Who was this Auguste Escoffier?
He was considered the “chef of kings and kings of chefs” by many people. This is because he was one of the greatest modern chefs having to change the outlook of not only French cuisine but cuisine in general.
Escoffier was born on October 28, 1846, in a small village called Villeneuve – Loubet, near the city Nice, France. His parents were Jean-Baptiste and Madeleine Escoffier. His father was a blacksmith. Escoffier grew up in a very joyful family surrounding. Escoffier even once dreamed of becoming a sculptor, but at the age of 13, those dreams faded away when he was sent to Nice.
Escoffier’s career began when he was 13 years old; when he was sent to work at his uncle’s restaurant in Nice. Escoffier learned great deals from his apprenticeship by working hard and determination to succeed.
At the age of 19, Escoffier left his uncle’s restaurant in Nice for apprenticeship in Paris, France. While there the Franco-Prussian war began. Escoffier enlisted and served as an army chef. During this time of duty Escoffier became well acquainted with canning; Escoffier undertook an in depth study of canning and the techniques for preserving foods such as meats and vegetables. He used this knowledge later in life.
After his time with the army, Escoffier returned to Paris to resume his career as a chef. While there, he built an illustrious reputation for himself. The fact that he was a chef of notable rank that served for the public directly raised his popularity; especially considering the greatest chefs at that time strictly worked only for royalty, nobility, or private clubs. It was not until Escoffier met Cesar Ritz that his career really took off. They both met while Escoffier was running the kitchen of the Hotel National in Lucerne, Switzerland. The two men created a great bond and they both opened The Carlton in London on 1899. Unfortunately, due to a nervous breakdown Ritz had in 1901, Escoffier was left to run The Carlton himself until 1919, shortly after Ritz death. It was also during this time that Escoffier learned about the practice of the a la carte menu.
In 1935, Escoffier died at the age of 88 shortly after his wife; he was buried in the village he was born in, Villeneuve-Loubet. During his lifetime, Escoffier wrote many books and won many awards. One of his most important book, “Le Guide Culinaire” is a staple in learning French Cuisine.
What made Escoffier so great was not just his impact on the culinary world, but that persuaded other endeavors as well. He was very philanthropic and created many programs and organizations to help feed the hungry and provide financial assistance to retired chefs. This led him to being awarded the “ Legion d’Honneur” in 1919, being the first chef to receive this honor. It must also be noted, that before Escoffier, french cuisine was overly complicated and over the top, disguising the ingredients in dishes. Escoffier brought a new outlook to the industry.
To simplify the art of cookery Escoffier eliminated grandiose shows of nutrient; cut back on the figure of class served during a repast and emphasized the uses of lighter sauces and seasonal nutrients. He was besides a house truster in sanitation and organisation in the kitchen. The impact Escoffier made not merely in Gallic Cuisine but besides in the universe is enormous. “La bonne cuisine est la base du veritable bonheur.”, which means “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness” by Georges Auguste Escoffier.