Escoffier a visionary of French cuisine
Auguste Escoffier, nicknamed the “King of Chefs and Chef of Kings”, was born in Villeneuve Loubert in 1846 and died in Monaco in 1935. Together with Caesar the Ritz he revolutionized French cuisine from the Belle-Epoque period, especially with the help of the Culinary Guide (1903), considered to be the chefs’ Bible. Among the many and famous recipes is the “Peach Melba”.
Escoffier was a visionary and a humanist, a deeply generous man who throughout his life acted in the interest of the underprivileged. He advocated against waste in favour of the association “Petites Soeurs des pauvres”, created the first British insurance for chefs and a support committee for the families of chefs mobilized during the First World War. He is the creator of the project of mutual assistance for the elimination of poverty through which he proposes solutions, including the creation of the first charitable dinners: “Epicurus’ Dinners”.
On November 11, 1919, President Raymond Poincare conferred on Ecoffier the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor, being the first master chef to receive this distinction. In 1928 he was elevated to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honour by Edouard Herriot, Minister of Public Education.
The only museum of culinary art
On May 2, 1966, at Villneuve-Loubet, on the Côte d’Azur, the only culinary art museum in France was opened, right in the house where Escoffier was born. Ten exhibition halls: old ovens, Provencal vegetable garden, collection of menus, sugar and chocolatesculptures , the master’s office and library on culinary art, consisting of 3500 works, a complete panorama for French cuisine.
In 2016, the museum received the label “The Houses of the Illustrious” awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, becoming a member of the “Federation of Writers’ Houses and Literary Patrimony” in 2019.
The International Association of Escoffier’s Disciples was founded in 1954 by Pierre Sauvan, at the initiative of Jean Ducroux, master chef in Nice. As of 2017, the international president is Nicolas Sale. This is the tenth Chef to have worked at the Ritz Paris after Auguste Escoffier. The headquarters of the International Association are located at the Escoffier Museum of Culinary Art. Since 1954, the members of the Association perpetuate in the world the “Escoffier Spirit”, being the only institution that brings together all the crafts in the field of gastronomy.
The disciples of Auguste Escoffier have no differences in grade, their title being identical, reunited under the same spirit of “Escoffier”. They strive to share and pass on the knowledge they have, respecting culinary history and supporting the continuous evolution in this area. Escoffier’s disciples carry on the spirit of generosity and humanity by supporting works of charity.
The main objective of the Disciples is to pay homage to the memory of Auguste Escoffier, Master of French and international cuisine, to promote and preserve the great traditions of French gastronomy. Another objective is to promote the gastronomic professions, at the level of school training. The organization of an international competition “Young Talents Escoffier”, as well as the proximity of the kitchen and the hall crafts, as Master Ecoffier, together with cesar Ritz have tried all their lives, to improve the quality of restaurants.
The promotion and valorization of quality products, by paying homage to agricultural producers and winegrowers, is another objective that gathers together gastronomic manifestations worthy of Epicurus’ dinners where distinctions are offered to personalities in the service of the great French cuisine. All these actions have a charitable purpose and for supporting the associations.
Solid professional experience
The title of Disciple is based on a demonstrable solid professional experience. The new member receives a ribbon and a diploma according to the degree of experience. Red Scarf for professionals in culinary crafts; Bordeaux for gym trades: Sommeliers and Oenologists; Green for Talented Producers and Quality Winegrowers; Blue for Personalities, Gastronomes and Epicureans; and Orange for Young Hopes.
At the ceremony of investing the new Disciples, the President reminds them of the meaning of the oath, which each of them takes: “I swear to transmit, serve and pay homage to the Kitchen, its culture and its continuous evolution.” Equality between disciples, without difference in grade, transmission of knowledge, respect for culture, continuous evolution of the kitchen, organization of Epicurus’ Dinners, sessions for the investment of new members, the realization of charitable actions, are values that the President reminds on the occasion of the investment ceremony.
A global dinner
On October 28, 2021, the great gastronomic event organized by the Auguste Escoffier Foundation takes place, under the patronage of Guillaume Gomez, the Ambassador of French Gastronomy. On this day, the 175th anniversary of the birth of Master Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935) is celebrated. The same dinner will be served on the same day in all countries, a luxurious menu, a work of art. Their goal is to demonstrate all over the world the excellence of French cuisine, the preservation of Ecoffier traditions and values.
Mr. Stephane Oprea,President of disciples Auguste Escoffier Association in Romania told us: “In order to meet the need for training and improvement of chefs and qualified staff in restaurants, we need a school capable of training them at the highest standards. The Culinaire Disciples Escoffier Institute has partnered with Chef Martin Berasatequi – Spain, owner of 12 Michelin stars. Graduates of the Grand Ecole Escoffier have the opportunity to carry out a 6-month internship in Michelin restaurants.” We have a beautiful country with wonderful people and we are proud of the arrival of the prestigious Culinaire Escoffier Institute that will bring us closer to the famous rosettes.