Do You know Who the World’s First Celebrity Chef Is?
Marie Antoine Carame
Marie Antoine Carême, born on the 8th of June, in 1784, was a French chef and food writer, who modernized the French style of cooking. He infused French Cuisine with more finesse and grandiose as he believed the Roman cooking style was, “essentially barbarous”, he words! What he did to the French cuisine was elevate its cooking style to light fluffy dishes and brought elegance to the fare. He established the French Cuisine’s supremacy over all European foods, and his architectural curiosity and propensity translated itself on the dinner plates that he served up.
His style was airy, as he was wont to in his passion for cooking. He evolved the marzipan, the meringues and the soufflés to what they are now, very light, full of air and chic as food can be. The dainty dishes were wholesome yet delicate, a style the French were inclined to follow even years after him.
He classified the four main sauces-
The Béchamel sauce, which is a white sauce made from milk, butter, flour and salt and pepper for flavouring. It is one of the most commonly used sauces.
The Veloute sauce is made from roux, which is a mixture of flour and butter or any fat, and the sauce is made with stock from birds, vegetables or fish.
Then we have the Espagnole sauce, which is a brown sauce made with brown stock, which could be beef stock, and browned roux. It has sautéed onions, flavoured with celery, bay leaf and tomato puree goes into it.
Finally there is the Sauce tomat, which is made from veal stock. It has onions and carrots, to work up a body for the sauce. The shortening is the fat from the pork. It is flavoured with garlic and the acidity from the tomato is balanced out with a pinch of sugar.
Hollandaise Sauce, which was added to the four mother sauces, is made with egg yolks on a double boiler, clarified butter or pork fat is the medium and lemon juice for balance in flavour.
Marie Antoine Carême, preferred to be called Antonin, he was the first celebrity chef. He was born in Paris and later abandoned by his parents, providentially he was given shelter for a night by a tavern keeper and the next day employed in the same tavern, Fricassee de Lapin; it was an elite Tavern. In six years of work there, a sort of apprenticeship, he worked his way up from a dishwasher to becoming an errand boy for the kitchen. When Marie Antoine Carême turned seventeen, he got a fortunate break; an apprenticeship with Sylvain Bailly, a pastry chef of fame. After which, Carême worked his way through various jobs and became famous for his innovative look at food. Later he went on to author a cookbook Le Patissier Royal and other more famous books followed. He also made the world realize that food could be eaten cold too. He began the cold cuts and salad buffets, which the French and the rest of Europeans came to appreciate and the world followed suit; a story of a boy to becoming a celebrity chef, who rose to fame by sheer passion for food.