History & Tradition

Culinary education worthy of the world-renowned Escoffier name

About Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts students and Chef Instructors

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts students and Chef Educators

About Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

We prepare our students for exciting, satisfying careers in professional programs focused on farm-to-table philosophy and based on the methods, principles and systems of Chef Auguste Escoffier, the international culinary icon. Our culinary and pastry programs offer rigorous industry skills training, as well as professionalism and excellence sought by employers. Our goal is to make a positive impact on the direction of American food culture by offering a fresh approach to professional culinary training.

Mission Statement

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts empowers students to achieve their potential in the culinary and pastry arts through small class sizes and individual, modernized instruction in the techniques developed by King of Chefs, Auguste Escoffier. Students are trained to understand where their food comes from and to develop respect for local resources and sustainable practices. Graduates enter the workforce with a balance of practical skills, humility and dependability.

About Auguste Escoffier

Auguste Escoffier, the legendary French chef known as the “king of chefs and chef of kings”

Auguste Escoffier, the legendary French chef known as the King of Chefs, Chef of Kings


 

About Auguste Escoffier

The lineage of finely trained chefs can be traced to Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and modernized traditional French cooking methods.

Apprenticed in a kitchen at 13 years of age and consumed with ambition to become the best, he moved steadily upward in this assigned trade to become known as the King of Chefs, Chef of Kings. No other figure has done more to contribute to the history of culinary arts and raise the stature of cooking to a highly respected career path. 

Curriculum Consistent with Escoffier’s Standards of Excellence

Watch this video about the history of Auguste Escoffier

VIEW TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. The culinary field is a fast moving world where skill passion and a zeal for perfection all intersect. It's not for everyone, but for those savoring a truly extraordinary career or is an enthusiast the experience can be life-changing. At the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, our promise to provide you with the most professional training begins with the name in our name: Auguste Escoffier - the father of modern cookery. This French chef, who lived at the turn of the last century, is on par with and Edison and Einstein in the transformative influence he had in his field. Escoffier with his methods, techniques and recipes, revolutionized the culinary world. His influence is not only infused into everything we do at the Escoffier School, but still guides some of the most celebrated chefs today.
“I think that Auguste Escoffier is really sort of the backbone to almost everything we do as Chefs.”
“Beforehand the modern restaurant as we think about today didn't exist.”
“Escoffier to me means so much because everything that I do on it on a daily basis he was the person that said that in motion.”
“He was a genius in cooking at the time. He was a visionary. He was a great communicator. He touched the lives of both rich and poor with his warmth and artistry.”
“Escoffier could be likened to Steve Jobs. He may have been that Steve Jobs and his era.”
“For the culinary world, Escoffier is I mean he's the big guy. If we had to put a face on the Mount Rushmore of food that would be him. He's the president, he’s the George Washington, whatever you want to think of it. He's that guy for the food world.”

In 1846, Auguste Escoffier was born in the French village of Villenueuve-Loubet where the Escoffier Foundation and museum exists today in his childhood home. While he showed promise as an artist, his true talent became apparent when he apprenticed at his uncle’s restaurant in Nice. At that time cooking was not a profession held in high regard. It was a hot, thankless job; rife with un-cleanliness and disorder. And so it might have stayed, if not for Escoffier. After a stint as an Army chef, he reorganized the kitchen into a military-like brigade system with a clear chain of command headed by supervisors overseeing workers with specific duties in specific locations.
“It's basically an army tackling the jobs, and he's one that kind-of said: ‘Hey here's the general and here's the privates .Go at it.’”
“There's a lot of things in the kitchen and I think people don't even realize our in place because of Escoffier. You know, the fact that we have a system where there's a Chef de Cuisine, and a sous-chef under that, and chef de partis under that. Kind of the hierarchy of the kitchen and its staff is really because of him.”
“He was very, very good with the atmosphere in the kitchen. He brought pride to the profession. He stressed the importance to run a clean, hygienic, and safe kitchen. We talk about sanitation to this kitchen, he was well ahead at this time. He believed that a well-trained chef, produced truly exceptional food.”

In 1890 Escoffier a worked with Cesar Ritz and the famous Ritz-Carlton brand. With Ritz, Escoffier transformed the new Savoy Hotel in London into the place to be seen and experience culinary excellence. The pair would eventually move on to manage The Ritz hotel in Paris and the Carlton Hotel in London each time with growing success. Escoffier made many innovations at these hotels and changed the way food was served at the table. “He abolished the system where all the food came out all the same time and he created service like we do now which is the food comes out as the guest requested in the order in which it should be eaten. He created that and I think that that's important to note that not only was he a culinarian, his influence spread to the front of the house.” He invented countless new dishes often inspired by guests of the hotels. “I love the fact Escoffier, when Dame Nellie Melba came, the opera singer, he designed a desert just for her which is Peach Melba, of course. And then five years later invents Melba toast so the idea that some of these recipes he’s created are, you know, they're in our lexicon of culinary language now.” Escoffier was also the first chef to organize the kitchens of the luxury transatlantic ocean liners of Europe. On several occasions he was also asked to plan events and cook for kings and queens. He was fascinated by Food Science particularly methods of food preservation. He pioneered the practice of canning tomatoes, help develop the bouillon cube and created his own series bottled sauces and pickles.

“Escoffier to me is the father of modern cooking as crazy as we can get with food today, I mean if you look at molecular gastronomy or the different food movements that are going on in this industry are the ones who are using Escoffier as a base.” And he held exceedingly modern views in appreciating the symbiotic relationship between food supplier and kitchen. “Escoffier was by far an innovator. Today our focus, you hear that a lot today, you hear that a lot at the Escoffier school. “Farm to table, sustainable agriculture, utilizing natural, wholesome ingredients. Well Escoffier believe in that back then. He was getting asparagus from France from the source from the farmer from the people that were producing those asparagus, so he already had that in mind. He was way ahead of his time.” He was prolific. He authored over 5,000 recipes in his eight landmark books some of which are still published today. Le Guide Culinaire is today considered the Bible of classic cuisine. “Escoffier wrote and documented all these thousands of recipes in one snippet of time in in the world of cooking, but he was smart enough to know that that time changes and people's tastes change and he allows for so much flexibility in his food in his recipes. So he had a real vision of what food was at the time that he wrote it but what food could be with some evolution.” But Escoffier didn't just focus on food, but also on the social concerns of people inside and outside his kitchens. “His mantra was that you start every day fresh, so he gave all his food to charities. To the poor and paid for it to be transported and he was the first humanitarian. He was the first one to understand that cooks get injured. Cooks are retiring chefs. He felt a connection to them and I think that that in this day and age is pretty remarkable.”

Escoffier died on February 12 1935. Earning the moniker “King of chefs” and “chef of Kings.” His influence was substantial then and continues to live on. “I have the honor to be the president of the Disciple of Escoffier International USA. It’s a premiere gastronome society that was established in France in 1954 to maintain a good name and tradition of French cuisine. And of course their goal is very simple to honor the memory of Escoffier in France and around the world to promote and preserve his work, to maintain tradition because it's very important to maintain the tradition and to promote culinary education and apprenticeships to young people and to motivate them to become professional chefs.”

“If I could describe Escoffier in one word, it would be foundation. So to me, he is the foundation of cooking. There's a lot of historical relevance to what he's done, but he’s still relevant to me today. And I use his cookbooks and some of his ideal severy single day.

“To say that he’s the father of modern cooking, I think is almost an understatement.”

“Escoffier means a lot of different things but first and foremost Inspiration.”

“The base where all modern cuisine that we do now comes from is what Escoffier was doing a hundred years ago.”

“That foundation of being a chef, how to act, the setups in the kitchen, even even being inspired by the food of the land in seasons and things like that you know all that is referenced through Escoffier. And how he cooked back in the day.”

We are proud to work with Escoffier foundation and museum and Michelle Escoffier, great-grandson of Auguste Escoffier and a member of our Advisory Board to continue this legacy of excellence. We welcome you to our school in the spirit of Escoffier and sincerely hope you take the next step and become part and something bigger than yourself.

HIDE TRANSCRIPT

Curriculum Consistent with Escoffier’s Standards of Excellence

La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur.”
(Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.)
― Auguste Escoffier

Auguste Escoffier left behind a legacy still enjoyed by professional chefs everywhere. He invented some 5,000 recipes, published Le Guide Culinaire textbook and developed approaches to kitchen management. Culinary institutions and famous chefs around the world continue to teach his recipes, techniques and methods. We proudly offer a curriculum consistent with Auguste Escoffier's teachings and standards of excellence.

Testimonial: Vanessa M. House

"The reason I went to Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts was to make it a career and not just a job and living paycheck to paycheck [Vanessa is a kitchen veteran]."

"When I was first starting I was worried that I wasn’t going to get as much out of it as I wanted to, but I got that much plus more! It opened my eyes to all these techniques that make my food the best I’ve ever cooked in my life! The school provided the methodology behind the basic recipes of everything that I needed to know for production, like how to make a béchamel. My Chef Educator instilled the confidence in me to give me the proper tools and ability to work in any kitchen."

— Vanessa M. House, Culinary Arts Graduate, Line Cook, West End Tavern
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Vanessa M. House

avatar_vanessa_house

"The reason I went to Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts was to make it a career and not just a job and living paycheck to paycheck [Vanessa is a kitchen veteran]. When I was first starting I was worried that I wasn’t going to get as much out of it as I wanted to, but I got that much plus more! It opened my eyes to all these techniques that make my food the best I’ve ever cooked in my life! The school provided the methodology behind the basic recipes of everything that I needed to know for production, like how to make a béchamel. My Chef Educator instilled the confidence in me to give me the proper tools and ability to work in any kitchen."

— Vanessa M. House, Culinary Arts Graduate, Line Cook, West End Tavern

Affiliation with Auguste Escoffier Foundation

Michel Escoffier, the great-grandson of Auguste Escoffier and the President of the Auguste Escoffier Foundation

Michel Escoffier, the great-grandson of Auguste Escoffier and the President of the Auguste Escoffier Foundation

 

 

Affiliation with Auguste Escoffier Foundation

We are proud of our affiliation with the prestigious Auguste Escoffier Foundation and Le Musée Escoffier de l’Art Culinaire in France. Michel Escoffier, the great-grandson of Auguste Escoffier and the President of the Auguste Escoffier Foundation, is our Advisory Board Member.

International Advisory Committee Members

International Advisory Committee Members

  • Michel Bouit, President and CEO, The World of MBI, Culinary Consultant
  • Mary Chamberlin, President and Founder, Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Monterey Chapter
  • Michel Escoffier, President, Musee Escoffier de l’Art Culinaire and Escoffier Culinary Schools
  • Jack Larson, Executive Chairman, Triumph Higher Education Group
  • Michael Pythoud, Executive Chef, Walt Disney World
  • Randall Sansom, Executive Chef and Chief Academic Officer, Escoffier Culinary Schools
  • Jeremiah Tower, Chef, Food Writer and “Father of American Cuisine"
  • Candy Wallace, Founder/Executive Director, American Personal and Private Chefs Association