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The First Celebrity Chef: Marie-Antoine Carême

2018-04-18 | 🔗

Today, there is an entire industry around celebrity chefs. But the first celebrity chef in the western world's history was born in late 18th-century France.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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food. A little bit. I love to talk about food. This isn't so much about food as it is about the people that make food. We will talk about some food along the way at today. No secret, there's a whole entire industry around celebrity chefs and often they'll start on tv, but then they tend to branch out. So today there are so many chefs with branded cookware lines and food, an endorsement deals. You know their restaurants are well known throughout the world, and people go to see them and their faces on the outside. Sometime yeah, like being Celebrity chef is anything now, but the first celebrity chef. It might surprise you to learn- was around long before Farnsworth ever conceived of the television which launches move supper ready chefs today and to find said chef, we actually have to take a beat a peak all the way. rocket late, 18th eighteenth century France and the life of Marie Antoinette M Am century. France is the source of so many trends.
It is, then I will confess it's one of the areas of history that I love. That's, why you're getting it to the attic while it it's it's incredibly incredibly possible that there also famous chefs in other parts of the world, but this was the one that like to get to a whole other level we have certainly in the western world. This is definitely the first celebrity chef, so we are talking about Marines one crime who was born in a slum in Paris on June. Eighth, seventeen, eighty three, His family was massive and it was also destitute. He was the sixteenth child in the family and was named after Marie Antoinette a little bit of a weird choice for a baby name. At this point, Marie Antoinette was not beloved by this time.
But the reasoning for why have parents decided a name him after her is not clear. What is clear is that soon after he was born, he was being called by antonym instead of Marine Swan and then throughout his life he would shift among various combinations of his name. Yeah one point like bearer instances where he's referred to as mark entwine, even the name Antoine gets me. Around a little bit and because he was born to a very poor family at a time when France was deeply unstable, it wasn't long before entering was abandoned and its unclear Actually why? But this is correct account of his abandonment, as dictated to his secretary federally Fayoum quote. His father with fifteen children was a prey to a very painful poverty. This man was frequently intoxicated
perhaps out of disgust with life and his irregularities of conduct, increased the misery and sorrows of those whom he had to feed. One day when he returned before dinner. He took his young son with him. They went to the fields after the walk returned to dinner at the main barrier. That's the gates of France. And when the meal was over, the father spoke of the future to the poor child and urged him to part with his family go child go well in the world, there are good trades. Let us languish me areas, our lot, we must die there. This time is that of beautiful fortunes It is enough to have wit to make one and you have it: go little one, and perhaps this evening or tomorrow, some good House will open for you go with what God has given you these words which are almost remarkable in the mouth of this simple workmen, always resounded in the ears of cut em, forty years after her I heard them he still had before his eyes the bitter face of his father, the
career was left in the street literally, he did not see his parents again. His father and his mother died. Young, his brothers and sisters were scattered is alma like he is leaving a dog in the woods and claiming that he has set it free very much so, and at this time there was a lot of street violence in Paris and children were not immune to it. So the seems just bizarrely optimistic in this idea that he's gonna go and immediately find a cup yeah we'll talk about the story into the second, because, according to m. He was offered a bit of good fortune when he was taken in almost immediately by a cook who- Him do menial tasks around the kitchen and home in exchange for on board, and we honestly No, if this or that story about his father is entirely true, these are carom stories.
Of his own life and each of them became part of his mystique and was told by him, and then his students and his clients for years and years he did have a kitchen apprenticeship at us as a boy that started sometime in seventeen. Ninety three and at this point France was having sort of an identity crisis in terms of its cuisine, which was running parallel with the french revolution, and so the sentiment toward the royals became increasingly negative, and there was this impulse in a lot of professional kishar kitchens. To really get away from the rich indulgent food that was associated with. Royalty into a lot simpler, fair, but simultaneously, fine food was a big part of french identity and other cooks who are not willing to give that up. Nor were they were willing to give up the delicious food that they personally left eat just because they were fed up with royal
yeah, and you have the tray some of those back to Lily the fourteenth who had made kind of a conscious decision there. What France it's going to be known for was luxury and the finest of everything. So this is something had been ingrained already and had been established and then to go. No, no. We hate the royal now and we don't want it to include luxury in our cooking. In this way was a big sea change too, in act and of course it was a little bit controversial and I want to put food culture of this period and a little bit more context. So cafes,
this time, literally meaning like where you would go to get drinks, had been common in Paris throughout the eighteenth century. But it wasn't until the late seventeen hundreds that restaurants, in the sense that we think of them now popped up. So starting in the seventeen sixties, there were places to get close to home those words soups. The word restaurant came from the route Calisto away, which means to restore- and these soups were believed to be almost medicinal in nature, intended to restore the bodies. Vigour and from there that concept of all so that the soup served began to be seen less as a curative and more as a food and something to just be enjoyed, and so too
did the word? Restaurant evolve to become the place, and not just the soups and then, of course, to include other menu offerings as a devotee of soups him behind this, while you would have loved cavern, because he was obsessed with soups and his soup recipes are the stuff of legend. So, in the context of the politics of the day, the so called restaurant soups were considered health, food of a sort they were associated with the common man and then cuisine par excellence which were the deck hit. The decadent dishes Wealthy people favoured that was considered to be unwholesome and intended to encourage gluttony. So there was a whole morality element in play and denouncing the rich foods that the aristocracy favoured. I think this still exists today. Nea.
sure and in seventeen. Eighty two, just before Catherine, was born the book. His twelve lovey pv different say, which was a history of french private life, was published by Pierre, Jean Baptiste Le Com. Does and it was not about general life as the title might, but about food. Although was originally intended to have a broader scope, but apparently he became so obsessed with the food portion of his writing and research that that took up the whole volume. But what this really indicated was that, despite, this contest of ideas that was going on as to what direction french cooking should go. There was clearly a sense of free cuisine as being worthy of examination and of historical documentation, ideas like new veil cuisine, literally new cooking, an idea that cooks should be inventing new recipes to please people's palates had been around since at least the seventeen thirties. As France was trying to
seek an identity in the kitchen and at the table, and the concept of cooking as an art was also beginning to taped, takes shape, but wasn't yet fully formed. Yeah I was reading an interesting peace that mentioned that it was interesting that cooking emerged as an art, but other trades that required equal levels of skill consideration didn't ever quite get to that level, but as France moved into the nineteenth century, many of the cooks who had worked in the Homes of up of the upper class suddenly found themselves without work. Is the aristocracy fled in the wake of the french Revolution, and those cooks often set themselves up as chefs in their own restaurants? In to make a living a word on the words cook versus chef at the time. So today the word chef implies a certain level of formal meaning and a lot of times that indicate that management position within the kitchen, and there are subdivisions
below and executive chef in a modern kitchen, and they follow this established hierarchical system known as the brigade, the cuisine, but the word chef, which literally means head or chief, wasn't codified as a cooking related term in the eighteenth century. In actually wasn't used chef de cuisine sans until one thousand eight hundred and twenty six according to Merriam Webster. So when we get back and forth between chef and cook and speaking of these people who work as servants in the homes of the wealthy and then set up their own shops, were really using it more in the chief sense, rather than in the formal training of food prep sense and most able learned the trade of preparing
meals, informally, through an apprenticeship. At this point there was not an instance where there were certifications or establish training programmes for chefs. If people are curious. The Oxford English dictionary agrees with marry him Webster on this. So we're about to jump back into Kareem's place and all this culinary upheaval, but we're gonna pause quickly for a little sponsors. Before we do when it comes to using data, everyone is different, which is why Xfinity Mobile is a different kind of wireless network, one that's! to save you money by letting you design your own data. Given you. More choice and control compared to other top wireless carriers. Now you can choose unlimited share data or mixed up regions which any line any time. No one else lets you do that or autumn the connecting to millions of secure wifi, hot spots and the best LP everywhere else So, no matter where you are, we got you covered
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see ninety AIDS and after two years there he then moved when he was hired in a participatory run by survey ye where he spent several years learning baking and confectionery, and this was actually the first thing he truly was taught to do in the kitchen, those previous positions had been more about cleaning up and helping out than actual food prep, and he wouldn't learn to cook full meal until later or theirs, employers permission. He also started educating himself because he hadn't received any formal education as a child. Car am taught himself to read and write over the years from ages of thirteen eighteen and I was reading, comprehension got better. He also just started reading voraciously. He studied books on travel and then books about architecture. He also started sketching buildings and he used these sketches to create centrepieces made with a sugar and gelatin modeling pace called past yardage. He eventually started studying science
gain an understanding of how all the different ingredients combined. Yet he was passionate about education, his whole life Then there are many instances where, if you're reading any biography of him, it will mention how almost his entire life he was constantly running to a library, because he just the d learn more in the world He was doing it by use participatory, which was one of the best known and most highly regarded in the city was largely focused on catering, so by Lee, and his staff would prep and deliver baked goods and sweets. Two large parties and banquets known as extraordinarily or just extras hosted by high society patrons these massive architectural pastor, centrepieces work,
big a lot of times. They were more than a meter wide and sometimes even taller. They gained the attention of heads of state and the aristocracy, everything from crumbling greek ruins. The pastoral fiends to the great pyramids could be found and Karamzin repertoire of sugar sculptures when one of his works of art was made for a ball or estate dinner. a lot of times it was placed at the head table year by E was you know he had a whole staff, but usually of career made, something for for any feast that, when in front of the most important people in Karim, made his way up to the vision of first pie maker at by use, participatory, which was basically as far as he could go there and he attributed his achievements during this time. Those masterful centrepieces his mastery of baking and his education to a dog at work ethic. Later writing quote. I succeeded in my plans, but how many nights I stayed up
order to do so, having gone to the highest position that he could, while working for somebody else, carom transition into a new place. He started working in the participants of the chef Jen drawn and he continued to operate it underneath under that man's name, but career was actually the when running things with move was made with the assurance that he would still be available avail to work with buying on catering events, and he was once again burning the midnight oil and beyond, as he ran his own kitchen, although it was under a different name and used his name essentially as an artist for higher So it's kind of that thing where someone either purchases or gets hired into an established place that has a and establish recognised name and it keeps going under their their leadership, but it still uses the original name. That was the situation which undrawn.
and career was right in the thick of the restaurant boom. That was happening in Paris in the early eighteen hundreds, and this really really excited him. He saw opportunity before him and soon he actually left gender roles. But history to work in catering we'll time he didn't want to be bound by baking exclusively, but instead he wanted to learn about preparing all types of food and he used his pastry knowledge to open, or to learning more at massive events that were thrown by the napoleonic nobility. It was really common for multiple chefs to be employed for the evening to oversee various parts of the meal and so, while managing the pastries Koran learned cooking from some of the finest culinary talents of Paris. While he worked alongside them. Cut em soon became the favourite of Charles Maurice did hand. Betty girl, who was minister of Foreign affairs at the time in Korea would often work for telling for Multi day engagements where lavish spreads were needed and during this p,
of near constant banquet bookings for France's heads of state cut, in his own participate in his own name, although it seems that this is really more of a kitchen and staging area for food prep. For these events, then a functioning pastry shop there was open to the public through his connection to telling her on car am began, creating dishes for the French. Ability when Napoleon Bonaparte married his second wife, Marie Louise of Austria, it was carom who baked their wedding cake ever the work, a hologram. I too am Caricom somehow me made time to write a book when he wasn't feeding government officials and their guests titled historic in a tablet of men or history of the roman table. No known copies of that text exist, but it is believed to have been a comparison between french and roman food, with France's fair, being determined to be far superior,
current wise ass, his eye for creating amazing masterpieces, made clear a visual thinker, and he Champ, the idea that a dish should look beautiful and a tasting good. So when you see people talking about the importance of presentation and plating a dish perfectly, this really comes from Kareem's ideology. He wrote about the importance of order at the table and his books on cooking You thought it that it enhanced the meal dove tailing on that idea. He also thought that shafts should look tidy and appealing and the uniform that he adopted really set the standard that still in place today, yeah that idea of the double breasted white, very crisp, tunic that his very very common was part of his his concept and when politics shifted once again in France and the polio rain ended, it marked a significant change for cut em, as he had
into a position of really high favour within the napoleonic government, and he benefited from the big budgets that their events afforded that in government, of course made for a change in his life. He had massive prestige at this point there. He didn't need to worry about jobs. His his legend had spread far beyond France, but he didn't want to stay in France, even though it was his home. He was definitely aware of his cash and his fame as a group. He was not afraid to talk himself up or to accept praise, so he traveled safe in the knowledge that his reputation would carry him through at the beginning of the bourbon restoration, which spanned the years, one thousand eight hundred and fourteen and one thousand eight hundred and thirty. He was well
into the houses of Russia, Australia and England, and you did very well for himself during this time his skills in the kitchen, where it's such renown that it he could turn down jobs if he wasn't interested in them, because he always had more wealthy patrons looking to book his services in one thousand, eight hundred and fifteen, he wrote two books: the first to participate, a piece of ass or picturesque pastry offered basic instructions and designs for the types of sugar centerpieces, the inmate famous throughout France and beyond. The second book was titled lucrative theoretically out provision which is royal parisian pastry, and there was much more of a conventional cookbook filled with pastry recipes and eighteen. Sixteen after bending time abroad and being asked by royal houses and heads of state to become their permanent chef, I'm finally accepted one of these offers, he was employed by George, the fourth of Great Britain, while he was still the prince region. One of the most impressive meals during that time was
banquet. That was prepared to honour Nicholas Grand Duke of Russia when he visited George, the fourth on January, eighteen, eighteen, seventy four that event they created a hundred and twenty dishes. There were eight different roasts dozens of entrees and eight participate centrepieces, including a pastry recreation of the royal pavilion at Brighton, where the fees took place. But despite his true m, singly Britain, that job only lasted eight months before cut em, decided that he just could not withstand the English whether he found it to dreary after birth. Sing around for a while throughout Europe and parts of Russia, cut em ended up back in Paris, talk in a moment about the next high profile job that crime took, but we're gonna pause again for a quick sponsor break.
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nineteen. Eighteen cut, em took another permanent and we have to use the goods their position because it does seem to be a little bit of a traveller in his heart. This time it was in Saint Petersburg to work for Tsar Alexander the first managing his kitchen staff. Once again, this did not last long and after that he worked for a string of people, including the english ambassador to Vienna. Lord stewards and cut em actually had a bit of a tricky time connecting with Lord Stuart. After the cook had left Saint Petersburg, but he did eventually catch up with the ambassador on his travels, and then they travelled together to London for George, the fourth coronation, but they didn't actually make it there in time, and then they went their separate ways. Ass, Stuart headed back to Vienna and his job and condemn once again return to Paris and early eighteen. Twenty easy published another book, this one title
my father tell Francais, or the french Maitre D hotel. This book featured an essay discussing the merits of old versus new cuisine and a variety of men use based on the calendar. Yet, basically, let's give you're going to manage meals for fine people. Here are some simple many You could be it's no matter whether you are in the finest houses of Vienna or London or Saint Petersburg, usually kind of used. All of that knowledge he had gleaned working in all of these very high profile places and put together sample menus for someone to follow. I had an instant where I was about to ask you. Is this like a seasonal feed thing and then I was like, of course it was because the
Was it an Arab before so much modern technology where you can have seasonal foods around a lot of well? And that was actually something you know they were. Obviously there are ways to preserve and pickle things, but like one of the things that made telecom allegedly like really just adore him is that telephone challenged him at one point: bag during the reign of Napoleon to create see No menus, basically never repeating addition, always using the fresh fruits and vegetables and apparently cover D. Just a super bang up job of this so everyone was lake. Wow he's amazing. He doesn't even me preserves like he was really really good at doing. Seasonal cooking He did, however, continue to have weird luck with jobs that didn't quite PAM out until he began working for financing Baron, James Duryas Child in eighteen, twenty four and he actually worked around
longer than he had in any other position for five years up until one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine, while he was working for Rothschild, he wrote his first true cookbook called LA cuisine a police, the n or the periods and cook the that book was published in eighteen, one eight and he almost immediately started working on a second version of it. He also reopened his participatory after he finished his work with James Rothschild. Yet we he had me the book of pastry recipes, but this was really like a comprehensive cookbook that included many courses throughout a meal was actually busy expanding this book because he really loved it when he died on January twelve of eighteen, thirty three, he died quite young. He was only forty eight at the time in turn, that all of those years of looking after food that was cooking over a coal fire, had really damaged his lungs
volumes one in two of that new expanded cookbook that he had been working on when he passed lot of deadlock. Resentful says: oh, these new vm, secular, she's, the art of french cooking 18Th century came out later in the year of his death, one thousand eight hundred and thirty three, the third volume of this came out in eighteen, thirty, five and one of his students finish the last two volumes and publish them in the 1840s. His books are among the first that really show, with step by step, sketches and a lot of cases how to create what became french owed cuisine and but in his mind, these feeds are really for the home. His career, which went from working for a business to working as a freelancer banquets to working in private, though wealthy homes really traces evolution of the idea that beautiful, delicious food should be,
vessel and part of home life and for clarity. This does not mean that he thought fine food should be simple. He was infamous for concocting really complicated recipes that could take days and is to prepare one of the things I stumbled across while I was preparing. This was a blog by someone who is pretty versed in french cooking and has done a lot of these in and they made one of his famous soups and it took them five days be hurt, so many steps and it has a very complicated even the way it had to be arranged in shallow. Superbowl was laid out very clearly because again he was obsessed with presentation, but he really still thought that that information, those recipes should become a part of the everyday.
crimes. Legacy is global and ongoing. It reaches far beyond french food, just like the concepts of presentation and fine cooking at home persist. Even have concrete ideas shape a lot of the dishes. We still today, for example, he believed in what he called the before mother, sauces or ground sources that formed the basis of all good cooking, and these we're a value day which is made with a simple rule and stock. So rule. If you do not know, is butter and flour quickly, combined in a pan, and then it can be two different ways as by your, which is a brown size which is made with a dark brown room. When you combine this thing, you let it dark in, and then you had beef or veal stock and suing bones in some cases, and which is a pale valley day with egg yokes, lemon juice and heavy cream added to it and what I believe to be the best Wilhelm Bechamel.
White Route made with milk or cream, which can also have cheese added for variation. These sauces, you could still find made all time, well at the common enough idea that lay out like I could not name the for mothers ass at the top of my head. Even having heard you just say all four of them, but the idea that there or mother sauces, and french cooking is something that I am aware of, and I am not a french cook by any stretch one. It has actually check a little bit re bad list was later amended by a goose disco. Fewer who followed in customs footsteps, he's gonna be an episode. All his own, soon been than there were five mother sauces set. That shifted and Solomon shifted to something else, but condoms basics endure and they are still used in restaurants throughout the world today. So all this codification, innovation in style, combined with a really healthy dose of self awareness made merry
employing correct the western world. First celebrity chef even included a sketch of himself in his books, way before the concept of an author photo with a thing to ensure that people could recognize him on the street, and that is how you became the so called a king of chefs. I love that he did that. I like why he did that yeah. I want people to be able to praise beaten. So if they said Anthea them was mail for us, I knew this was no mail is a little weird in terms of time line, but it makes sense with today's episode in his former listener, Ashley Insurance, hello,. no we're almost into April at this point we're deepened April, but she wrote this in March, we're almost into April, but I've been getting caught up on episodes and just listen to the historical roots of holiday treats am. I thought I would share my sister's tradition of making intricate gingerbread houses every year. Her family started a few years,
bag, making a replica of their house and it is grown ever since this year they did Hogwarts and I think it was It was then the Yom I enjoy. Thank you for the excellent episode. I am also a huge food stuff. So anytime food in history crosses a huge bonus wholly Moses. She sent us pictures of this incredible direct boughs and I am blown away one, because this is some of the most. It could just be artfully decorated, but it is some of the most delicate looking gingerbread located know how much gingerbread anyone is made, but when you start to get sim to get details into it, it's very easy for it to break, and this all looks perfect and sharp edged and it's amazing. So, thank you so much Ashley, because this is beautiful. The Thyssen beautifully with the idea of crimes. Amazing centrepieces. I think he would be pretty impressed by this full Hogwarts model made of bread. I dont know how you even make peace with yourself breaking apart to eat it
knowledge is her over because it is really a work of art. So thank you. Thank you thank you, and if you would like to write to us, you can do so, and history like as to how to work start com. You can also visitors at missed in history, dot, com and mrs history is also our handle across all of so media you come to our website. You will find an archive of every episode of the show that has ever existed as well as show notes for any of the ones that Tracy and I have worked on together. So please come and visit us at missed in history. for more or less Thousands of other topics has left works, dot com ah ha Mars, the newest resort destination in the bowels. Just a short, from the. U S in fifteen minutes from the airport comprise three lux potion front: hotels, three and high it s less in Rome.
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