Auguste Escoffier


Auguste Escoffier

Infobox Person
name=Auguste Escoffier
dead=dead
birth_date=birth date|1846|10|28|df=y
birth_place=Villeneuve-Loubet, France
death_date=death date and age|1935|2|12|1846|10|28|df=y
death_place=Monte Carlo, Monaco

Georges Auguste Escoffier (28 October 1846–12 February 1935) was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a near-legendary figure among chefs and gourmets, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine. Much of Escoffier's technique was based on that of Antoine Carême, one of the codifiers of French "Haute cuisine", but Escoffier's achievement was to simplify and modernize Carême's elaborate and ornate style.

Alongside the recipes he recorded and invented, another of Escoffier's contributions to cooking was to elevate it to the status of a respected profession, introducing organized discipline to his kitchens. He organized his kitchens by the brigade system, with each section run by a "chef de partie". He also replaced the practice of "service à la française" (serving all dishes at once) with "service à la russe" (serving each dish in the order printed on the menu). [ [http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft438nb2b6&chunk.id=ch2&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ch2&brand=ucpress Different sources give different dates for the introduction of Russian service in Paris; see Paul Metzner, "Crescendo of the Virtuoso", ch. 2 (University of California Press,1998.)] ]

Escoffier published "Le Guide Culinaire", which is still used as a major reference work, both in the form of a cookbook and a textbook on cooking.

Early life

He was born in the village of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice. At the age of thirteen, despite showing early promise as an artist, he started an apprenticeship at his uncle's restaurant, "Le Restaurant Français", in Nice. In 1865 he moved to "Le Petit Moulin Rouge" restaurant in Paris. He stayed there until the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, when he became an army chef. His army experience led him to study the technique of canning food. Some time before 1878 he opened his own restaurant, "Le Faisan d'Or" (The Golden Pheasant) in Cannes. In 1880 he married Delphine Daffis. In 1884 the couple moved to Monte Carlo, where Escoffier took control of the kitchen at the Grand Hotel."'

César Ritz and the London Savoy

During the summers he ran the kitchen of the Hotel National in Lucerne, where he met César Ritz (at that time the French Riviera was a winter resort). The two men formed a partnership and in 1890 moved to the Savoy Hotel in London. From this base they established a number of famous hotels, including the Grand Hotel in Rome, and numerous Ritz Hotels around the world.

At the London Savoy, Escoffier created many famous dishes. For example, in 1893 he invented the Pêche Melba in honour of the Australian singer Nellie Melba. Another of his creations (copied from Antoine Carême, according to some anecdotes) was Tournedos Rossini, in honour of the Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini. He parted company with the Savoy Hotel after taking money from food suppliers.

Ritz and Carlton

In 1898 Escoffier and Ritz opened the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. The Carlton in London followed in 1899, where Escoffier first introduced the practice of the "à la carte" menu. Ritz had a nervous breakdown in 1901, leaving Escoffier to run the Carlton until 1919, shortly after Ritz's death. It is said that one of his pupils in the later part of this period was Ho Chi Minh, whom he trained as a pastry chef.

Le Guide Culinaire

In 1903 Escoffier published his first major book, "Le Guide Culinaire", containing 5,000 recipes. The importance of this book in the world of French cooking cannot be overestimated, and even today it is used as both a cookbook and textbook for classic cooking. In 1904 and 1912 Escoffier was hired to plan the kitchens for ships belonging to the steamship company Hamburg-Amerika Lines. On the second voyage, the Kaiser William II congratulated Escoffier, telling him "I am the Emperor of Germany, but you are the Emperor of chefs."

Légion d'Honneur

In 1919, Escoffier was awarded the Cross of the "Légion d'Honneur" (Legion of Honour) – the first chef to receive such an award – and in 1928 was promoted to "Officier" (Officer) of the Legion. [Biographical Note by Pierre P. Escoffier in "The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery" (English translation of the Fourth Edition of "Le Guide Culinaire"), published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1979]

Death

He died on February 12, 1935 at the age of 88 in Monte Carlo, a few days after his wife, Delphine Daffis.

Publications

*"Le Traité sur L'art de Travailler les Fleurs en Cire" (Treatise on the Art of Working with Wax Flowers) (1886)
*"Le Guide Culinaire" (1903)
*"Les Fleurs en Cire" (new edition, 1910)
*"Le Carnet d'Epicure" (A Gourmet's Notebook) (1911)
*"Le Livre des Menus" (Recipe Book) (1912)
*"L'Aide-memoire Culinaire" (1919)
*"Le Riz" (Rice) (1927)
*"La Morue" (Cod) (1929)
*"Ma Cuisine" (1934)
*"2000 French Recipes" (1965, Translated to English by Marion Howells) ISBN 1-85051-694-4
*"Memories of My Life" (1996, from his own life souvenirs published by his grandson in 1985 and translated into English by L. Escoffier, his great granddaughter in-law), ISBN 0-471-28803-9
*"Les Tresors Culinaires de la France" (2002, collected by L. Escoffier from the original Carnet d'Epicure)

Notes

References

* Chastonay, Adalbert. "Cesar Ritz: Life and Work" (1997) ISBN 3-907816-60-9
* Escoffier, Georges-Auguste. "Memories of My Life" (1997) ISBN 0-442-02396-0
* Shaw, Timothy. "The World of Escoffier". (1994) ISBN 0-86565-956-7

External links

* [http://www.fondation-escoffier.org/ Fondation Auguste Escoffier] (French and English)
* [http://www.escoffier-society.com/ Escoffier Society]
* [http://www.worldculinaryinstitute.com/A_escoffier.html Escoffier Biography from the World Culinary Institute]


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  • Auguste Escoffier — Georges Auguste Escoffier (* 28. Oktober 1846 in Villeneuve Loubet; † 12. Februar 1935 in Monte Carlo) war ein französischer Meisterkoch, der durch seine Publikation Guide Culinaire Weltruhm erlangte. Er adaptierte Spezialitäten andere …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Auguste Escoffier — Georges Auguste Escoffier (28 de octubre de 1846 12 de febrero de 1935) fue un cocinero, restaurador y escritor culinario francés, que popularizó y actualizó los métodos de la cocina francesa tradicional. Con …   Wikipedia Español

  • Auguste Escoffier — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Escoffier. Auguste Escoffier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Auguste Escoffier — Georges Auguste Escoffier (28 de octubre, 1846 (?) 12 de febrero, 1935) fue un cocinero, restaurador y escritor culinario francés, que popularizó y actualizó los métodos de la cocina francesa tradicional. Nació en Villeneuve Loubet, cerca de Niza …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Georges Auguste Escoffier — Auguste Escoffier Georges Auguste Escoffier (* 28. Oktober 1846 in Villeneuve Loubet; † 12. Februar 1935 in Monte Carlo) war ein französischer Meisterkoch, der durch seine Publikation Guide Culinaire Weltruhm erlangte. Er adaptierte Spezialitäten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Escoffier — Auguste Escoffier Georges Auguste Escoffier (* 28. Oktober 1846 in Villeneuve Loubet; † 12. Februar 1935 in Monte Carlo) war ein französischer Meisterkoch, der durch seine Publikation Guide Culinaire Weltruhm erlangte. Er adaptierte Spezialitäten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Escoffier —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Escoffier est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Auguste Escoffier (1846 1935), cuisinier français ; Léon Escoffier (1877… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Escoffier, Auguste — (1846 1935)    chef    Considered the master of the style of French haute cuisine that had been originated earlier by antoine carême, Auguste Escoffier was born in Villeneuve Loubet and began his career at age 12 as a kitchen helper in Nice.… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Escoffier —   [ɛskɔ fje], Georges Auguste, französischer Küchenmeister, * Villeneuve Loubet (Département Alpes Maritimes) 28. 10. 1846, ✝ Monte Carlo 12. 2. 1935; gilt als der Schöpfer der feinen modernen Kochkunst; er war auch bedeutend als… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Escoffier — [es kō̂ fyā′] Auguste [ō̂ güst′] 1847 1935; Fr. chef & writer on cooking …   English World dictionary


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