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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Ephemera category
ref number: 11051