The Book That Inspired Gordon Ramsay
Escoffier – The modern guide to the art of cookery is probably still the finest book ever written on french cuisine.
Despite the time that has passed since it was written event the modern greats such as Ramsay still use the Escoffier Cookbook to refer back to as a source of ideas.
The original editions are now hard to come by and can cost in the region of $100 to purchase from rare book dealers – Modern editions just are not the same.
It is interesting that Escoffier’s entire approach to cooking is based upon the idea of what was for his generation fast food – how to produce authentic cuisine in the short period that people were willing to wait at tables. This urgency created by the new transport systems of the age, giving people mobility they had never had prior to the victorian era.
So the book is a reflection not just of what constitutes great French Cuisine – but also how to produce it in a mechanised fashion.
The Escoffier cookbook is also an authority on Sauces which is the signature of french cookery. And that is where modern chef’s can benefit from a look at history.