Welcome to Escoffier At Home. A little bit about this website —
I bought Grant Achatz’s Alinea cookbook early in 2008. I decided on the day I first looked through it, that I was going to cook through it. Every recipe. The result was a blog named Alineaphile. When they opened Next Restaurant, I wrote about recreating their food in my blog Nextaphile.
Along the way, someone off-handedly commented on a food forum how stupid it would be trying to cook through all 5000+ of Auguste Escoffier’s recipes from Le Guide Culinaire. Many agreed.
I don’t know a lot about classic French cookery, and have never taken any real courses on the matter. Heck, going through a culinary arts program like Le Cordon Bleu can cost upward of $40,000! What I do know, I learned on the job from many talented folks, working in restaurants all through college — and then some. Along the way, I washed dishes, bussed tables, prepped, and cooked in commercial kitchens throughout San Diego.
Today, I do advertising and marketing for small businesses, restaurants and the hospitality industry. And I still love to cook!
Already an accomplished chef, Auguste Escoffier went into business with César Ritz in Paris, where both ultimately operated the Ritz Hotel. He created and ran his kitchen under the brigade de cuisine — the kitchen brigade system — organized like a military operation. His kitchen at the Ritz could reportedly pump out 500 elaborate dishes an hour. Some of his recipes are complicated to a degree that some consider impossible. We can thank him for modern restaurants, ordering a la carte, and even canned tomatoes! In 1903, he published his collection of 5000 recipes in Le Guide Culinaire, a cookbook that many today still view as “The Bible” of French cookery.
So, how about reading the book and cooking through it… ?
Escoffier at Home
Each recipe will be recreated closely to its original presentation, but sometimes updated for a modern audience. Escoffier said his book should serve as a guide, leaving the interpretation and presentation of his dishes to the imagination and creativity of his readers. We’ll use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, and use the equipment and techniques suggested in the text.
Since it’s introduction over a hundred years ago, there have been many technological improvements in the kicthen — and we’ll take advantage of those!
(“Of course I’ll use that food processor instead of the mortar and pestle!”)
There will also be resources for finding exotic or hard-to-find components. We’ll search out the equipment and serveware we’ll need too.
Another goal is to publish prep times, costs and yields for each recipe, so you can see what we’re really in for.
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Disclosure: This website’s pages contain advertisements and affiliate links, from which I receive a teeny-tiny commission on any traffic or sales they may generate. Proceeds are used for the hosting and maintenance of this website.