Decoding Maître Escoffier

Decoding Maître Escoffier

Decoding Matre Escoffier By Alain V. De Coster BMCA, CEC 2012 ACF National Convention, Orlando FL Before we do, lets spend a moment in time with our Ancestors / Forefathers and Authors shall we? How far can we go back? How did we, culinarians, get all the information and knowledge needed to be where we are today?

Cookbook Milestones 100 - 400 CE De re Coquinaria A 57 page manuscript attributed to Marcus Gavius Apicus. The text was copied by at least seven different monks after 744 in Germany. First printed in 1483. The manuscript had almost 500 heavily spiced constructs, a third of which were sauces. Myth tells us that Gavius Apicus was a party animal who spent a literal fortune on his

soirees. No matter who or how many participated in writing the text it left a lasting influence on European cuisine for the next millennia. 520 - De Observatione Ciborum; On the Observance of Foods

The Letters of Anthimus, a physician who spoke of Roman food tradition and preparation methods. The first Greek / Italian influence to French cuisine, one of the last written examples of spoken vulgar Latin before the Romance languages appeared in Europe and it is argumentatively the first French cookbook. The text shows the start of the change from forest dominated game meats to the bread, olive oil and vegetables of the latter-day Western cuisine.

1300 Denmark Libellus de art Coquinaria; Kochbuch Harpestreng Perhaps the first European gastronomic codex, that is now thought to have originated in the kitchens of Fredrick II who reigned from 1194 to 1250. 25/31 recipes, thought to have been of French or Spanish origin, were possibly translated into Danish another example of Europes one cuisine for the period.

1304 France Instruction for Preparing All Types of Meats The first manuscript devoted entirely to meat with 81 constructs written in Latin that were incorporated in La Viandier some 70 years later. 1314 Italy Libre de Coquina; Book of Cooking Italy

Thought to be the oldest known Italian / Neapolitan manuscript that ties certain foods to certain areas. Its Constructs showed the obviouslinkage between local cultivars, ingredients and recipes. It was one of the first text to acknowledged they make it that way there and this way here.

1370 French Le Viandier; The Provisioner First known French recipe collection by Guillaume Triel {Taillevent}, printed in 1486. There were only four existent manuscripts of the works, until one was destroyed on D-Day, 1944. The texts contain between 133 to 221 constructs although some may have been added to the later copies. The text describes par boiling meat before roasting it which would certainly improve the tooth of tough meat. It is now thought that Triels work was simply a

rewrite of an earlier text entitled the manuscript of Zion / Sion written around 1300. Research continues! 1390 England The Forme of Cury

The earliest English language assemblage of recipes, written around 1390, mentions olive oil, porpoise porridge, boiled fruits in puff pastry and custards. One of the oldest known English language manuscripts in existence. The original vellum codex contained 196 constructs. 1393 - France Le Menagier de Paris; The Goodman of Paris, France This book was written for a young French bride by her husband and contains lots of household tips as well as recipes for jellies, cod, sauce Cameline and crepes. Published in 1846 and was one of the first instructional guides for housewives.

1420 French Du Fait de Cuisine; Because of Cooking/Cuisine Created by Chiquart Amicvzo and written by the town clerk/scribe of Annessier with 78-81 recipes and a list for setting up a kitchen with the proper pots and pans. Myth tells us that the recipes are supposed to be those used to prepared for a 3 day banquet for Amadeus VIII the Duke of Savoy held in 1420. One of the few accounts of a medieval banquet arranged into menu items, presentation and

guidelines. Recipes are presented in sections for feast and fast days since the year was split almost equally between them during the period. 1435 Italy Registrum Coquine; Registry of Cooking Johane Bockenheim was a German cleric / cook who worked for pope Martin V and other church movers and shakers in his

career. He always ended the 74 individual recipes in his book with the tagline: et erit bonum pro excellent for Italians / Spaniards or barons / kings or beggars / hookers This work had constructs for fat days and lean in addition to 10 or so for fish. 1440 Germany; Print Technology Arrives Johannes Gutenberg invents movable type printing although the Chinese have been printing fullpage woodblock text for centuries and had mass-produced cooking broadsheets long before Europe.

1440 England The Boke of Kokery

Written around 1440, with 182 constructs Became the first printed English language cookbook. It has three sections and many of these constructs are said to come from an earlier work entitled Diversa Servicia. 1455-1467 Italy Libro de arte coquinqria; The Book of Culinary Art 65 sheets by Maestro Martino Como Translated into French, English and German and promoted the use of sugar, butter and pork while deriding the excesses of the medieval table. Began the move towards regional food local flavors instead of the exotics spices from the east.

1477 Spain Libre del Coch; Book of The Cook Robert Nola wrote the first cookbook printed in Catalan in 1520 then Castilian in 1525 where he claims that the constructs are of Spanish, Italian, French and Moorish

style. The book contains 242 constructs and is yet another example of the continuity between European cuisine. 1508 England The Boke of Kervynge; The Book of Carving The first printed English book that tells you how to carve a joint of meat, a whole fish, a side of whale, or an orange. This work shows the importance placed on the roasted joint and the status of the court/manor carver. Just think of your father trying to chop up the Thanksgiving turkey. 1533 to 1589 France The Myth Begins La fantome des Medicis; The ghost of the De Medicis

Caterina Maria Romula di Lorenzo de Medici comes to France and becomes queen 14 years later in 1547 . Legend tells us that Caterina brought cookbooks and cooks with her when she first came to court but there is no historical record of this myth. Although she may have not brought a brigand of cooks or some of the fewer than 100 titled cookbooks that existed in the period, she certainly brought the trappings of renaissance La Dolce Vita with her. She established the way the French court would dress, party and eat for centuries to come. She brought all the cravings that included men and women dining together, the use of personal forks and

spoons, napkins and handkerchiefs and individual place settings that featured a variety of glass drinking vessels and porcelain plates to replace the bulky pewter and silver of the period . You can be sure that Cat let the guys in the kitchen know that she favored poultry with citrus, artichokes, broccoli, Savoy cabbage, pastas, oil and vinegar salads, puff pastry, meats without sugar, almond paste, candied flowers, ginger bread, sorbets and the dessert table. Her elaborate entertainments set the stage for state affairs that lasted until the revolution and she was the first European women to use snuff; what could be more French than sneezing into you fine lace handkerchief after a little snort of tobacco?

1604 France Ouverture de Cusine; The Kitchen Opening / The Open Kitchen Lancelot de Casteaus lost text was rediscovered in 1958 then published in 1983. This texts mentions potatoes (tartoufle) as well as constructs from Spain, Italy, Hungary,

Ireland, England and Portugal again citing examples of the continuity that existed in European cuisine. The work consists of four parts and includes a banquet menu for Bishop Robert Banks in 1557 that had 143 courses. The describe constructs included omelets, salads with herbs, sorbets and featured a section on childrens parties.

1651 France Le Cuisine Franois The French Cook The Beginnings of Cuisine Classique of the medieval gothic period. Written by Franois Pierre de la Varenne, Translated into English 1653 and cataloged the changes in French cuisine from the medieval period. It is the first text to mentions the lard/ butter and flour roux, Bchamel sauce, stocks, reductions, puff pastry, bisques, bouquet garni and the cooking of vegetables. It also features the use of sugar in jams, jellies, syrups, fruit drinks and a section of salads all new items. It began incorporating new items from the Columbian exchange that helped to transform all the cuisines of Europe into not only national but regional benchmarks. He also wrote La Patissier Franois in 1653 which was

the first French pastry dialogue and his previous work was the first cookbook translated into English. 1662 Italy LArte di Ben Cucinare; The Art of Good Cooking Written by Stefani Bartolomeo, it is the First

Italian cookbook writer to address himself to the different socio economic classes and regions, well before any of his French peers. This tome also urged it readers to pride themselves in local food ways and reject the high cuisine of France. 1692 Italy Lo scalo alla modena; The Modern Steward Antonio Latini puts forward the first tomato sauce recipe and speaks of a sauce alla spagnuola 1789 France The French revolution begins, heads roll, chefs get downsized and Madame La Farge knits

Only 50% of the population spoke French the rest relied on local dialects filled with patois. Mandatory military service, a public school system and road construction were events and measures that helped to standardize language. No national cuisine at this point since it is hard to exchange recipes when you dont speak the same language and just as hard to transport ingredients from place to place with few traversable roads.

1796 North America American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life. Quite a title for the first written and printed North American cookbook. Amelia Simmons milestone work featured recipes for many native cultivars that were indicative of the way American foodways had adapted indigenous

products and existing native constructs. And of course the fact that she was a woman writing for other women should not be overlooked! 1810 France Nicholas Appert publishes the first book on canning/preserving food 1833 France Le Cuisinier Parisien One of Marie - Antonin Carme most important books even though he wrote

more than a half-dozen 1903 - France Le Guide Culinaire Georges Auguste Escoffiers most important book, although he wrote over a dozen. Enoughs been written about this work to make any further comment superfluous. 1914 France

Le Rpertoire de la Cuisine Written by Louis Saulnier for professionals who had already required the years of experience needed to develop a comprehensive repertoire. No recipes just a listing of ingredients to refresh your memory. 1935 France LArt Culinaire Moderne; Modern French Culinary Art Henri-Paul Pellaprat wrote this definitive text of over a thousand pages. Some great photos, done before there were food stylists, and hundreds of classic old school recipes . Great constructs like eclairs with goose liver puree, saddle of hare, galantines and lots of rarely seen stuff. Pellaprat was the founder of the modern Paris Cordon Bleu cooking school program.

1938 France Larousse Gastronomique A massive work documenting modern French culinary art with a wealth of illustrations depicting foods and presentations from And Now, Back to Our Initial Subject, if You Please A Legend is Born!

October 28th 1846 Georges Auguste Escoffier is Born in Villeneuve Loubet, a charming little village, not far from Nice, in the hills of the Provence area of South Eastern France His father , a very well respected man, is the towns blacksmith. Whilst his days are hard and long, he also operated a prosperous business selling tobacco from his hand pushed cart to nearby villages His mother tends to the familys chores and daily routine The Early Years Georges Auguste Escoffier grows up surrounded by hard working family

members. He takes a particular liking to his grandmother, who is a fabulous menagre and cook, thus perhaps laying the initial steps for what would become his calling and fame Escoffier takes a strong interest in painting , although his father does not think this craft would allow him to make a decent living It is time to learn a trade!!! At the tender age of 13, still thinking of

becoming an artist, Georges Auguste accompanies his father for a leisure weekend to Nice. Once they arrive, they visit his uncle who operates a very successful restaurant (in an area known as The Old Nice) called Le Restaurant Franais. Without much of a discussion, young Escoffier is hired on the spot! Working under very difficult and harsh conditions, Georges Auguste is spared no tasks or strenuous chores. No favoritism here mind you! He quickly learns the inns and outs of the kitchens, including household tasks and even

how to inspect and receive merchandise As Georges Auguste learned the ropes about operating a restaurant, he became anxious to put to practice all he had learned while working for his uncle. The opportunity came along in the form of a new assignment. He was hired without much difficulties by the nearby Hotel Bellevue, because of his knowledge about purchasing provisions and his ability to organize service. Escoffier knew, even at that young age, that he would never fully master the craft he had chosen (or was assigned to) simply by staying

local. He had bigger dreams And those dreams were soon to be answered. January 1865, while staying at The Hotel Bellevue, Mr. Bardoux, the owner of Le Petit Moulin Rouge in Paris, met a young man eager to learn. Needles to say he was impressed by this young cook. Even though Mr. Bardoux had an excellent Chef de Cuisine by the name of Ulysse Rohan, he decided to offer this young cook a position at his

restaurant, knowing that he would be able to craft this young mans future in no time. Chef Rohan was a ruthless brutal man whos vulgarity preceded his talent. Escoffier , who was short and frail, suffered more than anyone! He would have to make up for his deficiencies through finesse and intelligence. What a lessons this was April 12th 1865 Auguste Escoffier arrives in Paris. He takes his first job as a commis Rtisseur very seriously and immediately

makes his mark. However, he would have to leave this position to join the 28th Infantry Regiment for a 5 month period. Returning to the kitchens of Le Petit Moulin Rouge, after learning all he could, the summer of 1870 sees him employed as sauce chef. Later that same year, France declares war on Germany!

Auguste Escoffier is called to arms and, at the request of Colonel dAndlau , is assigned to the Rhine Army Headquarters at Metz, where he is appointed Chef de Cuisine. Georges Auguste Escoffier is 24 years old. Throughout the war years, Escoffier becomes a prisoner of war, escapes captivity, returns to his duties as Chef de Cuisine all the while gaining invaluable experience in the field. These years will affect greatly his way of thinking about food but most importantly,

his cooking!. During the winter of 1872, Escoffier accepts the position of Head Chef at the Hotel du Luxembourg in Nice. The following spring he returns to Paris. This time as Head Chef of Le Petit Moulin Rouge. He stays until 1878, when the Universal Exhibition brings an influx of fastidious gourmets to the dining scene. His next ventures include management

periods at Maison Chevet (Palais Royal) and at Maison Maire, where he works under the careful eye of Mr. Paillard Georges Auguste Escoffier meets Csar Ritz In the 1840s the Prince of Monaco takes refuge in his Chteau at Monaco The annexation of Alsace and Lorraine brings an influx of immigrants who form the elements of the luxurious hotel industry

The presence of Queen Victoria at Menton brings immediate attention to the region, seeing an illustrious clientele flock to the area. The Htel des Anglais and LHtel des Isle Britanniques were built at Menton The actual administration of the Hotel des Isles Britanniques is led by a young, efficient, energetic and very capable Csar Ritz who, not long ago, opened the Grand National Hotel in Lucerne

Cesar Ritz, born in 1850 at Niederwald in the Canton Valais, like many Swiss, possesses the hotel business in his blood. He is a natural In 1861, Monacos Sea Bathing Society begins the construction of the superb Monte Carlo Casino. The Htel de Paris is added not long thereafter Nothing built was to be compared to the luxury of the soon to be built Grand Htel, at Monte Carlo The Footprints

to History During one of his brilliant seasons, Cesar Ritz makes the acquaintance of an excellent Chef by the name of Jean Giroix. We have to note that Ritz was one of the first htelier to appreciate the importance of the cuisine to a hotels reputation! Inevitably and almost naturally, Ritz and Giroix take over the reins of the Grand Hotel

in Monte Carlo. Under their careful planning, it attracts the rich, well born tourists of every nationality and more While all this was going on, the Catelain brothers become very eager to do well . The brothers had just taken over the reins at The Hotel de Paris and realized what Ritz had started. And bright as the brothers are, they resolved to buy the services of Chef Giroix at any price

Ritz therefore, has to find a Chef of equal brilliance! And the sooner the better Giroix often spoken of Escoffier to Ritz, since the two worked at Le Petit Moulin for a period of time Ritz has no objection in replacing Giroix by this well respected young man and it is thus, during the season of 1883 -1884 that Auguste Escoffier arrives in Monaco

Their meeting would change the hospitality industry as we know it, forever Madame Ritz wrote of their meeting: The collaboration of Ritz and Escoffier must be counted as one of the most fortunate of their lives. And Ritz himself to follow: Monsieur Escoffier is undoubtedly the finest Chef in the world. He is far in advance of all the other Chefs I have ever met. The Masters Legacy

Once Matre Escoffier was asked by Madame Duchne, one his many female admires whos husband was managing the Ritz in London What is the real secret of your art? I have heard many explanations but I should like to learn the true solution of the problem from your own mouth Madame, replied Escoffier, my success comes from the fact that my best dishes were created for ladies

The partnership with Csar Ritz creates the most successful, luxurious hotel chain in the world. They include: The Savoy and Carlton in London The Grand Hotel, Rome L'Htel des Thermes, Salsamaggiore, Parma Ritz Hotels in Paris, London, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Madrid and Budapest.

Besides having written several cookbooks, Georges Auguste Escoffier leaves us much more than recipes He takes grate pride and spends a notable amount of time developing ways to preserve foods ,mostly by a very early canning procedure (his experience during the Prussian war left an indelible mark about sustainability) and feeding the needy He makes sure no one under his command uses profanities or the wrong type of language His cooks always had access to some sort of

refreshment, most often a drink made out from Barley No one smokes in his kitchens He comes to the assistance of one of his former Chef, fallen ill and in need of funds to be hospitalized. Escoffier takes it all under his umbrella till the poor man passes He brings food and even buys a new horse for a group of nuns at a convent near his hometown One of the most important achievement of his legacy is the creation of the brigade system.

System for which he is duly credited. Not surprising since Escoffier possesses a gift for organization, at an early age. Again he draws from his wartime experience when food was scarce and mouths needed to be fed Throughout his career, Georges Auguste Escoffier lives an exemplary life. He serves the richest, the noblest, Kings and Queens, Heads of State the pretenders and the poor alike, never forgetting where he started or where he came from

He never smokes or drinks, being afraid that those abuses would affect his sense of smell and taste He creates and writes over 5,000 recipes during his life time While at the Carlton, Escoffier leads his entire brigade of 52 to the flat rooftop for a photograph. At that moment, even the most overworked of them feels like he could reach for the stars Hotels become more sophisticated and luxurious

day after day, the kitchen facilities have no choice but to follow. Who better to accept these tasks than the Master himself Escoffier is asked to design and staff some of the most modern and important kitchen of its time In 1921, retiring at age 61, he returns to Monaco. A place he never truly left. During his illustrious career, Escoffier s family rarely follows him. They were true to their heritage and place of birth Even though Csar Ritz and Escoffier reached fame and fortune, once they split, they really didnt stay much in touch, both returning to the place they once called home Ritz withdrew progressively from the affairs of his

various companies, selling out his interests in hotels By 1912, according to Marie-Louise Ritz, to all intents and purposes his life had finished. In 1913 he was placed in a private hospital at Lausanne, and the following year he was moved to another. He died on 26 October 1918. Although from a humble Swiss background, Csar Ritz and his luxurious hotels became legendary, and his name entered the English language as an epitome of high-class cuisine and accommodation. He is buried in the village of his birth. Georges Auguste Escoffier Passes 12 February 1935

His written legacy includes: Le Trait sur L'art de Travailler les Fleurs en Cire (1886) Le Guide Culinaire (1903) Les Fleurs en Cire

Le Carnet d'Epicure (A Gourmet's Notebook) Le Livre des Menus (1912) L'Aide - mmoire Culinaire (1919) Le Riz (Rice) (1927) La Morue (Cod) (1929) Ma Cuisine (1934) 2000 French Recipes Memories of My Life Old (Classical) v/s New (Nouvelle) Dilemma or simply a weak argument?

Did we really invent anything or do we reinvent all always? What about the times of Vatel, Tirel, de la Varenne, Carme, Escoffier, Point, Bocuse, Troigros, Chapel, Gurard, Robuchon, Maximin, Loiseau, Outhier, Ducasse, VonGerichten, Adri and YOU! Final Thoughts Demo The versatile Dover Sole and the Shallow Poaching Method

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