Ritz and Escoffier: The godfathers of fine dining in Europe

Ritz & Escoffier

Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class
By Luke Barr

A review

I recently read this novel, and it was engrossing from start to finish. As someone who adores hospitality and fine dining, this novel was an enlightening take on several now established practices and places that occupy the culinary and luxury worlds. Before marketing in hospitality, there was Ritz and Escoffier- two names that needed no introduction.

Written by Luke Barr, this extensively researched novel reads more like a story, and that adds to its benefit. Uncovering the story behind Swiss hotelier César Ritz (1850-1918) and French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), and how they established the London Savoy as a force to be reckoned with, the story is never plodding.

César Ritz
César Ritz – the epitome of good taste

The formidable duo established some of the most well-known practices followed by restaurants and hotels today, including the kitchen brigade system, and their union proved a very fruitful one.

Auguste Escoffier
Auguste Escoffier: The big daddy of fine dine

Their work together defined not only London’s dining culture, but introduced changes in the very fabric of the European social customs.

What set the duo apart was their willingness to serve anyone- especially the looked down upon ‘nouveau riche’ who could afford the various fancies they catered to. With extravagant 15 course meals, and hotel rooms boasting electricity and attached restrooms (a novelty of the time), they soon became the toast of the town- before their fall from grace.

The years that followed saw the establishment of the renowned Ritz hotel, the patronage of well-established figures like the Prince of Wales and an unexpected tragedy that ground things to a halt for Ritz.

A tantalizing tale filled with eminent personalities, decadent landscapes, mouth watering menus and glitz and glamour, this tale is also a beautiful tapestry of the way society changed due to Escoffier and Ritz and their talents.

Definitely worth checking out, just to truly know what the word ‘ritzy’ means! Get the book here

Rating: 3 / 5


To read more of my tasty book reviews click here, or if you’re just hungry check here

‘This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

23 thoughts on “Ritz and Escoffier: The godfathers of fine dining in Europe

  1. Kavita Singh says:

    This genre of book is something that I have neither heard of nor read it. I am really intrigued about this after reading your review 🙂

  2. Harjeet Kaur says:

    Is it fiction or nonfiction? Ritz is a common name as you mentioned ..ritzy affair. I have not heard of Escoffier. Your review pays glowing tribute to the author and the leisure era.

  3. Kaveri Chhetri says:

    hmmm… I have not read any book of this genre before Meetali… is it fiction based on real life events? it sounds interesting actually

  4. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    Very interesting, I’d love to pick it up… But what didn’t work considering you’ve given it only 3/5?

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