Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - A 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     - Extremely Rare.
An original b/w photograph of Auguste Escoffier. 1905.
Sitting with his full Carlton Hotel Kitchen brigade.
320 mm long x 153 mm high. Under the photograph is a small cut out of the original mount, stating; The Carlton Hotel. 1905. The photograph is mounted on a black cardboard border and covered by glass and bordered with a black and silver frame. One of his most famous pupils; Charles Scotto, sits in the photograph fourth from the left on the second row. Pasted on the back is the original photographer’s name in gilt, cut form the mount before it was framed. It was by Fradelle & Young, 283 Regents St. London W.1. They specialised in hotel and restaurant group photography of dinners & receptions.
- This rare original photograph of Auguste Escoffier and his kitchen brigade, was taken on the roof of the Carlton Hotel 1905. A casual glance at this old image belies the contemporary history that Escoffier brought about by very hard work, his great extensive writings, his organisational skills, and a huge passion to improve the lot of his beloved chefs. It is one of the reasons why he is held in such high esteem, and a feeling of deep gratitude lies in the hearts of most well trained modern chefs, because his updated re-organisation of the large Kitchen brigade is still the way modern kitchens are organised. The following list is of the different members and departments of his large kitchen brigade system. Only the largest of hotels like the Carlton Hotel had this fully staffed brigade with all the following departments fully functioning. Escoffier devised this system, primarily during his time at the Savoy Hotel London, before going to the Carlton from 1899 to 1919. This very efficient organisation allowed sincere chefs to learn all the important skills of every department in the largest kitchen brigades. Staring at the top was the MAITRE-CHEF de CUISINE (kitchen chef; literally "chief of kitchen") Responsible for overall management of kitchen; supervises staff, creates menus and new recipes with the assistance of the restaurant manager, makes purchases of raw food items, trains apprentices, and maintains a sanitary and hygienic environment for the preparation of food. SOUS-CHEF de CUISINE (deputy kitchen chef; literally "sub-chief") Receives orders directly from the chef de cuisine for the management of the kitchen, and often serves as the representative when the chef de cuisine is not present. Does not usually work on the stove anymore. In a big brigade there can be as many as 4-6 sous-chefs. CHEF de PARTIE (senior chef of a department) Responsible for managing a department in the kitchen, specializing in preparing particular dishes there. CHEF TOURNANT (Can be a Chef de partie in any department) The most experienced, having trained as a Chef de partie in every department. Will cover for any Chef de partie on their days off or holidays. Usually fills any vacancy for the Sous-chef’s position. CHEF SAUCIER (Chef de partie of the sauce dept.) Prepares all meat sauces and stocks and completes meat dishes. This is one of the most respected positions in the kitchen brigade. CHEF ROTTISEUR (Chef de partie of the roast department.) Manages a team of cooks that roasts, broils, and deep fries dishes. CHEF POISSONNIER (Chef de partie of the fish department.) Prepares all fish and seafood dishes and fish sauces and stocks. Usually has a fishmonger in the department. CHEF ENTREMETIER (Chef de partie of vegetable and farinaceous department.) Prepares all vegetables, soups and egg dishes. CHEF GARDE-MANAGER (Chef de partie of the cold larder.) Responsible for preparation of cold hors d'oeuvres, pâtés, terrines and aspics; prepares salads; organizes large buffet displays; and prepares charcuterie items. Usually the largest staffed department in the kitchen. CHEF PATTISIER (Chef de partie of pastry department.) Prepares desserts and other meal-end sweets, ices, cakes, petit-fours, pulled sugar works, also has a ‘boulanger’, preparing breads and other baked items; may also prepare pasta for the restaurant. BOUCHER (the butcher) Butchers meats, poultry, prepare meats for the Garde manger’s pates and terrines. Clean all game ready for roasting. May also be in charge of breading meats. CUISINIER (cook) May also be referred to as a cuisinier de partie. Also known as a ‘demi-chef de partie’ who takes over from the Chef de partie on his days off. COMMIS (junior cook) Works in a specific partie, but reports directly to the chef de partie. Can also be 2nd or 3rd commis depending on age and experience. The Chef de cuisine changes their departments annually to give them all round experience of all ‘parties’. APPRENTIE (apprentice.) Often students gaining theoretical and practical training, in school and work experience in the kitchen. They perform preparatory work under a Chef de Partie. PLONGEUR or MARMITON (dishwasher or kitchen porter.) cleans dishes and utensils, and may be entrusted with basic preparatory jobs. ABOYEUR (announcer/expediter) During the meal service times takes the orders from the dining room waiters and distributes them to the various departments; the role usually performed by the Sous-chef. CHEF COMMUNARD Prepares the meal served to the restaurant staff. GARCON de CUISINE (literally ‘kitchen boy’) In larger establishments, performs preparatory and auxiliary work for support.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11230

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     - Two of Escoffier's menus
From the Carlton Hotel. Pall Mall. London.
Menu 1 -- from the Carlton Grill Room dated May 11th 1909. Menu 2 -- a daily 'Carte du Jour' dated May 10th 1909.
Both menus as new. The ala carte menu has a 1" tear in the fold with no damage to text. Housed in a cardboard, marbled folder with a label on the front cover. Also comes with a black and white photograph of the Carlton Hotel - circa 1910.
- Escoffier was Maitre Chef de Cuisine at the Carlton Hotel from 1899- 1919. These are two of his menus. As such, and in this fine condition, very rare.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 10992

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - One of Escoffier's menus
A menu and a table plan. Carlton Hotel. Pall Mall. London.
1.-- A Dinner Plan of Tables. Thursday. July 21st 1910. 2.-- Special Dinner Menu. Monday. September 16th. 1918.
1. -- This card is decorated by a double gilt border, front and back. On the front is an emblem of the American flag and the Union Jack. It is a four page ‘Plan of Tables’ for a Dinner in honour of General Stuart L. Wilson at the Carlton Hotel, Thursday, July 21st 1910. Seated at the ‘Red Table’ is Lieut. Sir Ernst H. Shackleton who was to set out 4 years later on ‘Endurance’ for his ill-fated attempt to reach Antarctica. It has taped marks on the back, indicating it has been sometime mounted in a book. 2. -- The menu is for a special Dinner at the Carlton Hotel on Monday 16th September 1918. Hosted by the Hon. A.J. Balfour MP for His Excellency Monsieur Michalacopoulos. The menu has an embossed gilt crest of the Royal Coat of Arms. Mons. Andre Michalacopoulos was the President for the Counsel of Ministers and Minister for Greek Affairs and A.J. Balfour was British Prime Minister from 1902 – 1905. It is a nice clean menu card with a 2 page insert tied by a ribbon. Both are housed in a nice cardboard, marbled folder with a label on the front cover. Rare Escoffier ephemera items.
- Escoffier was Maitre Chef de Cuisine at the Carlton Hotel from 1899-1919. These two items are his, from the Carlton Hotel kitchen banqueting department.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 10993

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. This a'la carte restaurant service on board all of those liners was 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     - In its original bottle.
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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Ephemera category
ref number: 11051

Grants of St. James.       - with a rare Elizabeth David pamphlet.
A Gateway to Wine.
A promotional book, published 1964, by this large wine merchant of London SW1, with special recipes from Elizabeth David. Also enclosed is a very rare 4 page pamphlet of E.D’s recipes and menus for Lambert & Butler of Drury Lane.
4to. Paste-down and end-paper with a photo of sculpture of Bacchus. [1] 1p Forward. Verso 1p Contents. 3-51. (1) Colour photo of a Roast Pork. 53-63 E.D’s recipes. 64-65 Spirits, Aperitifs, Bitters and Liqueurs. 66-71 Supplementary Glossary. 72-76 Index. [1] End-paper and paste-down with a photo of sculpture of Bacchus. Many coloured photos in-text. Fully bound in very clean straw coloured cloth boards with gilt writing and small gilt device of a sedan chair on the front board. Gilt lettering on the spine. Internally very clean; as new. The 4 page pamphlet from Lambert and Butler is cream coloured with black text, and very clean. The recipes are on pages 2-4. Two rare items.
- The book has five main parts. An introduction, a description of the many wine-producing countries of the world and their wines, a guide with recipes on the use of wine in cooking; a supplementary glossary of wines and wine terms and an index. A nice promotional item made much more interesting and desirable with the Elizabeth David recipes and pamphlet from Lambert and Butler, makers of the famous Henry Clay cigars. Its quite possible the pamphlet may have originally been given with the book, All the 24 recipes each have two recommended wines. An interesting read.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11163

House of Commons.       - House of Commons and 10 Downing St menus .
Report on the Kitchen and Refreshment Rooms. April 24th 1863.
REPORT FROM THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE KITCHEN AND REFRESHMENT ROOMS (HOUSE OF COMMONS); WITH THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE, AND AN APPENDIX. Ordered by The House of Commons, to be printed, 24 April 1863.
320x200mm. Title page. p2 Committee names. 3-7 Report with a large folding plate of a lovely unusual coloured drawing on the various proposed changes for the New Palace of Westminster refreshment rooms. 8-14 Proceedings of the Select Committee. p13 is miss-bound after p14. [1] Last page is a small copy of the title page. It has 2 menus enclosed. The first one is a one page white cardboard Luncheon menu from the House of Commons members dining room on 14th July 1960. The second menu is for a dinner at 10 Downing Street for the President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat and his wife on 7th November 1975. Harold Wilson was the Prime Minister at the time. The report is bound by a thread. All items are very clean and in good condition.
- The report consists of a full review of the current (1860's) operational inefficiencies for dining in the House of Commons during the House sessions. Based on members complaints the report also reviews dinner numbers, wage comparisons and wine suppliers. Page 14 is a comparison of current prices at London clubs including The Reform Club, which covers the time of the tenure of the famous chef, Charles Elme Francatelli, who had taken up the position of Chef de Cuisine after the equally famous chef, Alexis Soyer, resigned from the Club in 1850. With the menus, this is a very interesting look at the Catering department and dining setup at the Commons and the Prime Minister's official residence.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11139

Nignon.   Edouard     - Extremely rare Nignon menus.
Claridges Hotel London.
Two of Edouard Nignon's menus dated 1900.
Menu 1. 163 x 100mm. Cream coloured card with a bright embossed American flag. A ten course dinner menu dated 4 Juillet 1900. Obviously celebrating American independence day. A clean item still in very good condition, with the word 'Menu'. embossed in gilt. Menu 2. 147 x 82mm. Similar cream coloured card with two crossed flags, one being the Queen's Royal Standard and the other is the Union Jack. The menu is titled the 'Atlantic Union'. The flags and the word 'Menu' are brightly coloured and embossed. The menu has twelve courses and dated 19th May 1900. Clean bright menus in good condition housed in a cardboard folder covered with marbled paper and a label on the front cover. Very rare.
- Claridges Hotel, Brook St, London, has always been the most important hotel in the UK for diplomatic dinners and social functions. Even today there are approx. one dozen state banquets hosted during the season by the Queen personally, for various Embassies and visiting Heads of State. As both menus here are decoratively very handsome but understated, they appear to be above the norm. The first one for American Independence day could have been hosted by or for Joseph Choate the American Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James's, presented 1899 and recalled 1905. The Chef de Cuisine at that time, Edouard Nignon, had a classic apprenticeship in some of the greatest French kitchens of the time. He diligently trained in all the main departments; Saucier, Rotisseur, Entremetier, Poissonnier, Garde manger, Patissier and Tournant. He was Chef de Cuisine to the Tsar and the Emperor of Austria, eventually becoming the owner of the famous Restaurant Larue on rue Royale in Paris. In between those two famous positions he was at Claridges Hotel from 1894 - 1901. He was known to be a fantastic craftsman and the food at Claridges was thought by many to be the best in London. This was despite having Escoffier ensconced at the same time in the Carlton Hotel, Pall Mall. As displayed below these 2 Claridges menus of Nignon's, came from a private collection of approximately 127 menus belonging to the great grandson of Camille Albert who was the Head Banqueting Waiter at the Carlton Hotel from 1898 - 1905. About 85 of the menus in the collection are from Escoffier's time at the Carlton, while the others are from other famous London venues. Escoffier's menus are relatively rare while on the other hand, Nignon's are extremely rare. This is possibly due to the fact that while Escoffier was a Chef de Cuisine at the Savoy and Carlton Hotels in London for almost 30 years, Nignon had a tenure in London of under 7 years. I have been searching for Nignon's menus for 30 years and these two are the first I have found.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11210