On Cooking: Auguste Escoffier

Escoffier lived from 1846-1935. His culinary career began when he was just 13. He started out in his Uncle’s restaurant and continued on until he died at age 88. He was called the “emperor of the worlds kitchens.” He was best known for defining French cuisine and dining during La Belle Epoque also known as the “gay nineties.”

EscoffierUnlike Careme, Escoffier never worked for the aristocrats in their home. He had the chance to exhibit his culinary skills in the dining rooms of fine hotels in Europe. The hotels included the Place Vendome in Paris and the Savoy and Carlton hotels in London.

He did a lot to enhance Grande Cuisine which was defined as such by Careme. He credited Careme with providing the foundation for the great French cooking. Escoffier simplified the profussion of flavors, dishes and garnishes typifying Careme’s work. He also streamlined some of Caremes overly elaborate and fussy procedures and classifications. For an example he reduced Careme’s system of classifying sauces into the five sauces still recognized today. He aimed for the perfect balance of a few superb ingredients and sought simplicity. Some people consider his refinement of grande cuisine to have been so radical as to credit him with the development of  new cuisine referred to as cuisine classique (classic or classical cuisine).

His writings include Le Livre des menus (1912), which discussed the principles of a well-planned meal. His most important contribution is a culinary treatise intended for the professional chef titled Le Guide Culinaire (1903). It is still in use today and is still in use today and is an astounding collection of more than 5000 classic cuisine recipes and garnishes. He emphasizes the mastery of techniques, the thorough understanding of cooking principles and the appreciation of ingredients, attributes he considered to be building blocks professional chefs should use to create great dishes.

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On Cooking: Marie-Antoine Careme

CaremeCareme lived from 1783-1833. He was known as the “Cook of Kings and The King of Cooks.”  He was an acknowledged master of French Grande Cuisine. He worked his way to the top. When he was a child, he was abandoned on the Paris Streets and worked as  cook’s helper. He eventually worked his way up the food chain so to speak. He was known as the cook of kings because during his career he worked for the gourmand and French Diplomat Prince Talleyrand, the Prince Regent of England, Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Baron De Rothschild among others.Careme Dessert

His goal was to achieve lightness, grace, order and perspicuity in the presentation of and preparation of food. His confectionary creations were elegant and elaborate in design. Many of them were based on architectural designs. Being the showman that he was, he garnished dishes with ornamental hatelets (skewers) that were threaded with colorful ingredients. Some of those ingredients were crayfish and intricately carved vegetables. He presented his creations on elaborate socles (bases).

Being  a Saucier he standardized the use of Roux as a thickening agent, perfected  recipes and devised a system for classifying sauces. As a garde-manger he popularized cold cuisine, emphasizing molds and aspic dishes. He also designed kitchen equipment and tools and uniforms.

He wrote several texts and illustrated them as well. His five volume masterpiece on the state of his profession was completed by his associate after he died. Plumerey completed the last of the set by writing the last two volumes. Careme’s writings almost single handedly refined and summarized five hundred years of Culinary evolution. According to Laurent Tailhade Careme died becausOther Careme Dessertse he was burnt out “by the flame of his genius and the coal of the spits.” He died before age 50.

On Cooking: Chapter 1 Vocabulary

Ok so I decided I was going to use different colors for different posts. I’m writing this as I’m watching Halloweentown. I always loved that movie at Halloween time, im just getting started a little early. Anyways here’s the Vocabulary that you need to know for Chapter one.

Cooking- The transfer of energy from a heat source to a food; this energy alters the food’s molecular structure, changing its texture flavor, aroma, and appearance; the preparation of food for consumption

Cookery- the art, practice or work of cooking

Professional Cooking- a system of cooking based on a knowledge of and appreciation for ingredients and procedures

Grande Cuisine- the rich, intricate and elaborate cuisine of the 18th and 19th century French aristocracy and upper classes. It is based on the rational identification, development and adoption of strict culinary principles. By emphasizing the how and why of cooking, grande cuisine was the first to distinguish itself from regional cuisines, which tend to emphasize the tradition of cooking

Restaurateur- a person who owns or operates an establishment serving food, such as a resturant

New American Cuisine- a late 20th century movement that began in California but has spread across the united states; it stresses the use of fresh locally grown, seasonal procedure and high quality ingredients simply prepared in a fashion that preserves and emphasizes natural flavors

Classic Cuisine- a late 19th century and early 20th century refinement and simplification of French Grande Cuisine. Classic (or classical) cuisine relies on the thorough exploration of culinary principles and techniques and emphasize on the refined preparation and presentation of superb ingredients

Nouvelle Cuisine- French for “new cooking,” a mid 20th century movement away from many classic cuisine principles and toward a lighter cuisine based on natural flavors, shortened cooking times and innovative combinations

Ethnic Cuisine- the cuisine of a group of people having a common cultural heritage, as opposed to the cuisine of a group of people bound together by geography or political factors

Fusion Cuisine- the blending or use of ingredients and/or preparation methods from various ethnic, regional or national cuisines in the same dish; also known as transnational cuisine

Farm-to-table or Locavore Movement- An awareness of the source of ingredients with an emphasis on serving locally grown and minimally processed foods in season

Global Cuisine- foods (often commercially produced items) or preparation methods that have become ubiquitous throughout the world; for example, curries and French-Fried potatoes

National Cuisine- the characteristic cuisine of a nation

Regional Cuisine- a set of recipes based on local ingredients, traditions and practices; within a larger geographical, political, cultural or social unit, regional cuisines are often variations of one another that blend together to create a national cuisine

Molecular Gastronomy- a contemporary scientific movement that investigates the chemistry and physics behind the preparation of foods and dishes

Modernist Cuisine- a term coined by Nathan Myhrvold referring to science-inspired techniques for food preparation; an avant-garde approach to food preparation, sanitation and health concerns based on science inspired techniques

Brigade- a system of staffing a kitchen so that each worker is assigned a set of specific tasks; these tasks are often related by cooking method, equipment or the types of foods being produced

Executive Chef- Someone who coordinates kitchen activities and directs the kitchen staff’s training and work efforts. They also plan menus, and creates recipes

Sous-Chef – Primarily responsible in making sure the food is prepared, portioned, garnished and presented according to the executive chef’s standards. The sous-chef may be the cook principally responsible for producing menu items and supervising the kitchen

Area Chefs- Chefs responsible for a specific facility or function, they usually report to the executive chef. Each chef has a brigade working under him

Line Cooks- also known as section cooks are responsible for preparing menu according to recipe specifications

Pastry Chef- responsible for developing recipes for and preparing desserts, pastries, frozen desserts and breads, usually responsible for purchasing the food items used in the bake shop

Assitants & Apprentices- employed through entry-level workers throughout modern kitchens

Institutional Cook- Generally works with large quantities of packaged or prepared foods for a captive market such as a school, hospital, or prison

Master chef, Master pastry chef, Master baker- These titles recognize the highest level of achievement; only highly skilled and experienced professioanls who have demonstrated their expertise and knowledge in written and practical exams are entitled to use them

Gastronomy- the art and science of eating well

Gourmet-  a connoisseur of fine food and drink

Gourmand- a person who enjoys eating and often eats too much

Gourmet Foods- foods of the highest quality, perfectly prepared and beautifully presented

 

These are taken straight from On Cooking A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals 5th edition update. You can buy a copy from amazon if you would really like your own copy, but I am going to upload posts on each recipe in the book. The book can get kinda pricey though.

 

Next post will be all about Marie-Antoine Careme.

 

About the Blog

So I didn’t really have enough space to say what I wanted to say about this blog in the about me section, although I think I explained it pretty good. I just wanted to do a more in depth post. Basically every other culinary blogs are just recipes and some may have some tips and tricks. I wanted to mix the best of both worlds for you guys though. I wanted to do a blog that is all about Culinary Arts and I mean everything. I have multiple culinary arts books, which are pictured below. When I run out of culinary arts books I will start going through my cook books. I promise I will try not to repeat myself so I will keep a separate post or papers somewhere that have what has already been written. When I say everything I mean: a chapter by chapter review of each book, tips and tricks, little history lessons depending on the chapter, need to know vocabulary, a full review of the book on my other site here, and tons of other info that’s in the side boxes in the chapter and most importantly the recipes.  For easy access, I will have a index of posts on a separate page in case your looking for something special. If you have any questions you can find my info on the contact page. I have tons of recipes outside of my culinary arts texts that I will give you guys as well. I will review the recipes that I have made and if I haven’t I will tell you the plan for the others. When I get more books, they will be added here. Just ignore the extra books in the back. Although I will have reviews of them up on my other site here.