André Gayot

André Gayot was a French journalist. Concurrent with his studies, he started his career in 1949 at the ORTF producing a show for a young audience. In 1957, he was a political columnist for the daily newspaper La Liberté du Massif Central, and an editor for Paris-Presse. In 1958, he joined the weekly magazine Jours de France. He was appointed in 1960 director of information of the Republic of Niger where he created the information services and the daily Le Temps du Niger. In 1962, he founded and directed for five years the daily Le Courrier de Madagascar in Antananarivo. He created in 1967 in Martinique the weekly France Antilles Spécial Dimanche. He was in 1968 in Dakar, Senegal, leading the creation of the daily Le Soleil and of Les Nouvelles Imprimeries du Sénégal, both of which paved the way to the plurality and opening of information in French West Africa. Gayot has been active in Canada where he renewed and relaunched the world's oldest French language daily, L'Evangéline. He brought his expertise to the local press in Vietnam, Egypt, Mauretania, Zaïre, Burundi and Iran.
In 1969, with his friends Henri Gault and Christian Millau, he founded the monthly magazine Le Nouveau Guide, which went against culinary traditions of the time by promoting artistically prepared food, new cooking techniques and fresh ingredients. The three also founded the Gault Millau guide, and coined and promoted the term nouvelle cuisine. In the 1980s and 1990s, Gayot began publishing in the USA a series of restaurant guidebooks known alternatively under the Gault-Millau name or as Gayot Guides. The guidebooks rated and highlighted restaurants deemed to be among the top in their region, with reviews discussing décor, service, ambience and wine lists, with an emphasis on French cuisine. After 2000, his guides were published exclusively under the name Gayot, following a disagreement with the new owners of the French Gault-Millau guides.
In 1983, Gayot founded, in Paris, the monthly magazine Prévention Santé in conjunction with Rodale Publishing. With son Alain and daughter Sophie, he launched in Los Angeles the website devoted to gastronomy, tourism and lifestyle.
On May 7, 1979, Léopold Sédar Senghor, President of the Republic of Senegal presented Gayot, in his name and that of the President of the French Republic Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in the presence of Michel Debré former French prime minister, with the distinction of Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, for his humanitarian and cultural actions for Africa.
"For exceptional services rendered to the freedom of press and promotion of the friendship between nations" was said on April 27, 2005, by the Ambassador of France in Washington, D.C., Jean-David Levitte as he bestowed on Gayot the award of the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor, – the highest French distinction. Gayot is also an officer in the national order of Senegal, in the national order of the République du Niger and in the order of the Comoros. He holds a master's degree in law and a doctorate degree in economics. He died in Paris, France, on Saturday October 5th, 2019.