Monday, May 21, 2012

Chef Auguste Escoffier

 Up until now, I have always written about contemporary Chefs. However, this already deceased French man is worthy of a special honor here in the Passos. Auguste Escoffier born in 1846 and departed in the year of 1935.

 Escoffier became famous for having revolutionized the traditional methods of French cuisine, and having been one of the main exponents of the modern French gastronomy. Many were the contributions this man gave to the gastronomic world. Besides the several recipes he created, Escoffier managed to organize His kitchen by section where each section was led by one Partier Chef. 

He also introduced the concept of Russian service, serving each plate at a time according to the menu´s order, opposed to the usual French service in which the plates were server simultaneously. Early did Escoffier began working in the kitchen, with only 13 years he already helped his uncle in a restaurant which he owned back in Nice. Has the Franco-Prussian war broke out Escoffier became chef of his army and it was during that time that he considered the need to produce canned food, undertaking then studies on techniques for food conservation. After the war he opened his own restaurant, Le Faison D`Or, located in Cannes.

 In 1890, along with César Ritzs(that he had met during a summer in the south of France) Escoffier transferred to the Hotel Sayoy in London starting an Hotel Chain (Ritz). Later, in 1898 both Escoffier and Ritz opened a Ritz Hotel in Paris. The Carlton in London was opened in 1899 where for the first time Escoffier introduced the practice of the à la carte menu. It was during 1993 that Escoffier published his first book, Le Guide Culinaire, a pearl of the French cuisine with about to 5000 recipes, that are still today pointed has a reference in the study of classic French gastronomy. 

 Following are some of the works Escoffier published during life:
 • Le Traité sur L'art de Travailler les Fleurs en Cire (Treaty about the art of working with wax flowers) (1886) 
• Le Guide Culinaire (The complete Guide for the art of Modern Cuisine) (1903) • Les Fleurs en Cire (new edition, 1910)
 • Le Carnet d'Epicure (1911) 
• Le Livre des Menus (Recipe Book) (1912) 
• L'Aide-memoire Culinaire (1919) ~
• Le Riz (Rice) (1927) 
• La Morue (Codfish) (1929) 
• Ma Cuisine (1934) 
• 2000 French Recipes (1965, translated to English by Marion Howells)

 Besides what was previously mentioned, Escoffier was also of crucial importance to the creation of the kitchen´s hierarchy, meaning the assigning of specific tasks to each member of the kitchen staff. Escoffier would come to die with 89 years in Monte Carlo, he will always be a Great testimony to the world of gastronomy, not only the French but to all cuisines.

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