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Essays Escoffier, Georges Auguste: Le Guide Culinaire [FRENCH]
#1  Chris Jones 08-28-2020, 02:02 PM
Dubbed "le roi des cuisiniers et le cuisinier des rois", Georges Auguste Escoffier ((1846-1935) was never in the employment of Royals or nobility, something that sets him apart from his great predecessors Marie-Antoine Carême (who worked for the Prince of Talleyrand and the Prince Regent, later George IV King of England) and Urbain Dubois who was the personal chef of Prince Alexeï Orlov of Russia and the King of Prussia.

Often credited with the invention of modern international cuisine, Escoffier was very much his own man, a shrewd businessman who moved to London, England at a fairly young age and set up a very successful partnership with Swiss entrepreneur César Ritz — so successful that it eventually nearly landed both of them in jail.

Be aware that his monumental Guide Culinaire, subtitled Aide-mémoire de Cuisine, (19th century netspeech for idiot-sheet¹?) is no ordinary cookbook meant for the enlightenment of housemakers and retirees… It is a technical manual meant for felllow professionals and you would probably have a hard time preparing any one of his formulas (Escoffier does not use the word recette, the French word for recipe) for your family Sunday lunch. When Escoffier takes his reader through the motions of concocting the perfect fonds de cuisine, the quantities involved are generally of the order of 5-10 litres, approx. 3 gallons. And you would indeed have a hard time even if you lived in 21st century France finding many of the required ingredients.

This EPUB3 version of the Guide Culinaire was initially done as a real world test of the format's capabilities and could do with some proofreading. Nevertheless it is globally functional and sports a large "Table Alphabétique" - i.e. a basic index that lists all 5000+ formulas in alphabetical order and lets you click on their names to navigate to the relevant part of the manual.

Time allowing, I will try to put together a PDF version optimized for the small screens of typical mobile devices.

¹ Must be another French invention originally. I believe the proper term in English is also "aide-mémoire".
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