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Escoffier, Auguste (1847 -1935)

A Frenchman, from the Alpes-Maritimes region, who is considered to be the father of modern 'French' cooking.

He worked as a chef in Paris restaurants - inventing Peach Melba (in honour of the Australian singer Nellie Melba) among other dishes - until he met the hotelier Cesar Ritz, he collaborated with him launching large hotels. The construction of these began easier with the introduction of steel-framed building techniques. These included the Carlton, Claridges, Grosvenor Hose, The Ritz and The Savoy in London.

He left a legacy of cookery books, the most famous being 'Le Guide Culinaire' and 'Ma Cuisine'. The names he gave to dishes have stood the test of time, and are part of the French Classical tradition; these included over 80 ways of dealing with salt cod and over 300 varieties of sautéed chicken.

He was named 'The Emperor of chefs' by the Emperor of Germany, William 11. See 'Peach Melba'; For more information see 'Escoffier; The King of Chefs' by Kenneth James, published by Hambledon and London.

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