Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - A pertinant signed handwritten letter
A letter to P. Andrieu, signed by Escoffier.
A two page letter written at his retirement home in Monte-Carlo, 20 November, 1934
Addressed to Monsieur P(ierre) Andrieu, --- Paris. The two pages are covered in Escoffier's handwriting. There is also a one page English translation of the letter. A very clean item. Enclosed in a neat marbled cardboard folder. With a label on the front cover. The letter is from the library of Pierre Orsi, the famous Lyon restuaranteur. A rare item.
- The letter is written one year before Escoffier's death. He writes in a rather shaky hand -- [Dear Sir, I am very surprised that you did not receive my letter which was in answer to yours, whereby you were asking me to write an article for the newspaper "L'action automobile". This article should have been about regional cuisine as seen from the point of view of the chef - Curnonsky treats it from the point of view of the gastronome. Between the chef and Curnonsky there is a wide gap that I do not wish to bridge. Mr Curnonsky speaks as a writer, he is charming and his articles are interesting in places but I have no desire to be the cause of any arguments. To answer your question, I could only do it after reading the article "les princes de la cuisine francaise". Despite all my desire to be agreeable to you and Mr Roussel, it will be impossible for me to do it. I must also tell you that the different regional cuisines do not exist anymore. Ever since all the "regions" have been merged by the advance of the automobile which created easier access from one country to another, we have now in France only one cuisine and that is French Cuisine. -- With deepest regret for not acceding to your wishes, Yours sincerely, A. Escoffier. -- My best wishes to Mr Roussel.] Pierre Andrieu was an author of many articles and books in the domain of wine and gastronomy. He was also a collaborator of Curnonsky's. Together they published in 1935 a book about the restaurants of France, titled 'Les Fines Gueules de France'. This letter pertains to the research for that book. Maurice Edmond Sailland (October 12, 1872, Angers, France – July 22, 1956, Paris), better known by his pen-name Curnonsky and dubbed the Prince of Gastronomy, was the most celebrated writer on gastronomy in France in the 20th century. He wrote or ghost-wrote over 65 books and enormous numbers of newspaper columns. He is often considered the inventor of gastronomic motor-tourism as popularized by Michelin, though he himself could not drive. The contents of the letter display an ironic point of interest. Escoffier, one year before his death is offering a glimpse of the changes he is seeing to his beloved French cuisine. Having re-organised, during his life time, the French kitchen so fundamentally from that of the Bel-Epoque era he is still only really interested in viewing the changes from the chef's point of view. It is obvious that even at the grand old age of eighty eight, he is still active and well informed.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 10989

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - A very rare item.
One of Escoffier and Charles Scotto's Menus, .
From the Hamburg Amerika liner S.S. Imperator. June 23rd 1914.
180x158 mm. 4 pages. The front cover of the menu is an unusual birds-eye view of New York Harbour with S.S. Imperator steaming towards the Statue of Liberty and skyline of N.Y. in a circle. Beautifully observed and painted. 1st page, A farwell Dinner. Nice big menu written in English and German with eleven courses of French and American dishes. On the verso of the 3rd page, a music programme. Overall in very good condition and housed in a handsome cardboard folder covered in crimson marbled paper with a label on the front cover. A rare item of Escoffier and Charles Scotto ephemera.
- In 1912 the Hamburg Amerika line again requested Escoffier’s services for the planning and inauguration of the kitchens on the brand new 53,000 ton liner, S.S. Imperator. Escoffier had previously planned and opened in 1905, the kitchens and dining rooms of the liners S.S. Amerika and S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. The new restaurants had been a stunning success. Those a'la carte restaurant services on board all of those liners were called the “The Ritz Carlton Restaurants”. On the Imperator, Escoffier brought his famous pupil, Charles Scotto to be the Head Chef. The official trial cruise was to have an illustrious passenger; Emperor William. On the 8th July 1912, the Emperor boarded and they weighed anchor immediately and set sail towards Heligoland. On the last day of the Emperor’s stay on board He had a conversation with Escoffier. He thanked him for taking responsibility for the cuisine and how delighted He had been at the level of comfort He had experienced on board. In August 1914, as World War I began, the S.S. Imperator was laid up at Hamburg and remained inactive for more than four years until 1918. This menu is a ‘Farewell Dinner’ dated June 23rd 1914. It is not inconceivable that it is a part of the overall farewells of many people associated with this great ship. It is also rare to be able to tie down a Charles Scotto menu. He was to become one of the leading Chefs of the early American Culinary associations and schools. Becoming as famous there as his Master. Ref: Herbodeau and Thalman’s fine autobiography of Escoffier’s life.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11213

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - Two Escoffier menus.
Ritz Carlton Restaurants on board the Hamburg Amerika Line ships.
A Lunch and Dinner menu from the S.S. Amerika passenger liner, March 1908.
Menu 1. Dinner dated March 14th 1908 - 177x117 mm. A folded card with a very good drawing of the SS Amerika on the front cover. Inside a 12 course dinner in English and German with French and a few US dishes. On the back cover is the music programme with a lovely drawing of a violinist. Clean and handsome. Menu 2. Lunch dated March 12th 1908 - 130x90 mm. . A folded card with a header titled ‘A Suggestion' on the front cover. Inside a plain 6 course lunch in English and German. On the back cover are a couple of glue strips that suggest this menu was pasted into a folder at some time. All text and menu borders in gilt. The guttering has been strengthened but still a clean and handsome item. Overall in very good condition and housed in a handsome cardboard folder covered in grey marbled paper with a label on the front cover. A rare item of Escoffier ephemera.
- The Hamburg Amerika Liner company requested Auguste Escoffier and Cesar Ritz’s services for the planning and inauguration of the Kitchens and Restaurants on the brand new liners "S.S. Amerika" and the 'S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Both of these ships were built side by side at the Harland Wolff shipyards in Belfast. 'Amerika' was launched first on April 20th 1905, According to the Morton Allan Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals (Baltimore: 1987), the “S.S. Amerika" sailed between Hamburg and New York from 1905-1913. For the year 1914 it sailed between Hamburg and Boston; the Amerika's last U.S. arrivals were to Boston on 19 June and 24 July 1914. In 1912, it was the first ship to warn Titanic of icebergs. The kitchens and dining rooms of the liners S.S. Amerika and S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria opened with the very original a la carte restaurants. The service on board all of those liners was called the “The Ritz Carlton Restaurants”. There had never been an a’la Cartre restaurant of any kind on a ship before. Adding the names of Escoffier and Ritz to this novel enterprise and the interest, support and demand completely filled the dining rooms every day. The new restaurants became stunning successes. They even had to significantly expand the kitchen of the 'S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria' after the first voyage. Escoffier’s secondment from the Carlton Hotel to the Hamburg Amerika line was to last until 1915 and would further help to cement his reputation as the gastronomic Master craftsman of the age.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11214

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - One of Escoffier's menus.
Menu du Reveillon, 31st December, 1911.
Carlton Hotel and Restaurant, London. New Years Eve.
286mm x 224mm. With a Great British Empire themed coloured picture on the front. It shows two men, one is a John Bull figure, the other, a Scotsman in a kilt, as well as two ladies representing Ireland and Wales. The dates on two boats prows showing 1911 and 1912. At the top, six little vignettes of famous scenes from countries under the crown. Cardboard cover with four pages. An impressive menu with fourteen items inside. Tied together with multi-coloured cord. A little foxing on the front but not affecting the overall image. A nice item of Escoffier ephemera in good quality paper(for the time).
- Considering this menu is 100 years old it has fared well. Looking thro' Escoffier's 'L'Aide-Memoire Culinaire' of 1910 one can see his dishes on offer for that New Year. His menus from his time at the Carlton Hotel from 1899 - 1919 are very scarce, but when found they give a sense of place and gastronomic history other chef's menus lack.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11182

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     Uniquely rare.
Menus and recipes signed by Escoffier.
Two menus with recipes signed and annotated with one page also initialized by Escoffier and a single recipe from the Guide Culinaire in Escoffier's typical messy hand writing. Also one page of unusual Ephemera signed twice.
Comprising: 4 different items protected in separate plastic sleeves. All housed in a marbled folder with label. -- ITEM 1. 1page. 222 x 153mm. n.d. Recipe for ‘Boeuf en Miroton’, [circa.1903] written in Escoffier’s distinctive handwriting. Comprising 18 lines outlining the recipe with a comment beneath (‘J’avais oublié ce bon Miroton’), with other annotations in pencil, and blue crayon in another hand. The page appears to be extracted from a notebook. (The recipe for Boeuf en Miroton appeared in Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire, 1st edition of 1903). Enclosed with one page of English translation. Very good condition. -- ITEM 2. 2 pages. 265 x 207mm. Stapled. nd. Small tear to top left corner of second page; A typed menu in very clear blue ink on well preserved thin yellow paper, initialled by Escoffier on page 1, and signed by him on page 2. The first page is a “Homage à BRILLAT SAVARIN; En souvenir des Diners de la Gentilhommière de Vieu”. The first page explaining the inspiration behind the menu; Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and his cousin, Juliette Récamier. The second page giving an extravagant 9 course menu, commencing with Hors d’oeuvres, Caviar and Huîtres crûes en Gelée de Champagne. Enclosed with 2 pages of English translation. Very good condition. -- ITEM 3. 5 pages, 268 x 209mm. Stapled. nd. A typed menu and recipes in very clear black ink on well preserved thin white paper. Annotated and signed by Escoffier on page 5. A six course delightful dinner titled “LA PROVENCE; LES DELICES DE LA COTE D’AZUR; Pays des Rêyes dorés”. Given for ‘un personnage de nationalité anglaise’. The dishes including Melon de Cavaillon au Frontignan, Mignonettes d'Agneau de lait Mireille, and la Mousse Abricot de Rose de Monteux. Followed by all the recipes for the dishes. Enclosed with 5 pages of English translation. Very good condition. -- ITEM 4. 1 page of ephemera. 190x 125mm. An invoice or stock note headed: Aktiebolaget Svenska Handelsbanken, Stockholm, on blue paper, interestingly, signed twice by Escoffier. With his home address in Monte-Carlo. Dated 9th January 1933. Very good condition.
- Escoffier's very full life and literary output is well documented. His Hotel collaborations with Cesar Ritz, his restaurants on board famous ocean liners, his 'Escoffier Company' range of preserved and bottled foodstuffs, his colleagues and apprentices who became famous in their own right. The associations and foundations that sprang up in his memory after he died, attest to the deep affection and respect in which he was held. These enclosed items serve up a fine glimpse of the loving and detailed effort he put into these two private functions. It also helps to show why he was held in the highest regard. -- ITEM 1: Written in Escoffier’s hand but with no date. Obviously, it’s a page from a notebook, and as it is not dated, one may assume it was written before the first publication of the recipe in his ‘Guide Culinaire’ of 1903. Otherwise why would Escoffier re-write it when it is already published. A mystery.! -- ITEM 2: Escoffier informs us that this dinner took place in the lounge of the Table Francaise of the Restaurant Garnier on rue de l,Isly. He further states that being the President of the Society of the Table Francaise, whose headquarters were also on rue de l,Isly, he Escoffier, was asked to compose the menu. -- ITEM 3. A lunch served for an unnamed English gentleman in a private villa between Cannes and Monte-Carlo. Escoffier describes the setting for the lunch in quite descriptive and poetic terms. One can almost feel the warm winter sunshine and smell the Mimosa etc. To have a menu created by the Master with accompanying recipes, is rare. -- ITEM 4. This little invoice is a mystery. Dated 23 months before his death, one wonders where Escoffier signed for this. Surely not Stockholm but a branch of Aktiebolaget Svenska Handelsbanken near the Monte-Carlo or further afield in France perhaps.? A search of the bank’s history did not enlighten. It also appears that Escoffier signed and dated the invoice in the first instance, then signed it a second time as a complimentary gift to someone. Rare indeed with the two signatures. --- Due to Escoffier’s output as a prolific writer, signed letters are very scarce but not rare, but still fetching large amounts of money at auction. However, we can elevate to extreme rarity these signed menus with fine detailed recipes and descriptions, of the two private functions organised and recorded by the great man himself.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11249

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - Signed by Escoffier, unusually in English.
A GUIDE TO MODERN COOKERY
BY A. ESCOFFIER OF THE CARLTON HOTEL WITH PORTRAIT NEW AND REVISED EDITION (with a printer's device and initials M.H.) LONDON WILLIAM HEINEMANN 1909
165x250mm. 1fep. Half title with signature in black ink "To Mr H. Fowler With best Compliments A. Escoffier London 16 Fevrier 1909" (with a very little light foxing). [1] Frontispiece of 'Escoffier' with tissue guard. Title Page. [1] (1)vi-x Preface. (1)xii Contents. (1)xiv-xvi Glossary. (1)1-848. [1p Index] [1] (1)852-891 Index. 1p Advertisements. 1fep. Original clean full green cloth binding with bright gilt writing and tooling on the spine and front cover with a slight rubbing to edges. The gutter inside is split but holding well. All edges green. Internally, clean and bright. Also enclosed is a beautifully produced four page 'Escoffier Ltd' promotional pamphlet and price list for all Escoffier Sauces, and we are also informed the Preparations can be obtained from all high-class Grocers and Stores. It has a fold in the middle and slight browning around the edges.
- The first English edition was published in 1907. This is the 3 imprint and the second English translation of the first French edition of 1903. At that time of publication, Escoffier was Maitre Chef de Cuisine of the Carlton Hotel, Pall Mall, London. His tenure there lasted 20 years, from 1899 - 1919. Nice clean original bound copies with the gilt lettering still bright are very scarce and with the unusual signature and the rare pamphlet - an altogether rare and handsome copy.

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Modern category
ref number: 11124

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - A signed copy with items of ephemera.
A Guide To Modern Cookery
BY A. ESCOFFIER OF THE CARLTON HOTEL WITH PORTRAIT NEW AND REVISED EDITION LONDON WILLIAM HEINEMANN 1916.
Fourth impression of the fist English edition of 1907. 3 feps (1fep with 2 b/w photos of cakes and the signature in ink of Manuel Paget). Half title with Escoffier's signature in pencil - "A. Escoffier Avril 1917". [2] Frontispiece of 'Escoffier'. Title Page with tissue guard. [1] (1)vi-x Preface. (1)xii Contents. (1)xiv-xvi Glossary. (1)2-848. (1)Index half-title. [1] 312-891 Index. [1] 2feps. Bound in modern mid-brown half calf with brown cloth boards and calf corners. Spine with raised bands and gilt lines, tooling and lettering. Very good condition throughout. All edges green. A signed copy with a copy of a letter written by Escoffier and a postcard with an illustration of him.
- This copy of 'A Guide To Modern Cookery' has two very nice contemporary black and white photographs pasted-in the page before the half-title. One is of a beautiful christening cake with pulled sugar flowers and decorated chocolate run-outs, the other a wedding croquembouche with the same style of sugar flowers and chocolate work. Both cakes probably the work of the same Patissier. Above the photographs is the signature of 'Manual Paget'. Having done some research into Manual Paget with no positive results, one can possibly assume that he may have been the Patissier responsible for the cakes he pasted in to the book he'd had signed and dated by Escoffier; on Avril 1917. Escoffier was Maitre Chef de Cuisine at the Carlton Hotel, Pall Mall, London. His tenure there lasted 20 years - 1899-1919.

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Modern category
ref number: 10931

ESCOFFIER.   GEORGES AUGUSTE     - Signed by Escoffier and photograph of his Kitchen brigade 1908.
A GUIDE TO MODERN COOKERY
BY A. ESCOFFIER OF THE CARLTON HOTEL WITH PORTRAIT NEW AND REVISED EDITION (with a printer's device and initials M.H.) LONDON WILLIAM HEINEMANN 1907.
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION. 165x250mm. 1fep with signature in black ink - "A. Escoffier" and a b/w photograph of Escoffier and his kitchen brigade on the roof of the Carlton Hotel 1908. [1] Half Title. Verso with Advertisements. [1] Frontispiece of 'Escoffier' with tissue guard with a 1/2" oil stain on the edge, not affecting the photograph. (the oil stain affects the edge of all to page 33. Does not affect the text). Title Page. [1] (1)vi-x Preface. (1)xii Contents. (1)xiv-xvi Glossary. (1)1-848. [1p Index] [1] (1)852-891 Index. 1p Advertisements. 1fep with light foxing. Original full green cloth binding with gilt writing and tooling on front cover, quite fresh. The sun-faded spine has also been expertly re-laid and strengthened. Internally very good with slight browning and foxing to the feps. With the signature, b/w photograph of Escoffier and the Carlton Hotel Kitchen Brigade, plus the original cover; A very unique and rare copy.
- The provenance of this book is quite interesting. The father of a Welsh family owned this book since 1950-51. He was part of a Family musical act called 'Seven de Guise Seymours'. They used to feature in the music halls from the mid 1920's till the outbreak of WW11. He was also a friend of Elton Hayes who was the lute player in the early Robin Hood films and known to the family as Uncle Bish. Hayes was in the habit of spending Christmas with the Welsh family. He always brought the family nice presents. One of them being this signed copy of Escoffier's 'Guide to Modern Cookery' with the unique photograph the Master with his kitchen brigade taken on the roof of the Carlton Hotel 1908. Altogether this amounts to a rare item.

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Modern category
ref number: 11108

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - With Escoffier's menu, booklet and ephemera.
The Carlton Hotel
One of Escoffier's Menus as well as a booklet with recipes for His sauces and two of Eugene Herbodeau's menus plus other Carlton Hotel Ephemera.
The Carlton Restaurant 'Carte du Jour' menu is dated 29th Avril 1908. It is slightly age-browned with ink inscriptions at the top describing some new dishes not featured on the menu. There are 2 dinner menu's from 4 Carlton Gardens dated 15 and 31st March, without a yearly date. Then two of Eugene Herbodeau's menus, the first for Xmas Dinner and a separate blue invitation card to New Years Reveillon. The second menu is a very rare special Luncheon with Anna Pavlova as main guest. Also enclosed is a recipe booklet with the original blue covers almost detached. It has Escoffier's name and the Carlton Hotel 'coat of arms' embossed in slightly faded gilt on the front cover. It is titled 'A Few Recipes'. It has a title page. p 1 Introduction. p 3-7 Preface. p 8-40 Recipes. p 41-42 Advertisements for Escoffier Sauces. p 43-44 Advertisement for 'A Guide to Modern Cookery'. p 45-47 Index. [1] There is a blue water stain in the top corner of all pages, not affecting the text. Also a finely designed folded card advertising the 25th Anniversary of the Carlton Hotel, very beautifully decorated in silver with blue leaves and a border of fruit; It has three finely drawn vignettes of the Hotel, the Restaurant and the Palm Room. Also enclosed is a b/w photograph of Escoffier and Eugene Herbodeau and another b/w photograph of the Carlton Hotel, circa 1910. All housed in an specially made clam-shell box bound in half mid-tan calf with tan cloth boards. The spine with raised bands and gilt lettering.
- Auguste Escoffier's tenure at the Carlton lasted from 1899 - 1819. His Carte du Jour menu is dated 1908. The two menus from 4 Carlton Gardens, which was the residence of Lord Balfour (Ex-Prime Minister) are believed to be Escoffier's. This cannot be proven, but the menus were a part of a large amount of purely Escoffier ephemera that this compiler purchased. The recipe booklet and four page advertisement sheet features products and recipes promoting 'Escoffier's Sauces' that were produced and sold by his company - 'Escoffier (1907) Ltd' at 6 Ridgemont Street, Tottenham Court Road, London. Mons. Eugene Herbodeau was a one-time protege of Escoffier's and also his literary executor. Together with Paul Thalamas he wrote and published a history and biography of his great mentor. He was commis Chef Poissonier under Escoffier at the Carlton in 1913. He also became Chef de Cuisine at the Carlton Hotel after Escoffier retired in 1819. In the black and white photograph, Escoffier is quite old and in civilian clothes. Herbodeau is in a Chefs uniform. As Escoffier passed away in 1935 we can assume this photograph was taken at the Carlton Hotel sometime before his death. An interesting footnote to Escoffier’s time at the Carlton, concerns the future President of North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh [HCM]. Before becoming President he worked in the hotel kitchens from 1913 to 1917. He was waiting quietly in London for events to unfold, secretly hoping the conflict in the colonial regime in Indochina would lead to its collapse. When HCM started his job in the spring of 1913, he was part of the kitchen washing and cleaning team. For the staff, it was not unusual to see wealthy and famous clients leaving a lot of food on their plates after their meals. Whenever HCM saw a large chunk of beefsteak or a large piece of chicken untouched, he would transfer them to a clean plate and send them back to the kitchen. One time Escoffier asked HCM, “Why didn’t you throw these into the bins like others do?” HCM answered, “These things shouldn’t be thrown away. You could give them to the poor.” Escoffier was amused and pleased, “My dear young friend, please listen to me! Leave your revolutionary ideas aside for now, and I will teach you the art of cooking, which will bring you a lot of money. Do you agree?” Shortly after this conversation, HCM was promoted to the pastry and cake section, and Escoffier taught him the art of fine French desserts. He followed the grand chef’s instructions diligently, and with a keen interest. On French pastries, especially the pâte brisé, HCM mastered the skill very quickly. Escoffier had pioneered the techniques on how to mix the ingredients, how to handle the dough, and the key steps in the baking process that would produce a light, fluffy, and crispy crust. From the beginning, HCM’s mentor had noticed his unusual intelligence, and he always appreciated HCMs thoughtfulness and polite manners. Escoffier had no doubt that HCM (one of his favourite chefs) could have had a promising career ahead of him in the world of French haute cuisine. The Carlton Hotel was in its time one of, if not the most famous hotel in the world. Unfortunately it existed for only forty years. It opened in 1899 and was completely destroyed by Nazi Germany during the London Blitz in early 1940, after 57 consecutive nights of air raids ordered by Hitler. Any ephemera and menus from Escoffier's and Herbodeau's time working there are extremely scarce, and to have this varied and unique collection is quite rare.

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Modern category
ref number: 11064

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - In its original bottle with rare Escoffier ephemera.
The Escoffier. Sauce Diable a'la Provencale
Four original items from Escoffier's company; Escoffier Ltd - 1903 and 1907.
ITEM 1. An original bottle of "The Escoffier Sauce Diable a'la Provencale". The sauce is still liquid with trapped air bubbles. It has the original blind-stamped metal cap and labels, all in excellent condition. This is an original bottle with the Escoffier Ltd. Ridgemont address. Later bottles have 'Escoffier' embossed in the glass back and front, as well as other later London addresses on the front label. ITEM 2. A recipe booklet with the original blue covers slightly loose and a small strip missing from the front cover without loss to text.. It has Escoffier's name and the Carlton Hotel' coat of arms' embossed on the front cover. It is titled 'A Few Recipes' and has a title page. p 1 Introduction. p 4-38 Recipes. p 39-42 Cookery and Health tips. p 43 Advertisement for Escoffier Ltd. [1] p 45-46 Advertisement for 'A Guide to Modern Cookery'. [1] p 48-51 Index. [1] Slightly age-browned throughout with a small stain affecting first 2 pages but not the text. ITEM 3. A lovely beautifully produced four page 'Escoffier Ltd' promotional pamphlet and price list for all Escoffier Sauces, and we are also informed the Preparations can be obtained from all high-class Grocers and Stores. ITEM 4. This is a second four page promotional pamphlet and price list titled 'Escoffier (1907) Ltd', in nice clean condition, . As the first pamphlet is elaborately decorated with a coloured image of one of the products and the text in red and black, the second is obviously a cheaper and later price list aimed at cutting costs. Interestingly this later pamphlet informs that the Preparations are stocked by the majority of high-class grocers and stores throughout the United States. All housed in a specially made clam-shell box with half mid-tan calf and brown cloth boards. The spine with raised bands, gilt lines and one red and one green label with gilt lettering. The four items form a unique and rare look at the marketing for Escoffier's famous sauces.
- Georges Auguste Escoffier, who began his career as a chef at age 13 in 1859 and is credited as one of the creators of what is now considered classical French cooking and was far ahead of his time in surprising ways. In 1903, while Chef de Cuisine at the Carlton Hotel in London, he started a company, Escoffier Ltd., to sell his sauces. He was concerned about nutrition and the effects of the pace of modern life on dining; despite his devotion to the good life, he was not fat. He started experimenting with tinned vegetables, notably tomatoes. While still at the Savoy Hotel, London in 1898, he is credited, in their excellent biography of Escoffier by Eugene Herbodeau and Paul Thalamas, of first producing 2000 x 2 kilo tins of tomatoes in Saxon-les-Bains for the Savoy. The fame of the product grew so fast that the following year, the food manufacturer, La Maison Caressa of Nice produced 60.000 kilos under his direction. This was the precursor to his famous sauces being bottled and sold through Escoffier Ltd. In 1915 Escoffier Ltd was sold. (Sadly after 80 years of business deals and corporate takeovers, only a remnant of it lingers on in America in two products, Nabisco Sauces - Diable and Robert). Escoffier supported any effort that made cooking simpler, cleaner, better organized, more widely appreciated or easier for chefs and home cooks alike. Despite the foie gras and truffles, the elaborate garnishes and rich sauces listed in various editions of his cookery book 'Le Guide Culinaire', (1st ed. 1903) Escoffier's work was still a sharp departure from the culinary practices that existed before. Not only did he greatly simplify the recipes and methods of food presentation that had existed previously, but he also re-invented the very manner in which professional kitchens were organized. To speed up service, which was something diners even in his day demanded, he created the brigade system of key specialised departments with teams headed by Chefs de Parties, responsible for all the individual parts of the different dishes presented in all the menus; A'la Carte, Du Jour, Banqueting, Room service, Parties privees etc. He also invented the prix fixe menu. Another poorly recorded, but constant character trait of Escoffier, was the effort he expended to help improve the conditions under which chefs worked. "When I started, chefs had no status in society," he wrote in his memoirs. "That should not be the case because cooking is a science and an art, and the man who works with all his heart to satisfy people deserves to be recognized." The preface to his great classic, 'A Guide to Modern Cookery' - 1907, (the 1st English edition of 'Le Guide Culinaire' of 1903), is a revelation. From a chef’s point of view, the observations that Escoffier espoused then in 1903, and in subsequent editions, ring just as loud today. It is no wonder that modern chefs are re-finding Escoffier. It is also another indicator of his lasting genius and true impact over time. Pierre Escoffier, who was 26 when his grandfather died in 1935, helped create and head the Auguste Escoffier Foundation. The Escoffier Museum is now based near Nice in the village of Villeneuve-Loubet, in the house where Escoffier was born. This item belongs in such a museum. The original sauce in the bottle, the well produced 4 page 'Escoffier Ltd' promotional pamphlet, the other plainer but rarer price list, and the little recipe booklet by Escoffier, give a true insight into Escoffier’s marketing astuteness.

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Information

Ephemera category
ref number: 11051