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 Cesar 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, Cesar 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....
|Title||:||Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Ritz » Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class|
Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class Reviews
Cesar Ritz started his career as a waiter in Parisian restaurants. He worked his way up to better and better eateries, and finally made the step to being a hotel manager. He had an eye for improving things and a memory for what guests liked and didn’t like.
Auguste Escoffier was a brilliant chef, with equal skills in creating food and managing kitchens. When he started, kitchens were mad houses filled with yelling, drunkenness, food that arrived with some bits already cold and some hot, and very ...more
Loved loved this book. It tells the story of Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier and how they catered to the rich people of Europe and America. The book begins in 1889 thru 1902 when money was so important. It talks about how Ritz changed hotels by introducing modern conveniences like bathrooms in each room, elevators and other items. Escoffier rearranged a kitchen so that service flowed and meals arrived hot to the table. He also made menus just for special people and parties. The book was a quick ...more
Everyone knows the Ritz name today and how it embodies luxury. Enjoyed reading the backstory to the making of the “luxury hotel”. Ritz, a well regarded general manager of a few high end hotels in Europe is wooed by Richard D’Oyly Carte to manage the new Savoy hotel in London in 1894. Ritz ropes in Auguste Escoffier the famous chef de cuisine who is fast making his mark in Europe. Under Ritz’s leadership, The Savoy which was the first truly “modern” hotel in London quickly becomes the choice of p ...more
I received an ARC of this book through the Amazon Vine program.
Cesar Ritz was already on his way to making a name for himself before Richard D'Oyly Carte convinced him to come to London for a short stay to help get the new Savoy Hotel on its feet. Ritz brought along Auguste Escoffier to take care of the food side of the service. Both men remained much longer than they had expected to and were instrumental in changing the old rules of accommodation and dining for their wealthy patrons. The juggli ...more
Goodreads Giveaway - This was a very fun book to read. It’s a narrative history of the rise and success of the Hotelier and the Chef of the title. It goes over how their partnership at the Savoy hotel generated a new class of hotels and changed the expectations of dining out. If cultural history is of interest, this book is well worth time. Additionally, it is worth tracking down Escoffier’s cookbook, which is the definitive French cookbook.
A captivating and well-researched slice of Gilded Age life. Ritz and Escoffier are legends in the worlds of service, luxury, and style. The book captures the moment that the Savoy hotel became the place to be seen by London's elite. The details on Escoffier's famed elaborate menus, gossip at the time, and the tidal shift in wealth made this a fascinating read.
I received this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. (And was quite pleased: I entered about 50 giveaways that day, but this was the book I was most interested to read.)
It's an enjoyable volume; an easy read, full of charming detail about the period (1889 to 1901). It is well-researched, but never stuffy: the tone is conversational and upbeat. Ritz and Escoffier were indeed the primary innovators of what we know today as the luxury hotel experience, with pampered comfort and exceptional dining. In this ...more
Ritz and Escoffier by Luke Barr is a fascinating story of the rise of the famed Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz and the French chef Auguste Escoffier. Barr's pleasant writing style made this narrative nonfiction book one I read in a little over a day. I enjoyed the descriptions of the opulence of the Savoy and Ritz Hotels and a glimpse into the life of the upper class who stayed at these hotels.
However, I did not find that the book sufficiently explored the "Rise of the Leisure Class." There was litt ...more