The rags to riches story of Marie-Antoine Carême

Careme cookbook

Exactly 184 years ago today, the world lost its first celebrity chef, Marie-Antoine Carême. The story of how Carême rose from impoverished beginnings in France to become the foremost culinary authority of his time is chronicled in an article from NPR's The Salt

It's difficult to overstate Carême's influence on Western culinary traditions. He brought to life the "mother sauces" - béchamel, velouté, espagnole and allemande - the foundation of French cuisine, which was copied throughout Europe and North America. We also owe Careme a debt for perfected the soufflé, and introducing the idea of piping through a pastry bag. He's even responsible for the iconic white, double-breasted, chef's jacket still worn by most chefs today.   

Carême wrote cookbooks that would be used in European kitchens for decades beyond his untimely death at age 50. These works, including Le Pâtissier royal parisien and the five part series L'Art de la cuisine française au dix-neuvième siècle were among the first cookbooks that systematized basic cookery principles including drawings and step-by-step directions. Over 100 years before televised cooking shows, "Carême walked readers through common kitchen tasks, instructing them to "try this for yourself, at home" as celebrity American Chef Julia Child might do."

1 Comment

  • Jenny  on  1/12/2017 at 10:35 PM

    I have never heard of him - someone needs to revoke my cookbook collector card. Thanks for the article.

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