Auguste Escoffier was the first celebrity chef of the 20th century. He enjoyed international recognition with many ‘foodie’ followers, and with politicians, royalty, inventors, artists/singers, captains of industry and writers of that era.
“Escoffier” is a name known the world over as The Master (Le Maitre) and is the source for many of the cooking methods and the brigade system used in professional kitchens today. For expert chefs everywhere, the name Auguste Escoffier is synonymous with excellence, quality, commitment, and skill in the culinary profession. Few people in history have made such a profound effect on their profession. He revolutionized the professional kitchen and brought it into the 20th century.
His talent as a writer was profound. He authored 5,000 recipes in his 8 landmark books. ‘Le Guide Culinaire’ is the most widely known and continues to be used today as the classic French cuisine bible. Moreover, Escoffier was the first chef to author a monthly magazine, Le Carnet D’Epicure.
Having first codified the art of cuisine, he remains today the first and foremost theoretician of modern cookery. A forward-thinker, Escoffier insisted that food be in used only in season and that they be ripe before being used. He supported local agriculture way before it was popular. He regularly visited farms, vegetable farms, most notably asparagus, to incite farmers to produce more.
“Others will come … tomorrow who will take on our work, make changes to it and transform it to meet new needs, needs that we cannot suspect today, just as we did the same to modify the work of our predecessors. This is inevitable consequence of progress, Far from complaining, we will rejoice even more, knowing that we have firmly contributed, by preparing the future to maintaining intact those of the great traditions of the past that must remain … eternal.”
– Auguste Escoffier, Le Livers de Menus, 1912