As the 15th century dawned, the highest of Italian renaissance flourished at Florence. Prosperity that reached beyond the very small royal population lent to dining as entertainment, in which common foods were decorated and flavoured. Mushrooms, truffles, garlic, and other infrequent used vegetables appeared. Pasta creations became filled and layered such as lasagne, ravioli, and manicotti.
The history of French ascendancy in the culinary arts is traced to the Italians. The French were largely ignorant of fine cooking until Catherine de Medici arrived in France to become the bride of the future King Henri II. In her entourage included Italian cooks who introduced various methods and food items.
Catherine de Medici
Was came from the wealthiest families during her time; the Medici’s family was a powerful clan with line dukes and popes and were great sponsors of art, literature, and science. She is one of the most influential personalities in culinary art history, she brought Capi cuochi to France. She was an orphan few weeks after birth. At age 13, she was sent to France to marry Henry, the second son of the king of France.
17th Century (Classic French cuisine was championed by chefs) 1. Pierre Francois de la Varenne
He made the French cookbook “Le Cuisine Francois” (the book provided many preparation methods, including making roux, also serve as culinary encyclopedia of modern days.) 2. Nicolas de Bonnefons
He published the book “les delices de la champagne” (the book was responsible in the French by turning away from the middle age practices of overuse spices to mask the rotten taste of the food. He introduces the techniques
to enhance taste using natural flavours.)
18th Century (this period was a great century for cooking; high end cuisine and affordable/ fancy were created).
1. Louis XIV
The meaning of sumptuous dining took another leap in extravagance at his palace at Versailles. Multi-course meals and elaborate service were introduced. The “fork” appeared and was a common fixture in royal banquet Started the practice of having dishes served separately. The culinary utensils of the middle ages were replace by “batterie de cuisine,” which included new pots and pans in tinplate and wrought iron, and later, the introduction of silver utensils.
2. Marie Antoine Careme
He is said to be the one of the greatest chefs of all time and probably the first celebrity chef, he is also called as the chef of all kings. Careme had the ability to simplify menus and methods, to analyze old and new cooking, and define every aspect of art. He introduced haute cuisine He applied what he learn in architecture into cooking; he would put architectural methods into food and its presentation; bridges made of confectioner, pastry fashioned into Greek temples, his interest in architecture enhanced his creations and designs of pastry art from different dough, preserved fruits, creams and sherbets. Wrote the following cookbooks
Le maitre d’hotel francais (described the hundreds of menus, which he created and cook in the capital europe) Le Cuisinier Parisien (explain the principlas for making classic chaufroids and aspic dishes. Chafroids are small pieces of meat, fish, poultry or game, glazed in an brown or white sauce, and glazed with aspic.) a popular French chef, is credited with developing the current chef’s uniform. The tall hats had already been introduced, but she wanted to create a specific uniform to honor the chef. White was chosen for the chef’s coat to signify cleanliness.
19th and 20th Century (In this century, two French chefs stood out) Montagne
Wrote “larousse gastronomique” in 1938, the basic encyclopedia of French gastronomy. His contribution was to turn French cuisine away from architectural presentation s toward simplified decoration and shortened menus. He adopted “Russian Service”, thus the name of his cookbook: larousse means “the Russian.”
Georges Auguste Escoffier (French)
He is noted for his obsession to cleanliness of work area and hygiene of his employees. He is known for his compassionate but extremely strict and disciplined leadership. He put discipline and system of cooking inside the kitchen. His kitchen brigade remembers him saying that “a true leader is one that leads by example”. His contemporaries would always refer to Escoffier as a great man whose greatness is based on humility and honesty. Modify the design of chef uniform and encouraged his kitchen staff to wear suits outside of work to signify professionalism of chefs. Escoffier brought the traditional chef’s coat to London, managing the restaurants at the Savoy Hotel and then at the Carlton Hotel. His first job was a commis de rotisserie and then as saucier and then join the military to provide food for them. He then developed the chef uniform/ base on military uniform. Has a great tandem with Ritz (hotel all over the world grew out of their famous partnership) He introduce the concept of ala carte
Emperor William II of Germany called Escoffier as Emperor of chefs, then on he is known as king of chefs. Manage several hotels with his partners; such as Ritz Hotel, Carlton Hotel, Hotel de I’Ermitage, Riviera Hotel and more… He became the emperor of Chefs as Emperor William II of Germany exclaimed. Then on, he was known as the king of chefs.
Culinary Patron Saints
St. Anthony – the patron Saint for Butchers
St. Elizabeth – patron Saint baking
St. Fortunate – Saint for male chef
St. Honore – Saint for pastry chef
St. Lawrence – Saint for hot kitchen chef
St. Martha – Saint for female chef
1. Chef Jacket- the most important piece of chef apparel, white double-breasted jackets as a sign of dignity and cleanliness in the kitchen.
2. Chef Hat-the traditional chef’s hat is the most recognizable part of the uniform. Traditional colored white and could be as high 18 inches, the number of pleats in based on legend; during the time of Careme, chef’s would boost culinary skills in cooking eggs at least one hundred ways. They are proud to claim that they could serve their royal masters with different egg dish everyday in the year without repeating even one dish.
3. Chef pants-are usually chequered, white often black and white, to hide spills. Executive chef’s wear black pants while other members of the brigade wear chequered, pattern pant. For baking all kitchen brigades wear pure white.
4. Chef Apron- are usually white and made of sturdy cotton or cotton mix. Most chefs wear half aprons that fall from the waist and some wear full-bib styles with front pockets. Side slits allow for easy access to internal pants pocket. Tangle-free tie pull the apron together.
5. Chef shoes-are usually black fully enclosed and provides support to the body and feet. Chef shoes are slip-ons with washable in-soles and slip-resistant soles.
KITCHEN BRIGADE SYSTEM
1. Executive Chef – do not do much of actual cooking but rather are more involved in the overall management and supervision of the kitchen.
2. Sous Chef – is second in command. The sous chef assists the executive chef in the supervision of the kitchen and of the kitchen.
3. Tournant – means the “touring one,” also called as the swing cook. He relieves chef de parties whenever necessary. This position is usually found in large and industrial kitchens and is considered as the training position for sous chef.
4. Chef de Partie – is station-line cook. He is in-charge of a particular station. Each station is headed by chef de partie who specializes in certain preparations:
A pastry chef or pâtissier the correct French female version of the word is pâtissière is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, breads and other baked goods. They are employed in large hotels, bistros, restaurants, bakeries, and some cafés. b. Saucier
A sauce cook, this position prepares sauces, stews and hot hors d’œuvres and sautés food to order. Although it is the highest position of the station cooks, the saucier is still considered subordinate to the chef and the sous-chef. c. Garde Manger
meaning “keep to eat” refers to a cool, well-ventilated area where cold dishes (such as salads, hors d’œuvres, appetizers, canapes, pates and terrines) are prepared and other foods are stored under refrigeration. The person in charge of this area is known as the chef garde manger. Larger hotels and restaurants may have garde manger staff perform additional duties, such as creating decorative elements of buffet presentation like ice carving and edible centerpieces made from materials such as cheese, butter, salt dough or tallow. d. Rotisseur is responsible for preparing roasted meats, braised meats, broiled meats and accompanying gravies. e. Poissonnier –
a. The fish cook. In a large commercial kitchen, a cook tasked with preparing and cooking (and possibly selecting) fish and fish dishes. f. Entremetier
Is responsibilities in everything that has to do with vegetables b.
g. Boucher de cuisine
c. is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or do any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments.
5. Demi Chef – is a person who lead the station line cook, take over to the position of chef partie when not around.
6. Commis Level- is the entry level position in the kitchen. Provides valuable kitchen experiences to new entrants.
7. Other culinary arts career available to culinary arts graduates are television artists, caterer, culinary arts instructor, restaurant manager/ owner, food journalist, food stylists, product development specialists, food researchers, etc.