George Auguste Escoffier, The Great French Chef

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George Auguste Escoffier, the great French chef, has become a matchless influence to modern cooking and dining. His influences have helped to shape and understand French cuisine (Mhyrvold). Not only this, but he also achieved great success outside of the kitchen in the literary field. But what really influenced him to become the grand Auguste Escoffier everyone knows today? George Auguste Escoffier was born on October 28th, 1846 in Villeneuve-Loubet, France (Mhyrvold). His father was Jean-Baptiste Escoffier, a blacksmith, and his mother was Madeline Civatte (Escoffier and Child 4). Originally the young Escoffier had thoughts of becoming a painter or a sculptor, as he did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps in the forge primarily due to his small stature (James 2). However, at the age of thirteen his father instructed him that he was to become a chef (James 4-5). Escoffier was not opposed to this idea, seeing that he had held an interest in food since from early in his life. In the mid-eighteen hundreds coffee was a very distinguished drink, normally reserved for adults. When Escoffier was a mere ten years old in 1856, the drink fascinated him, but his grandmother forbade him from it. So once when his family had left the house he carefully prepared the drink just as he had seen his grandmother do and he drank it. The love was instantaneous. He later proclaimed that coffee was “necessary to compliment all meals. Coffee must be served very hot and the gastronome will not add brandy, which totally changes the flavor. But after coffee one may serve various liquors. When one cannot offer the delicate products of the West Indies or of Holland, one must be content with excellent cognac, rum, or kirsch.” Escoffier served coffee w... ... middle of paper ... ...ation (Escoffier and Child 22). He served as the chef de cuisine at the Bonaparte Barracks of the second section of headquarters (James 29). Here he served Marshal Achille Bazaine and other high-ranking officers stationed on the Rhine (James 34). His experience as an army led him to develop the art and technique of canning foods (Myhvrold). Escoffier found that tin cans came in great use for traveling long distances or when there was not enough time to produce a dinner. Escoffier is one of the most well-known chefs in history and even he occasionally served canned foods (James 34). Today, canning is a very common way to preserve food. It began in wars, much like the Franco-Prussian War, and was then used as a commercial way to preserve and sell food. Although canning has changed throughout the years, it is still looked upon as a basic way to preserve food (Myhrvold).

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