[Sca-cooks] Careme was Brazillian pig-out- OOP

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Aug 26 11:38:46 PDT 2007

On Aug 26, 2007, at 1:27 PM, Johnna Holloway wrote:

> That's a rather marvelous book, isn't it?
> It has this wonderful quote:
> " 'Our work destroys us,' Careme once said of the life
> of a great chef. 'Our only duty after cooking, is to record and  
> publish,
> or if not we will suffer such regrets.' Three years later, he was  
> dead."
> Johnnae

He seems to harp pretty consistently on the working conditions of  
cooks and how, at the time, they were probably considerably  
shortening their lifespans. The standard chief culprit is now  
believed to have been low-level carbon monoxide poisoning. Obviously,  
the way to get food hot to the table is to cook over ("a cubic metre  
of") charcoal, indoors, and shut all the windows an hour before  
service to prevent drafts.

Is it Scully's "Early French Cookery" that has the wonderful  
fictional account of a [feast] day in the life of Chiquart? The  
opening chapter of "Cooking For Kings", the Careme bio in question,  
mirrors that with an account of a great dinner party at the Regency?  
Post-Napoleonic?-era Rothschilde estate. The detailed description of  
the sugar work alone is worth the price of admission.

Everybody remembers Escoffier as the father of modern French haute  
cuisine, but most of his work is merely refinement of Careme's,  
simplifying it and to some extent refining the system away from great  
households and toward hotels and restaurants.


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list