The Classic French System: Carê Me and Escoffier

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

In 1789 came the French Revolution. The great houses of France were much reduced, and their cooks no longer had unlimited help and resources. Some lost their positions, and survived by opening the first fine restaurants. The culinary impact of these upheavals was assessed by the renowned chef Antonin Carême (1784–1833). In the “Preliminary Discourse” to his Maître d’Hôtel français, he noted that the “splendor of the old cuisine” was made possible by the lavish expenditures of the master on personnel and materials. After the Revolution, cooks lucky enough to retain a position