Lectures to Read

This was due in large part to the influence of Georges Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), the French chef, restaurateur, and culinary writer. While borrowing heavily from traditional sources such as Antoine Carême, Escoffier simplified and updated the recipes of his predecessors, making French cuisine accessible to gourmands around the world for the first time. Fame spread quickly. In 1890, in association with the now-famous hotelier Monsieur Ritz, Escoffier opened a restaurant at the Savoy Hotel in London, which became an overnight sensation. He later transferred to the Carlton Hotel, also in London, where his meals delighted kings and statesmen, among them Emperor Wilhelm II, who once remarked: “I am the Emperor of Germany, but you are the emperor of chefs.” By 1900, numerous restaurants in fine hotels across America, including the Vendôme in Boston, were emulating Escoffier’s style and menus.