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Auguste Escoffier was born on October 28 1846 in the village of Villeneuve-Loubet France He was the son of Jean-Baptiste Escoffier and his wife Madeleine Civatte His father was the villages blacksmith farrier locksmith and maker of agricultural tools Escoffiers childhood dream was to become a sculptor Unfortunately he was forced to give up that dream at the age of thirteen just after he celebrated his first Holy Communion Escoffier was told he was going to be a cookAlthough he did not want to Escoffier started work as a kitchen apprentice at his uncles Restaurant Francais in Nice Escoffier learned a great deal from his apprenticeship by working hard and determination to succeed He realized the significant role a good cook could play in society Escoffiers uncle also taught him how to buy for a restaurant Escoffier learned all of the responsibilities in a restaurant even table serviceAfter completing his four year apprenticeship Escoffier works for two years at various restaurants in Nice such as Cercle Massena and Les Freres Provencaux In April of 1865 Escoffier is recommended by M Bardoux for work at his up-scale Parisian restaurant Le Petit Moulin Rouge in Paris Here he worked his way up the ranks of the kitchen until the Franco- Prussian war in 1870 When the Franco-Prussian war broke out Escoffier was called into active duty as an army cook in the Rhine Army General Headquarters He was shipped directly to Metz where he was in charge of the Second Divisions food supply with a fellow chef and his good friend Bouniol At Metz Escoffier witnessed the horrors of war and the toll it takes on a mans spirit Escoffier also had to deal with food shortages and rationing while Metz was under siege when supplies ran out he had to resort to slaughtering horses for food After the four month siege at Metz the French Army occupying the city surrendered all of the soldiers became prisoners
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