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

Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class Review

In a tale replete with scandal and opulence, Luke Barr, author of the New York Times bestselling Provence, 1970, transports readers to turn-of-the-century London and Paris to discover how celebrated hotelier Cesar Ritz and famed chef Auguste Escoffier joined forces at the Savoy Hotel to spawn the modern luxury hotel and restaurant, where women and American Jews mingled with British high society, signaling a new social order and the rise of the middle class.

In early August 1889, Cesar Ritz, a Swiss hotelier highly regarded for his exquisite taste, found himself at the Savoy Hotel in London. He had come at the request of Richard D'Oyly Carte, the financier of Gilbert & Sullivan's comic operas, who had modernized theater and was now looking to create the world's best hotel. D'Oyly Carte soon seduced Ritz to move to London with his team, which included Auguste Escoffier, the chef de cuisine known for his elevated, original dishes. The result was a hotel and restaurant like no one had ever experienced, run in often mysterious and always extravagant ways -- which created quite a scandal once exposed.

Barr deftly re-creates the thrilling Belle Epoque era just before World War I, when British aristocracy was at its peak, women began dining out unaccompanied by men, and American nouveaux riches and gauche industrialists convened in London to show off their wealth. In their collaboration at the still celebrated Savoy Hotel, where they welcomed loyal and sometimes salacious clients, such as Oscar Wilde and Sarah Bernhardt,

Escoffier created the modern kitchen brigade and codified French cuisine for the ages in his seminal Le Guide culinaire, which remains in print today, and Ritz, whose name continues to grace the finest hotels across the world, created the world's first luxury hotel. The pair also ruffled more than a few feathers in the process. Fine dining would never be the same -- or more intriguing.

Title:Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Judy Lesley

    I received an ARC of this book through the Amazon Vine program.Cesar Ritz was already on his way to making a name for himself before Richard D'Oyly Carte convinced him to come to London for a short st...

  • Margaret Sankey

    Have I mentioned lately how much I miss teaching the World of Food class? Before Ritz and Escoffier, "hotels" were either the house of someone from whom you could wrangle and invitation, or a crummy i...

  • Marks54

    Luke Barr, who has written before on high profile chefs, provides a dual biography of Cesar Ritz and August Eschffier, the hotelier and chef who together invented 20th century models for the luxury ho...

  • SundayAtDusk

    This book provides an interesting look at the lives of hotelier César Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier. Both left "the continent" to tackle the jobs of establishing a grand hotel with a grand restaura...

  • Lauren Albert

    This gives a very good sense of what it was like then for people with money and/or fame. He shows how Ritz stage managed a change from a world where women did not eat in restaurants to a world where a...

  • Linda

    Hotelier Cesar Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier transform the Savoy in London and later open the Ritz hotel. Their story is quite interesting as it exposes the prejudices and the rise of the leisure cl...

  • Theresa Connors

    Well researched but the writing was meh. It didn’t draw me in. ...

  • Deidre

    A captivating and well-researched slice of Gilded Age life. Ritz and Escoffier are legends in the worlds of service, luxury, and style. The book captures the moment that the Savoy hotel became the pla...

  • Ronald Koltnow

    What does one think of when one hears the name Ritz? Cesar Ritz, the man behind the concept of ritzy, was a simple man, uneducated and insecure. He thought he had peasant hands. Yet, he knew the hotel...

  • Janet

    From the Publisher - In early August 1889, Cesar Ritz, a Swiss hotelier highly regarded for his exquisite taste, found himself at the Savoy Hotel in London. He had come at the request of Richard D'Oyl...