Around 1925, out of a desire to familiarize people with the resources of France’s terroirs, Henri Androuët created his “cheese calendars.” They listed over one hundred types of cheese, each presented under a regional or local name and accompanied by its period of full maturity. The innovative brochures were a huge success, and seeing the interest and curiosity that had been awakened in his customers, Henri Androuët opened a tasting room adjacent to his curing cellar. The cream of Paris cheese-loving society rushed there to discover traditional recipes using cheeses.
In the mid-1930s he and his son Pierre opened the restaurant that was to make the family famous, above the cheese shop. The wine selection, the range and quality of the menu, and the care taken with au service soon made it a much-recommended dining place.
Androuët’s originality and expertise soon attracted prestigious customers who came to discover the tastes and, rubbing elbows with the man in the street, a new way of appreciating cheeses. From the famous novelist Colette to the creators of Astérix, and including stars like Jean Gabin and Orson Welles, Toshiro Mifune and Ernest Hemingway, famous names from newspaper headlines and the world of the arts added luster to the place. They included Maria Callas – a great lover of cheeses –, who went into the kitchen herself at each visit and cooked her own scrambled eggs with the cheese of her choice.