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Auguste Escoffier: The father of French cuisine celebrated on Arte

GOURMET

Auguste Escoffier film ARTEOn Saturday, June 6, the Art & Culture channel, Arte, will air a portrait of the famous inventor of modern gastronomy - Auguste Escoffier, a child of the Côte d'Azur. Born in Villeneuve-Loubet, the city now houses a museum of culinary art dedicated to the world-renowned chef. When did this culinary master, known as the ‘King of chefs and chef of Kings’ reign? 

ARTE has created a new programme schedule on culinary delights, inviting viewers to discover or rediscover the many different facets of the pleasure of taste. It will show scientific documentaries, feature films, news reports and features.

The series premieres Saturday, 6 June at 8:50 pm in France with the docu-fiction film "Auguste Escoffier: The birth of modern gastronomy" by Olivier Julien. The first ‘Master Chef’, Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) greatly influenced French cuisine and made it internationally famous.

French cuisine has always been the international authority on cuisine and remains an indispensable part of any culinary education. This is largely thanks to the Côte d'Azur chef with outstanding skills. He never just wanted to cook - what animated him was the art of cooking. With his working philosophy, he reformed gastronomy at the beginning of the 20th century and, as the "king of chefs", still inspires the most important chefs around the world today.

Auguste Escoffier © Musée Escoffier

In 1865, Auguste Escoffier tried his luck in Paris – leaving Nice where he had been an apprentice to his uncle since the age of 13. On recommendation, he lands a job at the renowned nightclub "Petit Moulin Rouge". Soon, the hard-working and talented young chef was able to work his way up to become head saucier.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Auguste Escoffier did his military service as chef de cuisine at the French General Staff. Returning to Paris, he advanced to become head chef at the Petit Moulin Rouge at only the age of 27.

Puttin’ on the Ritz

His life took a new turn in 1882 when he met the rich hotelier César Ritz. In 1884, Mr Ritz hired Chef Escoffier as head chef at his grand hotel in Monte-Carlo. Here, he achieved lasting fame through his "Guide Culinaire" of 1903, which was translated worldwide and is a veritable encyclopaedia of all the recipes and basic principles of Escoffier's cooking, explained in almost scientific precision.

If you miss the airing of the film, it will be viewable in the Arte media library from 30 May until 4 August.

-AS