Monday, 4 May 2009

Paul Levy's Escoffiergate Top 100 and our First Re- Anniversary....

Paul Levy wrote a piece in his Guardian Word of Mouth blog a short while ago about August Escoffier [he and Ritz’ feet of clay]

I remember reading about this in the eighties when Paul broke the news that the then most famous chef in history, along with his co-conspirator, the then greatest hotelier in history, had been busted for ripping off the Savoy Hotel and were both sacked in disgrace. As a young chef at the time I was shocked and it has given me a very skeptical view of celebrity ever since.
I found a first edition of his Guide Culinaire in an antique shop in Hamilton about the same time that the scandal broke and have treasured it especially his long and glorious essay on stock.
The Guardian article now prompted a question that you may be able to help me with?
I have been asked to write on the following.
Who do you think could be included in the 100 most important cooks that have “changed the world”?
Careme, Soyer, Bocuse, Beeton, David .......the westerners are possibly easy.
Any help with Asia or ones that may not seem so upfront? Does Ramsay etc qualify if/so/or not why? If it was a list of food writers Paul Levy would definitely be near the top of the moderns of my list.

We have been re-opened for a year this weekend.
Big thanks to all for making it happen again.... as they say you know who you are.


steve said...

Ooh I love a list!

in no particular order:

Graham Kerr(he galloped)
Bernard King9the shirts & side burns)
Peter Russel Clarke(cheery grin & beard)
Keith Floyd(Crevats & claret breath)
Margaret Fulton(The Grande Dame)
Charmaine Soloman(her book, my intro to Asian food)
Elizabeth Chong(Still remember her segments on channel nine's morning shows)

Anonymous said...

i would say alice Medrich, author of Cocolat

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

As much as I love Bernard's satorial splendour and such, I am looking for ones that really made a significant difference in the wider arena.
Floyd? perhaps?

A big call so I guess I will just have to do some serious digging.

neil said...

I think the modern ones speak for themselves, Ferron Adria, Heston Blumenthal et al, the champions of molecular gastronomy or whatever the hell they call it these days, a bit like the pop singer Prince changing his name into an unintelligible symbol...

The chef who had the greatest influence on me was Pierre Koffman of La Tante Claire, anyone who trained Marco Pierre White would have to be considered pretty talented.

Okay, he's not a chef, but there should be a special place for Richard Olney, he taught an entire generation how to cook.

See you tomorrow, will bring something interesting to lubricate the conversation.

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Hi Neil
Yes Olney will definately get a strong consideration. I once met him at the Escargot with Francis Bacon [name dropping] I was working the bar, had to throw Pete Townsend out for D and D it was a great night. M P white also very strong.
. I know this was a big call, mostly I am looking for people out of the white European sphere. I do not have a good take on Asia especially pre 20th Century.

Hope to have a gargle with you tomorrow.