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…show more content…
He trained in his Uncle François’ restaurant, Le Restaurant François in Nice. Here he learned the basics of French cuisine and tried to take in as much knowledge as he could as an adolescent. Restaurant François attracted the very wealthy from near and far, “rich invalids and they brought friends.” A particular group of Russian naval officers often wintered in the Villenfranche harbor and dined at the restaurant (James 4). Chef François preferred to serve the food that would best relate to his customers. For example, whenever the Russian officers dined, he tried to incorporate an aspect of Russian cuisine into the menu (James 5). This principle of catering to the customer became very prominent in Escoffier’s…show more content…
Here he continued to serve the rich and famous. It is said that Blanche d’Antigny, the noted French singer, drank champagne at the restaurant for thirty-six consecutive hours to soothe herself after the Shah of Persia failed to invite her to dine with him. The restaurant even had various tables permanently reserved for certain groups such as artists, authors, or dignitaries. In the words of Escoffier, “the great lords, kings, and emperors passed through at that time. It was not rare to see the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, in company with the French statesman and founder of the Third Republic, Leon Gambetta, and other political figures dining in a private salon. In the evening one would meet the most gracious society ladies and the charming Elisabeth, the flower seller from the Jockey Club, selling her wares” (James 8-19). Dinner at Le Petite Moulin Rouge was served between six and eight o’clock in the evening and often accompanied by an orchestra, the Concert Musard, which played across the street (Escoffier and Child

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