Auguste Escoffier

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Georges Auguste Escoffier, 1914

Georges Auguste Escoffier (born  October 28, 1846 in Villeneuve-Loubet , Côte d'Azur , † February 12, 1935 in Monte Carlo ) was a French master chef who achieved world fame with his book Le Guide Culinaire . He adapted specialties from other countries and shaped French haute cuisine .

Live and act

Escoffier was born in 1846 as the son of a blacksmith and tobacco grower in the small town of Villeneuve-Loubet, 15 km west of Nice . He learned to cook from his grandmother. At the age of 13 he started his apprenticeship in his uncle's restaurant; there he learned not only fine cuisine, but also service and shopping. After his apprenticeship years, Escoffier moved to the Hotel Bellevue near Nice, became head chef at the age of 18 and from there came to the Petit Moulin Rouge in Paris in 1865 , where he held the rank of Commis Rôtisseur and then des Saucier .

He did his military service from 1866 to 1871 as Chef de Cuisine with the French General Staff . In the Franco-German War he flew into Metz in German captivity . He came to Wiesbaden and found work in the Kurhaus . Then he cooked for the French general Patrice de Mac-Mahon , who was quartered as a prisoner of war in a Wiesbaden villa.

Back in freedom, Escoffier cooked a season in Nice in 1872 as Chef de Cuisine at the Hotel Luxemburg. In 1873 he returned to Paris as head chef at the Petit Moulin Rouge . In 1876 he opened his first own restaurant in Cannes , Le Faisan doré (The Golden Pheasant) . At the same time he was also active in the Petit Moulin Rouge , where he did not give up his engagement until August 15, 1878.

On August 28, he married Delphine Daffis, with whom he had three children: Paul, Daniel and Germaine. In 1879 he took over the management of the Maison Chevet in the Palais Royal in Paris. From 1880 onwards, he worked in several positions as a chef in the Casino à Boulogne-sur-Mer and in the Maire restaurant in Paris. In 1884 he was hired by César Ritz in Monte Carlo as head chef, which led to a long and fruitful collaboration with César Ritz. Escoffier began to rethink traditional cuisine and rigorously restructured it both spatially and in terms of work organization. This ultimately resulted in the post system in the catering trade. In 1885 Escoffier wrote his second book about his hobby wax flowers - Fleurs en cire .

In 1890 Escoffier took over the management of the kitchens at the Savoy Hotel in London, which is world-famous for its sophisticated furnishings and the internationality of its guests .

From 1890 to 1897 served Auguste Escoffier the great of this world and created some of his world famous dishes: sole nfilet Coquelin , lobster ( Homard à l'américaine ), poultry à la Derby , Pear Helen and the singer Nellie Melba the sundae Peach Melba . After disputes with the owners of the Savoy , Escoffier and most of his kitchen brigade left the Savoy “with flying colors”.

César Ritz, Max Pfyffer, Auguste Escoffier

On June 5, 1898, César Ritz opened another hotel of his company in Paris: The Ritz on the Place Vendôme . Escoffier was entrusted with the organization of the kitchen, which he took over as director. The success of the Ritz was overwhelming - thanks in part to the Escoffier gourmet following who followed it across Europe.

In 1899 Escoffier returned to London to organize and manage other kitchens at the Ritz Carlton and the Ritz London . Escoffier worked in this arrangement between London and Paris until 1920 . During this period (exact dates are not known) a young Vietnamese, who later called himself Hồ Chí Minh , worked as a kitchen assistant under his direction at the Carlton Hotel . In 1903 Escoffier published his best-known work, the Guide Culinaire, or culinary guide in German .

Various trips took Escoffier to the USA, among others, where he celebrated a service anniversary in 1909 and donated the rights to his war memories as a cook in favor of a retirement home for cooks in France. In 1914, the year of the war, Escoffier formed a committee to support the families of French cooks drafted into the war in France.

In 1919, at the age of 73, he wrote his memoir L'aide-mémoire culinaire . During a visit by French President Raymond Poincaré to London, the Escoffier was made Knight of the Legion of Honor on September 11, 1919 .

In 1920 Escoffier left the Carlton and London to retire with his wife in Monte Carlo. In retirement, he traveled extensively in France to pass on his expertise at exhibitions and culinary competitions. The fourth edition of the Guide Culinaire was published in 1920, and in 1923 he published the first version of his l'Aide-mémoire culinaire .

Escoffier died in Monte Carlo on February 12, 1935, two weeks after his wife Delphine. Escoffier was buried in the family crypt of the Escoffier family in Villeneuve-Loubet.


The work Guide Culinaire is considered to be the formal basis of the culinary art of the 20th century , Escoffier himself as a reformer of an overly formal cuisine with little focus on clarity. Unlike his colleagues at the time, he simplified the complicated preparation of dishes and made them easier and more digestible. He contradicted the view of the time that a menu had to consist of a large number of courses.

Escoffier is considered the creator of grande cuisine and the designer of large kitchen organizations, as he made the division of labor organization more efficient by specializing the chefs on items . Escoffier was a relaxed and calm head chef who spent 71 years at the stove. He has significantly influenced many important chefs, some of whom were his students such as Paul Jullemier (1878–1932), Paul Thalamas (1872–1960), Eugène Herbodeau (1888–1981) and Joseph Donon (1888–1982).

Works (selection)

  • L'aide-mémoire culinaire. Suivi d'une étude sur les vins français et étrangers à l'usage des cuisiniers, mâitres d'hôtel et garçons de restaurant . Flammarion, Paris 2006, ISBN 978-2-08-120117-0 , ( reprint of the Paris 1919 edition).
  • Les fleurs en cire . Bibliothèque de “L'art culinaire”, Paris 1910.
  • Culinary arts guide . Manual and reference book of classic French cuisine and fine international cuisine. (OT: “Le Guide Culinaire”.) In German translation, Verlag H. Killinger, Nordhausen 1923. Edited using earlier editions and translated and edited in the 5th French edition. Walter Bickel , Pfanneberg Verlag, 1950. Numerous other editions, 16th German edition, Nikol, Hamburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-86820-343-1 , table of contents , (PDF; 2.67 MB).
  • Le livre des menus . Flammarion, Paris 1912 (Complèment indispensable du “Guide culinaire”).
  • Le riz. L'aliment le meilleur, le plus nutritif . Flammarion, Paris 1927.
  • Souvenirs inédits. 75 ans au service de l'art culinaire . New edition Laffitte, Paris 1985, ISBN 2-86276-092-7 , (autobiography).


- Alphabetical -

  • Georg Berger: Escoffier and nouvelle cuisine: top chefs and their recipes. Fachbuchverlag Pfanneberg , Haan-Gruiten 2014, ISBN 978-3805706841 .
  • Romeo Brodmann: Sauces according to Escoffier. With all the recipes of French cuisine up to the middle of the 20th century . Preface by André Jaeger and Eckart Witzigmann . GastroEdition, Zurich 2010, + 1 DVD video, ISBN 3-905834-01-4 ; E-book , 2014: ISBN 978-3-905834-30-7 , review:.
  • Kenneth James: Escoffier. The King of Chefs . Hambledon & London, London 2006, ISBN 1-85285-526-6 , limited preview in Google Book Search.
  • Harry Schrämli: From Lukullus to Escoffier. Cultural history of cooking . Ceres-Verlag, Bielefeld 1991, ISBN 3-7670-0220-5 , (reprint of the Zurich 1949 edition).
  • Timothy Shaw: The World of Auguste Escoffier. Master of the classic culinary art. (OT: "The world of Auguste Escoffier"). Heyne, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-453-08036-X .
  • Anne Willan: Cooking skills from seven centuries. Famous chefs from Taillevent to Escoffier. Your recipes, your guests. (OT: "Great cooks and their recipes"). Hallwag, Bern 1979, ISBN 3-444-10252-6 .


  • Auguste Escoffier. King of haute cuisine. (OT: Auguste Escoffier ou la naissance de la gastronomie modern. ) Documentary with scenes from the game and archive footage, France, 2019, 90:14 min., Script and direction: Olivier Julien, production: Imagissime, arte France, first broadcast: June 6, 2020 at arte, table of contents by ARD , online video available until August 4, 2020.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Timothy Shaw: The world of Auguste Escoffier. Master of the classic culinary art. From the English by Eva L. Wahser, Heyne, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-453-08036-X , p. 19.
  2. a b Michael Allmaier : Miracles of the art of spice. ( Memento from April 20, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: Die Zeit , August 21, 2008, No. 35, series: Bildungskanon , pp. 34–35.
  3. Timothy Shaw: The World of Auguste Escoffier , p. 21.
  4. Timothy Shaw: The World of Auguste Escoffier , p. 28.
  5. Markus Kügle: The birth of fast food from the spirit of modern cuisine. In: Daniel Kofahl, Sebastian Schellhaas (Hrsg.): Culinary Ethnology. Contributions to the science of own, foreign and globalized food cultures. Transcript, Bielefeld 2018, ISBN 978-3-8376-3539-3 , p. 135-161 . Online file.
  6. cf. Auguste Escoffier. In: citizendium .org .
  7. ^ Review of Mathias Guthmann: Romeo Brodmann, Sauces of the French Kitchen. In: , September 28, 2015.