WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO INTRODUCE ROYAL FRENCH CUISINE TO THE WORLD?
The cartoon movie about luxurious cuisine Ratatouille has made great impression to the audiences. But not many people know the humorous chef Auguste in the movie was inspired by a real legend of French cuisine.
Auguste Escoffier – devote his life to cuisine
Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935) is a stern man, often wearing the elegant black suit – not really connected with the cartoon character alluding to him – Auguste Gusteau who is chubby, humorous and a bit talkative. However, both versions of real life and in movie Auguste share the legendary position in cuisine. Chefs now still admire Escoffier like Remy and other characters in the movie admire Gusteau. There is almost no one can surpass Auguste Escoffier in terms of culinary talent, creativity and passion.
Escoffier’s culinary career began when he was very young. From the age of 13, Auguste was passionate about the work at his uncle’s restaurant – Le Restaurant Français. In 1865 he moved to work at the famous restaurant Le Petit Moulin Rouge in Paris until the Franco – Prussian War broke out. When the war ended, Escoffier continued exploration of fine dining in the top hotel – The Savoy – along with his close collaborator César Ritz.
However, to satisfy his passion, he and Ritz left the Savoy restaurant and founded an independent chain. This action gave him opportunity to serve the king Escoffier Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. “I am the king of Germany and your food is a king,” the king’s praise made Escoffier become most famous among chefs at the time. Not cocky, Escoffier continued to live and work with the same enthusiasm until the age of 88 years and leaving an accomplishment of cookbooks with the World Association of Chefs Societies, contributing to promote French cuisine all over the world and connecting the culinary cultures worldwide.
Introduce French cuisine to the world
Auguste Escoffier is mentioned as a legend not only because of his development in career. The greatest thing is that Auguste Escoffier made many efforts to introduce royal French cuisine to the world. Profoundly influenced by Marie-Antoine Careme – a renowned royal chef- Auguste Escoffier understood exquisite nature of royal French cuisine more than anyone else. But contrary to his teacher, Escoffier simplified and modernized the recipes, promoted them around the world and made them closer to the normal people.
5 background sauces are his important contributions to the world cuisine: tomato sauce with the pasta, pizza or beef; bechamel sauce mixing well with vegetables and lagsana; valoute and egg white sauce to accompany with fish and chicken; brown sugar sauce – espagnole is consistent with barbecue meat and creamy hollandaise sauce with egg dishes, especially Benedict.
The dishes made by Escoffier almost had a special meaning. Cooking recipes had their own fate and personality, so that, he was extremely interested in naming the dish. Many recipes was created to make an honor and commemorate a certain character – such as pêche Melba desserts or Melba cake is a gift for diva Nellie Melba when she often came to Savoy Hotel. Or fruit sorbet named Sarah Bernhardt was made to express the admiration for the legendary French actress.
“The Chef of Kings and The King of Chefs” – This expression is associated with the name of Auguste Escoffier – a genius chef not only working for the nobility, but more importantly, initiated a revolution of the fine dining world. Image of a clean and calm chef with systems of basic sauces and ingredients for cooking today are the result of creativity and tireless labor of Escoffier. A cartoon image in the movie Ratatouille also proves the influence of the legend Auguste Escoffier on modern cuisine.