In early August, 1889, Frenchman César Ritz, a 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 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 recreates this exciting Belle Epoque era just before World War I when British aristocracy was at its peak, women began dining out unaccompanied by men, and noveau riche Americans convened in London to show off their wealth. In their collaboration at the still celebrated Savoy Hotel, where they welcomed loyal and frequently 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 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—nor more intruguing.
- Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
- Random House Audio
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Luke Barr (Author)
LUKE BARR is the author of the New York Times bestselling Provence, 1970. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and Switzerland, Barr attended Harvard and spent many years as the features editor at Travel + Leisure magazine. He lives in Brooklyn wi...