Henri Gault and Christian Millau, internationally known and somewhat controversial critics of food and travel, will be introduced to America this fall through the publication in English of the Gault/Millau Guides, already established in Europe.
Gault and Millau who also founded a monthly food magazine, Le Nouveau Guide Gault/Millau, 20 years ago, quickly earned a reputation for directness, sharp wit, honesty and biting criticism.
Its authors are not afraid of destroying traditional culinary myths and they are credited with originating the term,''nouvelle cuisine'' as enthusiastic supporters of such French chefs as Paul Bocuse, Michel Guerard and the Troisgros brothers.
In compiling their guides, Gault and Millau make ratings on a scale of 1 to 20. To be mentioned, a restaurant must receive at least a 10, although in America the number was lowered to 5 when they published a New York Guide in French in 198l.
Their particular emblem of merit is a toque or chef's hat, determined by the rating.
A rating of 13 to 14 merits one toque; 15-16 two; 17-18 three; and 19-20 four.
Though no restaurant has ever received a perfect score of 20, the 1982 Gault/Millau Guide France bestows four stars on 12 restaurants.
In the 1981 New York Guide, the highest rating was three toques, given only to the Four Seasons and Lutece restaurants. Ten restaurants received two toques, and 28 won single toque status.
The introduction of the Gault/Millau collection to America will be accompanied by promotional activities in major cities, climaxed by a ''French Salute to American Cuisine'' dinner for gourmet groups and restauranteurs in each city.
The cities include New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Special recognition will be given at these events to the city's finest food establishments, selected in advance with the help of scouts organized by The Culinarians, a national society of food and wine authorities which will coordinate the introduction with Knapp Communications in cooperation with Crown Publishers Inc.
According to the publishers, the collection is the beginning of a series that will eventually cover the major cities of the world.
When published the New York City and London Guides, will be
l.95, soft cover, $19.95, hard; Paris and France guides, $12.95 soft, $22.98, hard.