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Escoffier- French Master Chef or The Father of Fast Food?

Jul 26, 2008
Auguste Escoffier 1846-1935 needs no introduction -he was a leader in the development of French cuisine as it is now practiced in restaurants. Not just the recipes - but also the disciplines that are used.

His classic book the "Guide Culinaire" became a best selling book, containing thousands of recipes, and gives an insight to Escoffier's thinking

Escoffier was one of the Chefs who inspired Gordon Ramsay. He Said "Chefs do use cook books - it is a myth that they don't" and Ramsay owns up to using Escoffier as a reference book.

It is also an interesting piece of history is that Escoffier was also a father of fast food for his generation too!!

Times were changing. The introduction of steam had allowed a travelling generation, that wanted then to do everything at speed! ? Including eat, without spending hours as was the custom of the day.

Escoffier says: Palatial hotels were built, sumptuous restaurants were opened. Modern society contracted the habit of partaking of light suppers in these places, after the theatres of the Metropolis had closed; and the well-to-do began to flock to them on Sundays, in order to give- their servants the required weekly rest."

So he explains why he started to focus on fast food "It is a mere hindrance to the modern, rapid service. The complicated and sometimes heavy menus would be unwelcome ; hence the need of a radical change not only in the culinary preparations themselves, but in the arrangements of the menus, and the service"

So Escoffier became a father of fast food for his generationreplacing long drawn out dining with rapid meals, and procedures. And he documented these in the Guide Culinaire. He said:

I therefore venture to suppose that a book containing a record of all the changes which have come into being in kitchen work ? changes where of I am in a great part author

The guide is now available free in downloadable form and is a fascinating insight not just into cookery methods, but also into history.
About the Author
Mike at Escoffier Online is dedicated to bringing the best of French Cooking as downloadable books. You can Download Escoffier Free Here.
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