Le Guide culinaire. Aide-mémoire de cuisine pratique.
Large 8vo. Contemporary grey cloth, titled in gilt on spine.
A great classic of cookery from the personal library of the French-Polish scientist and food writer Édouard de Pomiane (1875-1964), inscribed by the author Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), the chef who put the Savoy on the map, co-founder of the Ritz and the Carleton, and codifier of the five "mother sauces" of French cuisine. Still in print and a go-to textbook in culinary schools today, no other cookbook has had such a lasting effect on the modern concept of French cookery.
From the start Escoffier strove to modernize French haute cuisine. He formalized his kitchens in terms of role and structure (including his hierarchical "brigade de cuisine" system), setting a new standard among his peers and students. A partnership working at the Savoy with hotelier César Ritz escalated both men to professional stardom; when Escoffier and Ritz were fired under suspicion of fraud, they founded the Ritz in Paris and the Carleton in London, swiftly eclipsing their old employers at the Savoy. The "Guide culinaire" was the culmination of his life's work, and included so many recipes that it was decades before an English edition translated them all (the initial translations being only partial).
The recipient of this inscribed copy, Pomiane, was himself a notable public figure dedicated to writing, lectures, and research in food science, promoting proper food hygiene and modern recipes using the gas stove. He was a well-known voice on radio broadcasts, headed a department at the Pasteur Institute, and wrote recipes designed for Occupation rationing during the war. In the book's inscription, dated Paris, December 1924, Escoffier thanks Pomiane for a previous gesture: "Mes sinceres et meilleurs compliments pour les scientifiques volumes sur la gastronomie que vous m'avez addresses et leurs charmantes dedicaces". The communication between both men evidently continued for a few more years, as shown by a letter tipped-in on the front free endpaper apologizing for a belated reply, signed A. Escoffier and dated 1928.
From the library of Édouard de Pomiane (1875-1964), with his standard handwritten ex-libris.
Text block toned, one subtly repaired closed tear, otherwise in very good condition.