“A menu is, first and foremost, a poem”
Pioneer of Fine Dining and Luxury Hospitality
In the late 19th century, Escoffier and Cesar Ritz launched together the Savoy, the Carlton and the Ritz hotels, the first modern luxury hotels in Europe, pioneering unprecedented standards of quality in service and elegant dining.
Escoffier is credited for elevating French Haute Cuisine to new heights, first in Britain, then around the world.
A Culinary RevolutionSetting aside the extravagant banquets and the unnecessary richness of traditional French cuisine, Escoffier developed a new gastronomic philosophy, a sense of highly refined simplicity in dining, taking into account nutrition principles and freshness of ingredients.
A True Industry Visionary
Escoffier revolutionised the way fine dining kitchens were organized, with his “Brigade” division of labour system. He also instilled strict hygiene standards and made the Chefs’ traditional white toques and uniforms into the worldwide industry standard they have become today.
Le Guide CulinaireLe Guide Culinaire, Escoffier’s masterpiece, was the book that codified and modernized French haute cuisine. Containing over 5’000 recipes, the “Guide” is now considered a timeless bible for classic French cooking.
The Chef of Kings
Escoffier and Cesar Ritz managed to make luxury hotels into respectable venues for the British and European royal families. Being greatly appreciated by the Prince of Wales, Escoffier was put in charge of the banquet for the coronation when the prince became King Edward VII. As legend has it, Kaiser Wilhelm II once told him, “I am the Emperor of Germany, but you are the Emperor of Chefs.”
The “Escoffier Spirit”Escoffier’s career spanned as long as 62 years, during which he kept a youthful willingness to innovate. He welcomed progress, recognising that cuisine has to evolve constantly. Escoffier was also a remarkably generous man, who took care of his staff like his own family, and spent much time and financial resources fighting hunger in 19th century London.
Auguste Escoffier Gallery