Nignon.   Edouard     - in fine original state.
Les Plaisirs de la Table
Ou, sous une forme nouvelle, l'Auteur a devoile maints delicieux secrets et recettes de bonne Cuisine, transcrit les precieux et de fins Gourmets fameux et de fins Gourmets, conseillers aimables et surs en l'Art du Bein Manger PREFACE DE M. ROBERT DE FLERS de l'Academie Francaise (A prinetr's device of a sheep) DESSINS de P.F. GRIGNON. A.PARIS CHEZ L'AUTEUR et chez J. MEYNAIL, Libraire, 30, Boulevard HAUSSMANN OUVRAGE DEPOSE.
FIRST EDITION. Circa 1926. 4to. Paste-down and fep with red and blue print design. 1fep. Half title. [1] 1p Dedication to A. Antonin Careme by Nignon. Frontispiece is a small red illustration. Title page.[1] (1)viii-xiv Preface by Robert de Flers. 1p Chapitre Premier. [1] (1)18-326. 1p Journal. [1] (1)329-333 Table des Matieres. 1p Printer's device. Last fep and paste-down with red and blue print design. Text in black with many very fine red illustrations throughout. The start of each chapter is a full page illustrated design in red. Full original blue and crimson paper cover in very good slightly faded condition. The covers supported by strong cardboard inserts. Internally very clean with pages slightly age browned due to the paper quality used at that time. Edges untrimmed. A nice original copy of an unusually well designed cookery book in Art Nouveau style.
- Edouard Nignon was born, one of eight siblings, in Nantes on November 9, 1865. At the very tender age of ten he was apprenticed to the restaurant Cambronne in Nantes, October 9, 1874. A year later, October 20, 1875, he entered the restaurant Monier, the best in the town. Some women there taught him to read and write in the style of the area. Later he worked in some of the largest Paris houses with the greatest chefs such as the Cafe Anglais and The Paillard, gaining a classic apprenticeship and elsewhere; Asst. Chef saucier at Chez Bignon. Chef saucier at Chez Voisin. Chef entremettier à l'exposition de 1889. Chef rôtisseur at La Lapérouse. Chef des cuisines at Marivaux. His many experiences and positions gave him access to the highest levels of society and a growing reputation. Nignon emigrated to Austria as Chef to the Emperor of Austria and then to Russia where he served the Czar and at L'Ermitage in Moscow and commanded a Kitchen brigade of 120 chefs. He also travelled to Britain where he held the post from 1894 - 1901 of Maitre Chef des Cuisiniers at Claridges Hotel in London. At this time another great Chef - Escoffier, was working at the Savoy and then the Carlton Hotel, Pall Mall. It is rumoured in print that there was a professional rivalry between the two chefs. The rumours indicate that many thought Nignon to be the more creative and precise craftsman. Nignon made his fortune and returned to Paris where he bought a house in 1908 and created the Restaurant Larue in the Place de la Madeleine. It became the most elegant in Paris, its customers were the finest in the world; artists, poets, writers, government ministers, stars of the stage, kings and princes, also cooking for President Woodrow Wilson. One client, le Marquis de Rouge, a prominent gourmet, once told Nignon that he liked and wanted a pink duck dish. Nignon created the famous ‘Caneton à la presse’, serving it with a bottle of Musigny 1884. He is also credited with creating the dish 'Homard à l'Américaine'. Nignon was also a successful business-man. Sacha Guitry, who knew him well, later wrote in the preface to one of his many books; ‘He always consulted with profit’. For the last years at his restaurant Nignon traded the chef’s toque for the Maitre d’ Hotel’s black uniform. His fame grew and grew. Observed going from table to table, advising a sole, offering a partridge, suggesting a dessert or a wine from his famous cellar, it was said that all Paris dined at his table. Nignon retired in 1921 and returned to Britain, where he died in 1934. (one year before Escoffier expired). Besides ‘Les Plaisirs de la Table’, he wrote two other great books: ‘L’Heptameron des Gourmets, ou, Les Delices de la Cuisine Francaise’, and ‘Eloges de la Cuisine Francaise’.

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Modern category
ref number: 11134