top of page

Ma Cuisine "Auguste Escoffier"

The French are often criticized for believing there cuisine is the be all and end all in terms of gastronomy. Although not true, we do have to give them credit for organizing essential information and the organization of kitchens in general. Here is the man largely responsible for this.

Georges Auguste Escoffier (French: [ʒɔʁʒ oɡyst ɛskɔfje]; 28 October 1846 – 12 February 1935) was a French chef, restaurateur, and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. Much of Escoffier's technique was based on that of Marie-Antoine Carême, one of the codifiers of French haute cuisine; Escoffier's achievement was to simplify and modernize Carême's elaborate and ornate style. In particular, he codified the recipes for the five mother sauces. Referred to by the French press as roi des cuisiniers et cuisinier des rois ("king of chefs and chef of kings"—also previously said of Carême), Escoffier was a preeminent figure in London and Paris during the 1890s and the early part of the 20th century.

Alongside the recipes, Escoffier elevated the profession. In a time when kitchens were loud, riotous places where drinking on the job was commonplace, Escoffier demanded cleanliness, discipline, and silence from his staff. In bringing order to the kitchen, he tapped into his own military experience to develop the hierarchical brigade de cuisine system for organizing the kitchen staff which is still standard in many restaurants today. He worked in partnership with hotelier César Ritz, rising to prominence together at the Savoy in London serving the elite of society, and later at the Ritz Hotel in Paris and the Carlton in London.

Escoffier published Le Guide Culinaire, which is still used as a major reference work, both in the form of a cookbook and a textbook on cooking. Escoffier's recipes, techniques and approaches to kitchen management remain highly influential today, and have been adopted by chefs and restaurants not only in France, but also throughout the world.

Escoffier’s Brigade

Everything changed with the arrival of Georges-Auguste Escoffier, a French chef commonly known as “the king of chefs and the chef of kings” and inventor of the Kitchen Brigade or Brigade de Cuisine.

Escoffier realized if he could pare the time customers sat around “at table,” waiting for their food to be finished, the middle class could work a full day and spend their hard earned money at his restaurant. To speed things up, Escoffier built a kitchen organizational model on his experience serving in the French army during the Franco-Prussian war, with every cook following a strict chain of command and a separation and delegation of tasks.

In the brigade, every man has a job and there is a job for every man. Just as in the military, the chain of command is never brooked, and the kitchen is run with extreme precision.

Escoffier’s 20 person kitchen brigade was in use for years and is the basis on which many of the positions of the modern kitchen brigade are founded. While the titles sound fancy, it is important to remember that the entire purpose of the Kitchen Brigade was to speed up the time it took to make people dinner – to do it more effectively and with less labor.

It is hard to believe – but the kitchen system Escoffier created really was the first “Fast Food.”

He was the "King of Chefs and Chef of Kings," doyen of haute cuisine, one of the founders of London's famed Savoy Hotel, and probably the greatest cook of all Auguste Escoffier occupied an unchallenged position in the realm of gastronomy. This collection of incomparable recipes--classic soups, sauces, fish and shellfish, meat, poultry, game, sandwiches, salads, vegetables, sweets, jams, and beverages--reflects a lifetime of skill and experience. Among the sublime tastes elegantly presented a Chicken Velouté Sauce with Cream; Sole Poached in White Wine, Butter, and Tomatoes; Hot Lobster Mousse; Fillet of Beef with Truffles and Madeira; Potatoes Nana; Chestnut Croquettes; and Meringue with Custard Cream. Introduction by the distinguished founder of the International Wine & Food Society.

And for my special gift today, a PDF copy of "Ma Cuisine", Enjoy!

Auguste Escoffier Ma Cuisine (1934)
Download PDF • 14.37MB

You can find many more Professional Texts, recipes and Chef forms by joining one of our very reasonably priced subscriptions.

Cheers, and have a happy hump day!

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page