Georges Auguste Escoffier (1847-1935), is revered by chefs and gourmets as the greatest chef of this century and the father of 20th century cooking. He simplified classical French techniques and menus, thus eliminating the awkwardness of the 18th Century banquet menu. Of course, to us, his 20-course meals might seem elaborate, but they were a drastic and elegant re-ordering of dishes so that they each were involved in the entire meal. He also simplified and clarified many kitchen procedures.

The basic cooking methods and preparations studied at culinary institutes are even now based on Escoffier’s writings and his innovation to reorganize facilities to accommodate a simplified menu is applied in large hotels and full-service restaurants. For example, it was his idea to divide a kitchen into stations or posts at which specific foods are prepared and to appoint a station chef for each department. A small kitchen might have only one chef, but in larger establishments that provide traditional service, there might be 10 positions filled by chefs responsible for different areas of preparation, along with cooks or assistants working under them, a brigade de cuisine.

That your meal can get to you in 10 or 20 minutes is entirely due to Escoffier.

Basically, he is a god.

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