October 28 – Happy Birthday, Auguste Escoffier

French food is so important that many food
words in the English language are actually

These include (right off the top of my head):
gourmet, cuisine, culinary, pork, beef, menu,
entree, a la carte, cafe au lait, au gratin. 
Posted on October 28, 2013

As a child, he showed all the signs of having promise as an artist. And he lived in France, which was a great place for artists in the 1800s—but at age 13 he was shipped off to be an apprentice at his uncle's restaurant in Nice.

Guess what? People can be artists in the kitchen, too.

Auguste Escoffier (born on this date in 1846) ended up working at a restaurant in Paris and then acting as an army chef during the Franco-Prussian War. He learned about efficiency and canning partly through his military service.

Out of the service, Escoffier teamed up with Cesar Ritz and reorganized the kitchens of the Savoy Hotel in London. He invented many famous dishes, popularized dining out among women (who in earlier times rarely dined in public!), and helped make the Savoy a huge success. Escoffier left the Savoy Hotel at the turn of the century and went on to revolutionize other restaurants.

He was so good at what he did, Escoffier was sometimes called “the king of chefs and chef of kings.”

He wrote a culinary guide that is STILL used today.

He elevated the title “chef” to a respected profession.

He streamlined and modernized French cuisine. For example, earlier chefs created huge lists of sauces to be used in various dishes. But Escoffier consolidated the hundreds of different sauces into just five “mother sauces.” It is apparently easier to learn how to make five sauces very well and then how to vary them with additional ingredients, than to learn how to make hundreds of sauces individually.

Try some French food today as you toast Chef Escoffier!

  • Kitchen Daily offers “kid-friendly French recipes.”

  • Easy French Food has a resident 10-year-old kid who loves to cook and is eager to share his favorite easy French recipes with others. 

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