In a tale replete with scandal and opulence, Luke Barr, author of the New York Times bestselling Provence, 1970, transports readers to turn-of-the-century London and Paris to discover how celebrated hotelier César Ritz and famed chef Auguste Escoffier joined forces at the Savoy Hotel to spawn the modern luxury hotel and restaurant, where women and American Jews mingled with British high society, signaling a new social order and the rise of the middle class.
In early August 1889, César Ritz, a Swiss hotelier highly regarded for his exquisite taste, found himself at the Savoy Hotel in London. He had come at the request of Richard D’Oyly Carte, the financier of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operas, who had modernized theater and was now looking to create the world’s best hotel. D’Oyly Carte soon seduced Ritz to move to London with his team, which included Auguste Escoffier, the chef de cuisine known for his elevated, original dishes. The result was a hotel and restaurant like no one had ever experienced, run in often mysterious and always extravagant ways–which created quite a scandal once exposed.
Barr deftly re-creates the thrilling Belle Epoque era just before World War I, when British aristocracy was at its peak, women began dining out unaccompanied by men, and American nouveaux riches and gauche industrialists convened in London to show off their wealth. In their collaboration at the still celebrated Savoy Hotel, where they welcomed loyal and sometimes salacious clients, such as Oscar Wilde and Sarah Bernhardt, Escoffier created the modern kitchen brigade and codified French cuisine for the ages in his seminal Le Guide culinaire, which remains in print today, and Ritz, whose name continues to grace the finest hotels across the world, created the world’s first luxury hotel. The pair also ruffled more than a few feathers in the process. Fine dining would never be the same–or more intriguing.
“Ritz and Escoffier, Luke Barr’s entertaining narrative history, reads like a novel…Mr. Barr has done a fine job evoking fin-de-siecle London and the characters of the two odd men who played such a pivotal role in that exhilarating time.” -Wall Street Journal“Bar…vividly captures the moment when Ritz and Escoffier conceptualized and created a new type of luxury establishment in which the aristocracy, the nouveau riche, and the beau monde mingled freely and easily. Barr’s highly enjoyable and well-researched book carries the reader into the intimate heart of Ritz and Escoffier’s philosophy.” -Library Journal“In this winningly-told story, Luke Barr explores the advent of the luxe life through the saga of hotelier Cesar Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier, whose partnership brought us not only the adjective “ritzy,” itself no small testament, but also such once-novel phenomena as hotel rooms with their own bathrooms, and innovative dishes like peach Melba. It’s a charming tale of success, scandal, and redemption—complete with an unexpected villain. Warning: It will make you hungry, and a little nostalgic for bygone times.”—Erik Larson,
I loved this book it was just the two things I am interested in history and food. I have heard of Ritz and knew he was a famous hotel designer full of opulence and a new idea of bringing excellence to the masses. Well if they could afford it as during that time most of the entertaining was done at home or in clubs. Cesar Ritz wanted to bring entertainment and beautiful surroundings to a hotel and restaurant to make it available to everyone. He was brought up in Switzerland and from poor beginnings but left home at a young age and worked in a hotel to learn the business. He did own several small hotels and wanted to bring his guest the best comfort available Cesar Ritz teamed up with Auguste Escoffier who was a Chef and was similar to Ritz and was raised poor but learned the trade as a beginner chef and became one of the famous Chef’s of his time. The two joined and agreed to work for the Savory in London and went on to own their own business called the Ritz Hotel then the Carlton Hotel which in later years joined and I knew of them as the Ritz Carlton Hotel so was fun reading how it all started. The most fun for me was readintg Excoffier’s menu’s and the different dishes he made up. He was willing to experiment and make a dish for special people he admired. This was a great book called Ritz & Escoffier by Luke Barr and I enjoyed it to the end.
The Ritz became a crown jewel of society. This book describes how César Ritz ad Escoffier brought about the hotel that was considered not only England’s but the world’s finest. This book is a very readable account of the life of César Ritz and his hotel. A reader flows into the way of life that society attained in this era. What Escoffier created as food for that class is amazing; so too is how the hotel is different from those that came before. The mistakes of Ritz are included, but then one remembers him and Escoffier as men who changed the level of service, food and hospitality that society came to expect.
Ritz and Escoffier is the story of the founder of the Rtiz Carlton empire and the chef that made the whole thing possible. Cesar Ritz figured out the rising luxury class of new money and the old monied classes of Europe were ready for a new form of travel with modern amenities and the finest dinging to be had. His chef Auguste Escoffier would provide those original dishes as the two managed a series of hotels until landing at the Savoy started by Richard D’Oyly Carte and his wife. They would take this fledgling hotel to new heights before being forced out in disgrace and scandal. It is from there that two engaged in the hotel Ritz which would coin a new verb of putting on the Ritz as they launched a hotel chain that would define luxury even to the present day. This book is fast paced, full of great anecdotes and a look into the gilded age greats on the European Continent. Well written and a page turner this is a great addition for those interested in the Gilded Age, hospitality history, cooking and leisure history or those who just want to read an interesting story.
- Title: Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, The Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class
- Autor: Luke Barr
- Publisher (Publication Date): Clarkson Potter (April 3, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: | 0804186294
- ISBN-13: | 978-0804186292
- Download File Format: EPUB, PDF