such as French restaurateur Joel Robuchon.

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