Culinary arts guide

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cover page of the current German edition from 1998

The culinary art guide (French original title: Le Guide Culinaire - Aide-mémoire de cuisine pratique, IPA : lə ɡid kylinɛːʁ ) is a standard work of culinary literature that has appeared in several editions and translations since 1903. It was written by the French master chef Georges Auguste Escoffier with the participation of Philéas Gilbert and Émile Fetu .

It is aimed primarily at professional chefs and trained chefs, but is also used by ambitious amateur chefs. The book briefly describes around 5000 recipes and the production of basic preparations. In addition, general basic principles of the preparation of the various types of meat , fish and vegetables are presented, as well as spices, drinks and basic ingredients.


Auguste Escoffier, 1914

Auguste Escoffier (1846–1935) was a reformer of the culinary arts who simplified and systematized the sometimes highly complicated and elaborate recipes of the hitherto classic cuisine. He used seasonal ingredients and avoided garnishes to a large extent. He also simplified and structured the organizational process in professional kitchens.

The culinary guide was the culmination of his endeavors, with which he greatly influenced French haute cuisine .

Content of the culinary arts guide


The current German edition from 1998 contains 726 pages and is divided into 18 chapters. The first chapter begins with an exhortation both to the cooks to exercise their craft with the necessary care, and to those who employ the cooks to provide them with the necessary items in sufficient quality.

Just as a bad wine does not develop into a fine drop on the bottle, just as little can a really good dish be produced with inferior material. "

The chapters

The book has 18 chapters and an appendix. Each chapter begins with general introductory explanations of the content and is then usually divided into several sub-chapters, each of which deals with specific aspects of the topic addressed. The introduction is followed by a systematic overview of the basic types of preparation and arrangement and then several hundred short descriptions of special recipes and types of preparation per chapter, so that around 5000 descriptions / recipes are compiled in the entire book. In the German translation, both the original French name and the German translation are given in the headings of the individual topic articles and recipes.

  1. Sauces
    • For Escoffier, sauces are the basis of cooking. Without them, no dish can taste perfect. The basis of these sauces are various stocks , the preparation of which requires the greatest care. Every cook has to master this art and practice it.
  2. Sets
    • For Escoffier, sets are not a decorative accessory, but rather have to correspond with the dishes they decorate. In his opinion, things that do not should be strictly avoided.
  3. Soups
    • Escoffier works out the difference between soups by his definition and the soups that are now known as stews . His soups are more like broths in German usage .
  4. Pre-courses
    • For Escoffier, starters are not an essential part of a menu. In his opinion, when they are served, they should not be too generous in order not to spoil the appetite for the main courses.
  5. Egg dishes
    • In Escoffier's opinion, egg dishes are so diverse that they cannot be dealt with comprehensively even by extensive specialist works. He restricts himself to general principles for preparation and gives exemplary descriptions.
  6. Fish and shellfish
    • In this very extensive chapter, Escoffier works out the different ways of preparing fish and seafood: from the different broths for the different types of fish to the different types of cooking to frying fish. He gives exemplary recipes for many types of fish. He also gives exemplary recipes for shellfish, which for him also include turtles, snails and frogs' legs.
  7. Relevés and entrees of slaughtered meat
    • This chapter is also very extensive and Escoffier describes it as the central point of the entire book because the types of preparation involved (roasting will be dealt with in a separate chapter later) represent the most important fundamentals of the art of cooking. In addition to the method, he attaches great importance to the quality of the meat, inferior meat or that of animals that are too old, in his opinion, can only be used for the preparation of meat broths.
  8. Relevés and entrees of poultry
    • In this chapter Escoffier often refers to the previous one and only works out the specifics of the preparation of poultry.
  9. Relevés and entrees of game
    • Here, too, reference is often made to Chapter 7 and mainly the specifics of the preparation of game meat are dealt with.
  10. Mixed intermediate dishes
    • In this very short chapter, recipes and preparation methods are not discussed, only general considerations are presented. In terms of content, it prepares for the following, also quite short, chapters.
  11. Cold kitchen
  12. Salads
    • Recipes for various salads are listed according to the basic principles of salad preparation.
  13. roast meat
    • In addition to different types of roasting, the preparation of gravy is discussed, which at Escoffier is similar to the preparation of stock.
  14. Vegetables , legumes and pasta
    • After introducing general methods of preparing and cooking vegetables, the peculiarities of preparing various vegetables are presented. A short section covers various types of pasta.
  15. Sweet dishes
    • The preparation of various doughs and the handling of sugar and its use for the preparation of desserts are explained. Then recipes for hot and cold desserts with various fillings are described.
  16. Frozen or ice cream
    • Escoffier sees ice cream and petits fours as the crowning glory of a menu. He believes that this is where chefs can best let their imaginations run wild. After the general instruction on how to make ice cream, many recipes of milk and fruit ice cream and sorbets are presented.
  17. Condiments
    • According to Escoffier, seasoning bites have a lot in common with some starters, but they now need to be seasoned more strongly.
  18. Compotes and jams
    • The compote concludes the menu. This chapter gives principles and recipes for making compotes and jams. This includes the probably best-known recipe by Escoffier, the peach Melba , which is not explicitly listed, but only poached peach as the basic ingredient for this dessert.

Appendix - Drinks and Refreshments

  • In this again very short chapter, some recipes for soft drinks are listed.


Despite its age, the culinary art guide is still a regularly used work and has a permanent place in the training of chefs. In Germany, too, it is still used today as a textbook in vocational schools.

Although there were extensive collections of recipes and methods even before the book was published, Escoffier attached importance not only to the aspect of completeness but also to the systematics and feasibility of the recipes. He simplified many regulations and was one of the first to emphasize the freshness and quality of raw materials. He also reformed the organizational process in professional kitchens by systematizing the process and assigning individual chefs special tasks , depending on the size of the team and the type of kitchen.

With his school he had a strong influence on the culinary arts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his students and their descendants basically continued to use his methodology, even if it was further developed and modified. The cookbook Le Répertoire de la Cuisine ("The repertoire of the kitchen") by Escoffier students Theodore Gringoire and Louis Saulnier was written as a companion book to the culinary guide ; apart from the French original edition, however, there is only an English translation.


  • Auguste Escoffier: Le guide culinaire - aide-mémoire de cuisine pratique avec la collaboration de Philéas Gilbert, E. Fétu, A. Suzanne ...., Edition Art Culinaire, Paris 1903. Further French editions 1907 (the 2nd), 1912 (the 3rd) and 1921 (the 4th). Editions in English, German, Italian and Russian were developed. Excerpts from English translation in 1907, full English translation in 1921.
German editions:
  • Culinary arts guide. Manual and reference book of classic French cuisine and fine international cuisine. Translation Adolf Anker, Alexander Mathis, Carl Halbheer, MC Banzer. Fachschriften Verlag of the International Association of Chefs, Frankfurt, Windmühlstr. 1, Frankfurt 1910. Third completely revised and increased edition of the first German edition in 1904. (Authorized translation of the second French edition, Fachschriften Verlag.) Online version Kochkunstführer, third German edition (1910 )
  • Since then many other German editions in several translations. Last as:
  • Auguste Escoffier: culinary arts guide. Manual and reference book of classic French cuisine and fine international cuisine. 15th edition. Pfanneberg, Haan-Gruiten 1998, ISBN 978-3-8057-0384-0 (Original title: Guide Culinaire . Translated by W. Bickel , authorized German translation of the 5th French edition).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c Nathan Myhrvold : Auguste Escoffier in the Encyclopaedia Britannica . Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  2. Program of Pfanneberg Verlag S-22 , accessed on November 22, 2017.
  3. The profession of cook through the ages Master's thesis by Magdalena Koch Technical University of Munich 2016 p. 20 , accessed on November 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Catalog Europe Teaching Aids , accessed on November 22, 2017.
  5. Georg Berger: Escoffier and the Nouvelle Cuisine: Top chefs and their recipes . ISBN 978-3-8057-0684-1 .
  6. ^ Theodore Zeldin: A History of French Passions 1848-1945: Intellect, Taste, and Anxiety. Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-19-822178-4 . P. 737.
  7. Entry in the Virtual International Authority File . Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Online version of "A guide to modern cookery" . Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  9. Auguste Escoffier: Le Guide Culinaire: The First Complete Translation Into English. Mayflower Books, 1921.
  10. Link to the entry in the German National Library . Retrieved October 9, 2017.