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.
Escoffier’s career spanned as long as 62 years, during which he never stopped innovating. He recognized that cuisine has to evolve constantly. “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 the 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 Livre des Menus, 1912)
Escoffier was also a remarkably generous man, deeply concerned with social injustice and poverty issues. He fought for his kitchen staff’s rights to receive medical care and pensions, and most colleagues called him “Papa” as he treated them like family. At the Savoy and the Carlton, he always had a few more employees than needed, to save them from unemployment.
During the Great War, when his chefs were mobilized, he took care not only of the soldiers but also of their families; and when some of his staff perished in the Titanic, he again made sure the families were taken care of.
He personally spent a great deal of time and money fighting hunger in London, alongside the Little Sisters of the Poor. In 1910, he published the “Project of Mutual Assistance for the Extinction of the Pauperism ” where, already appeared the main lines of the French Social Policy, which would be born many years later.