Paris, French Army discussed on BBC World Service

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

And worked his way from his uncle's restaurant in east and southern fronts to Paris and then from the age of nineteen spent seven years as a cook in the French army you talked about the way he modernized the kitchen on the division of labor and this time in the French army seems to have been crucial in his approach to managing restaurant kitchens can you explain why well you know as I just said about the division of labor at the imposition of a hierarchy and a and an order of operations was key and I suppose one could argue that he learned that in the military he wrote very vividly about his childhood you know he's fourteen years old working in in his uncle's restaurant Denise everyone is yelling in the kitchen everyone is smoking and drinking and it's just sort of chaotic and he hated it he wanted to bring a kind of coldness to the kitchen and in order to the kitchen and that meant hierarchy that meant following orders and it was only if you impose that kind of order and that kind of quiet and communication among the different parts of the kitchen but you can have an effective division of labor and it's only if you have an effective division of labor the you can actually turn out hundreds of dishes and that they reach their customers you know and they're still hot he was cool the brigade system was in this yes where you have the grill man and the sauce man and the vegetable and cold entree man this is one of those things where I would be curious to hear Rebekah's thought I think that this coffee a was key in terms of refining and I guess advancing this brigade system but I've never been quite sure and I never say this that he invented it or that he somehow was the sole inventor of that back in your thoughts on this well I think most things in history are not actually invented by a single individual rights but an individual takes what they have in front of them make some tweaks to it and then when other people say oh where did you get that idea other people say oh as coffee and made it up so if other people think you invented it then you quote unquote invented it even if all you really did is just sort of refine something that had already been happening I think that division the brigade system the idea of stations obviously still true in restaurant kitchens today but of course anybody who's read Anthony Bourdain kitchen confidential knows that kitchens could still be sort of chaotic sort of smoky kinda drunken yeah I agree says liquid feeling having merchants from Rebecca the key to its coffee is success was big hotels wasn't her first in Monte Carlo and the sun in Switzerland and then from eighteen ninety the new Savoy hotel in London is coffee and rates were invited to work at the Savoy by the air in a rigid Dorothy caught so what was it that made this call fear in his kitchen teams are hardy souls often well I think one of the key things and we've alluded to this already is the sense of spectacle and of course these are going to be kitchen hotel management systems that make it very clear break between the people putting on the show who in fact are not seen by the customers because they're hidden away in the kitchen and then the people who enjoy the spectacle on the key intermediaries are going to be the really quite downtrodden and sneered upon waiters and waitresses if I could just jump in I think we should give a little bit of credit also to Caesar Ritz and that story Ritz was the one that d'oyly carte actually came after and said I need this guy because rich had established himself as the premier young hotel the a in continental Europe and he knew all of these European aristocrats who traveled around and came to his hotels in Switzerland and in France and in Germany a little bit and d'oyly carte knew he needed that clientele he had built this magnificent hotel in London the first hotel in London with elevators and electricity and it was a technological Marvel but he needed that sense of European style the clientele that he thought Ritz could bring Ritz meanwhile had created his career in partnership with a scarf yeah he had had the realization that he needed to have food at the center of this sort of new luxury experience that he had helped to invent and so eventually he agreed to come to the Savoy but only if you could bring his team with them including a scuff year Rebekah's what is classic dishes as coffee also created some recipes named often famous personalities to and he what did you do this and and which would you say the Windsors stood the test of time well I think this was actually very canny bit of mutual advertising so as coffee a became famous for having invented dishes for particular all per stars your theater stars and they became famous because their names were attached to the dish soap earlier dishes with proper names think about chicken Marengo it's named after a battle one of Napoleon's battles but with this coffee a things are made more domestic and in keeping with the urban setting so one of the famous dishes that still known I think today pash Melba peaches for Melba inspired by an armed person are Nellie Melba or foot as Sarah Sara's strawberries named for Sarah Bernhardt the very very famous French actress who many people would say is actually the first modern celebrity so it's gonna be a kind of piggy backs on Sarah Bernhardt's fame and she grows up from his fame as well can you just explain what was in Peche Melba and what was in fries center part of the thing is that they're very simple dessert so it seems like why do they have names so a past Melba is basically just peaches and cream and flows Sarah it's just you know strawberry's a bit of Pauline pull some liquor it's not a complicated desert but that it's named after somebody makes it extra special this restaurant under his coffee became the leading dining venue in London and yet after just eight years that is coffee riffs and rich deputy Nouri assinar will fall at what was not great basically they started acting like they own the place they started to offer lines of credit to their friends you can sign for the check and don't pay the bill until later here please have another a bottle of wine on the house and then further more Ritz was starting to talk to investors about well we should open another hotel and restaurant in Cairo or Rome or wherever else so they behave like owners even though they were employees and that led to their scandalous departure despite the rather inglorious fate being fired from the Savoy rips invesco fear remained restaurants stores this call his most famous book begins curly met the culinary guide reaching almost mythical status but there's a lot more to a successful restaurant in the celebrity chef and so from this overlooks but crucial front of house stuff the waiters and waitresses and someone who make all the difference how did this distinctive group of employees if bowls during the nineteenth century yes you had the distinctive group of front of house staff but it took them a long time to be a good knowledge as such a serving was long in instead of runs and so long a by waiters and waitresses who were considered to be domestic servants and one of the problems of the early workers in hospitality is that until the end of the nineteenth century most European countries there were considered as domestic servants now what is the different a domestic servant works in the private sphere of the home but that's not the case for the restaurant or hotel now was it is bad well the the mystic servants and of a bad reputation and very low status this was the case before the French Revolution and perhaps it was even worse off towards because you were looked at this people who are from their own free will shows of survival states now in the last quarter of the nineteenth century you have an exponential growth of hotels restaurants and cafes and these hospitality workers became more visible no what we see is a when the first union's offer hospitality workers are created is that one of their the malls is to be acknowledged as a separate category of workers so not domestic workers and why did the all step well in the emerging social and labor legislation this legislation was a dress and applicable to industrial workers but it was not applicable to domestic servants and neither was it applicable to hospitality workers so the whole embryonic labor and social legislation was not for them now I think that the waiters and waitresses there were the worst off because the groups at least had the fixed wage but the waiters and waitresses were more and more dependent not on the fixed wage but customers tapes and this means that most of their entire income was produced by customers the so these eccentric waited there servile state because the customer did not only decide on their income but also on how they looked because until the first World War wait just were not allowed to have a mustache why was that well that should be no confusion between the monster and those who surf them so it was only when the moustache became all the fashion after the first World War that way if this were a lot though have a moustache who knew how interesting in quite a few today's restaurants the kitchen stuff under longer hidden out of sight for a working full view of the customers so is this giving kitchen stove the credit they deserve your question a fashionable your restroom was the view from the kitchen a long time since I was little New York City restaurant never mind you with that you know what I think the kitchen stove feel about having to work where everyone can see them I think it's gonna be really hard I mean I just can't imagine as you alluded to earlier I mean Escoffier did indeed symbolize the kitchen and a lot of ways but I have some vivid memories of going down with just sort of terror down into the kitchen as a waiter looking for a dish that haven't come out yet and knowing that you know all hell was breaking loose in that kitchen that's a very stressful environment if you have to do is in full view than the current even knowing where and when things get every all I think that would be really hard another recent trend is street food but in fact it's not new a tool and can be traced back at least two thousand years to ancient Rome and found one of its greatest expressions in the ocean in capital is stanbul where hundreds of years ago chefs student marble topped counters facing the street I'm producing a wide variety of dishes he is no one knows Rana an expert on the history of middle eastern food shop in Istanbul they with specialized we have a special ones for like about a grilled meats and a special one for the fishes sausages scored Mumba soups the rice dishes footage is it says a the accounts we have will mostly from the accounts of travelers visitors to the region or from there auto miner documents or from that installations and the books on the processions and festival so this is the information we have people think when did those places they were popular for the convenience and the quality of foods must have been delicious for example that is this dish doughnut kebab that so famous now in the eighteenth century it was described by the foreign of this is a test as the most delicious foods they had they also caters not only to Muslims because they were Jews there was Christian so for example for the Jews the the place of the bottles with sesame oil for the Christians for the for the Christians for example there was a Greek Fisher restaurants a lot of them all kinds of fish and the during times of lent to they made the four of them and they just said in dishes soup it sets it up what I find most intriguing is the large number of the students Toronto's that site and structures in this town board I read that they had around to see hundreds restaurants just selling heads to autos it's right they will only run by to mine the Greeks and many of the of their customers they wed at tavern goers you know they were Christians and they were allowed to drink and this dish with a truck and tried it's believed to be a good cure for hangovers this time until it was technology rows of management's that began to change what happened in the kitchen on what was on the menu gas stoves improvements in counting technology refrigeration the made life easier in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century for the chefs and attention from the developing.

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