Escoffier and 3 Regions of France
Ecoffier Augustine was one of the world’s best superstar chefs, born October 28th, 1846 in Villeneuve-Loubet in France. He was son to Jean-Baptise and Madeleine Civatte. In his early years, Escoffier had the vision of becoming a sculptor. His grandfather was a passionate cook who encouraged him to develop the passion for cooking. Although Escoffier did not have the passion of becoming a cook, his grandfather pushed him to be so. He continued with studies until the age of twelve years (Escoffier. Edu 1). His father saw that it was conditional for Escoffier to have business knowledge. When at school, he enjoyed drawing but was advised to take the art as a hobby and look for another motivating career.
Escoffier did not live to see his vision flourish since after receiving the Holy Communion at thirteen years old, he was compelled to become a chef. Although this was not the dream that he had, he was hired as a kitchen apprentice at his uncle’s Restaurant Francais in Nice. As apprenticeship, he was worked quite hard and had the determination of becoming successful. His uncle taught him how to buy a café. Besides, he also learned all the activities of a restaurant including table service (Escoffier. Edu 1). After finishing his four years term as an apprentice, he got employed for two years in different restaurants including Les Freres Provencaux and Massena in Nice M. Barodoux recommended him to work at his upscale Parissan Restaurant Le Petit Moulin Ruge in Paris in 1865. He worked at the restaurant for five years during the Franco-Prussian war. After the end of the war, Escoffier was called to work as an army cook in the Rhine Army General Headquarters (Escoffier.Edu 1). It was here that he was transferred to Meltz where together with his friend, Bounil, they were responsible for food supply to the Second Division.
While in Meltz, Escoffier came face to face with the horrors of war. He was required to handle the challenges of inadequate food supply and rationing while his friend was under siege. The shortages in food supply forced him to begin using horses for food. After four months’ stay in Meltz, the French Army that stayed in the city gave up and all the soldiers including Escoffier became prisoners of war. Based on the fact that Escoffier was regarded as an orderly officer, he was accorded extra ordinary human rights and benefits (Escoffier. Edu 1). He was allowed to travel by train and see his assigned officer in Mainz. It was unfortunate for him because he discovered that the officer had left Mainz while he has imprisoned at the camp, therefore, failed to meet him. Life proved very challenging at the camp because he only had one meal every 24 to 36 hours. In most cases, food as badly rationed. When Escoffier was at last allowed to work, he got a job at the Kursaal which was an exquisite resort in the village of Wiesbaden. Having stayed only ten days, he was recruited as the chief de cuisine. This made him to stay there for the period of the war. After the peace agreement was signed, he took a train and returned to France (Escoffier. Edu 1). On his arrival in Paris, the city had been captured by rioters. This forced him to leave right away where he further went to join the army again. Here, he was appointed chief de cuisine of Colonel Comte de Waldner. After leaving the army, he returned to Nice.
Escoffier was one of the recognized chefs with a genuine curiosity in the preservation of the nutritional value of food. He was also proficient in food science and a pioneer in food preservation. Escoffier enjoyed global recognition as an aged chef. In 1920, the French government acknowledged him for his work that contributed to the French cuisine status and ethnicity by making him a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur, and according him the promotion as an officer of the Legion d’Honneur in 1928.
Escoffier eventually retired from the restaurant life by the years 1921, where he went ahead to write about his duties, responsibilities and experiences. He made a lot of contributions to the French Cuisine. For instance, he created over 10,000 recipes that are still being used to date in most of the culinary institutions across the world (Escoffier. Edu 1). The house that he used to stay was converted into a culinary museum in 1966 by the French government. In fact, this place is clearly marked on the road from Nice to Cannes. These and other qualities are used in showing respect to the master of French cooking. Once in reference to Escoffier, the Kaiser Wilhelm II said, ‘’I am the emperor of Germany but you are the emperor of chefs.’’
Escoffier dies at his place of residence in La Villa Fernand, just days after the passing away of his wife on February 12th 1935. He passed on at eighty nine years old and laid to rest at Villeneuve-Loubet (Escoffier.Edu 1).
The contributions by Escoffier to the culinary art stretch far beyond the advancements that are directly evident in France. He invented the brigade system that phased out the disorganized and horrible environment that once prevailed in the hotel and restaurant kitchens. Some of his contributions include a la Carte menu, Peach Melba, and the system that he used in categorizing mother sauces (Escoffier. Edu 1). Besides, he also transformed professional kitchens into a station based brigade system that is currently in use. He also created more than 10, 000 recipes. The culinary institutions today strive to offer the curriculum that is the same as the teachings of Escoffier.
Escoffier also made people to believe that all food professionals at all levels are required to commit themselves to enhancing their knowledge and skills through pursuing further studies. He wrote various books and articles on cooking methods with the most popular ones being Le Guide Culinaire and A Guide to Modern Cookery (Escoffier. Edu 1).
This is located in eastern France by the side of Rhine River, at the border of France and Germany. The main cities in this region include Colmar, Strasbourg and Mulhouse (Cherry Soup Recipe Cuisine France 1).
Local specialty- Cherry soup, serving for six people
- 1 ¾ pounds of black cherries
- 3 tablespoonfuls of sugar
- 2 tablespoonfuls of butter
- 1 tablespoonful of corn flour or cornstarch
- 6 slices of bread
- 2 tablespoonfuls of cherry brandy (Kirsch)
Methods of Cooking
- Wash and drain the cherries and remove all the stems
- Put sugar and kirsch into a saucepan and add cherries, boil with medium heat for 15 minutes
- Melt 1 ½ tablespoonfuls of butter in a skillet. Add the slices of bread and cook as you wait till it turns brownish on both sides. Drain using a paper towel. Apply more butter if necessary to ensure that all the slices of bread are brown.
- Using a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of corn flour and one tablespoon of water.
- Remove the cherries from the pan using a spoon. Put the corn flour and water mixture in the pan. Stir slowly in low heat for a few minutes.
- Bring back the cherries to the saucepan for a few seconds
Serving: Place the bread slice in a bowl and add the soup over the bread (Cherry Soup Recipe Cuisine France 1).
This is found in the southwestern part of France along the Atlantic Ocean close to the France-Spain Major cities in the region are Saint Jean de Luz, Biarritz and Bayonne.
Local specialty- Basque cake
This is a popular dessert from the region that is flavored with nice lemon (Basque cake recipe with Cuisine France 1).
- One egg
- One egg yolk
- 2 cups of flour
- 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- A cup of sugar
- One lemon
- A half tablespoonful of salt
- A glass of milk
- Two egg yolks
- One egg
- ¼ cup of flour
- One tablespoonful of unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ½ vanilla extract or vanilla bean
- One tablespoon of rum
- Squeeze the zest from the lemon
- Create a mixture of egg yolk, egg, lemon zest, salt and sugar in a bowl for the pastry
- Mix the pastry by beating and then slowly add the butter, followed by the flour.
- Mix the pastry well using your hands and create a ball out of it. Put the ball in the fridge for a minimum of sixty minutes.
- Mix the vanilla and the milk in a saucepan and leave it to boil. Remove the bean
- Mix the egg yolks and the sugar by beating. Mix the rum and the flour then add hot milk. Put the cram back into the saucepan and heat it over very low heat. Stir the mixture. Eliminate the heat as the ream begins to boil. Add butter and leave the cream to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven at 200C (38F).
- Add butter around the cake pan. Rollout two thirds of the pastry. Line both the sides including the bottom. Complete it with the cream and wrap with one third remaining pastry.
- Beat one egg and spread it over the top of the cake
- Bake the cake in the oven for about 45 minutes
This region is located between the cities of Lyon and Dijon, south of the capital city-Paris. Some of the main cities in the region are Beaune, Macon, Dijon and Chalon.
Local specialty- Boeuf Bourguignon
This is a type of beef stewed in red wine with onions, bacon and mushrooms (Boeuf Bourguignon- Beef –Recipes 1).
- 4 pounds of stewing beef (beef shoulder)
- 6 ounce of bacon
- 4 peeled and sliced carrots
- One chopped onion
- One pound of sliced mushrooms
- Two chopped stalks celery
- One bottle of red young wine
- Two cups of beef stock (beef bouillon)
- One once flour
- 4 tablespoonfuls of olive oil
- One once butter
- Small bunch parsley
- One spring thyme
- One smashed clove garlic
- 18 small white onions
- Black pepper and salt
Methods of Cooking
- Slice bacon into small pieces. Simmer it for ten minutes in water and dry it
- Boil the bacon in a big pan with olive oil at reasonable heat for two or three minutes and remove.
- Cut the bacon into 2 inch cubes. Using the same saucepan, fry beef until it turns brown and remove
- Put celery, carrots and onions in the saucepan and cook for two to three minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and take out the fat.
- Blend butter and flour to make paste
- Mix the beef and bacon with vegetables in the saucepan. Add pepper and salt. Leave the pan uncovered as you mix the cubes for two to three minutes.
- Into the ingredients, add bouillon and wine. Add garlic, white onions and herbs then put to boil.
- Cover up the pan and simmer for about three hours on low heat. Boeuf Bourguignon heat very slowly. The meat is ready when the fork slides out the cubes easily.
- Put the mushrooms in butter and then add to Bouef Bourguignon. Garnish with parsley.
This is served with boiled potatoes.
Basque cake recipe with Cuisine France. Cuisine-france.com, 2014. Web. 16 Mar 2014. <http://www.cuisine-france.com/recipes/basque-cake.htm>.
Boeuf Bourguignon – Beef – Recipes – from Delia. Deliaonline.com, 2014. Web. 16 Mar 2014. <http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/main-ingredient/meat/beef/boeuf-bourguignon.html>.
Cherry Soup Recipe Cuisine France. Cuisine-france.com, 2014. Web. 16 Mar 2014. <http://www.cuisine-france.com/recipes/cherry-soup.htm>.
Escoffier.Edu. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Escoffier.edu, 2014. Web. 16 Mar 2014. <http://www.escoffier.edu/about/about-auguste-escoffier/>.