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Collinet was the head chef at the Henri IV hotel outside of Paris, where he was widely credited as the creator of Béarnaise sauce shortly following the Second French Revolution. Collinet likely developed the recipe in 1836 for the opening of his new restaurant Le Pavilion Henri IV. Using the traditional recipe for Hollandaise sauce, he replaced lemon juice with white wine vinegar, and added shallots, chervil, and tarragon. Collinet named the sauce in honor of Béarn, the region of France from which Henry IV originated, the king after whom the hotel was named.
Legend has it that Collinet inadvertently created the art of deep frying the following year, introducing the Pommes soufflées on August 24, 1837, the concoction being the predecessor to French fries. The story indicates that Collinet was preparing a meal for Queen Marie-Amélie, and his fried sliced potatoes grew cold as the Queen's train was delayed. The chef is said to have returned the potatoes to the hot oil to reheat them, at which point they became puffed and crispy.
The Pavilion Henri IV still operates as a restaurant in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France.
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- Boulet, François. Leçon d'histoire de France: Saint-Germain-en-Laye : des antiquités nationales à une ville internationale (in French). DISLAB. p. 156. ISBN 9782952009188. Retrieved 1 October 2016.