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of twenty years, he could remember and address by name persons who had been two or three times at his house; and his mode of profiting by his knowledge was no less peculiar than his aptness in acquiring and retaining it. Divining, as it were by instinct, when a party of distinction were present, he was wont to approach their table with every token of the profoundest submission to their will and the warmest interest in their gratification. He would point out one dish to be avoided, another to be had without delay; he would himself order a third, of which no one had thought, or send for wine from a cellar of which he only had the key; in a word, he assumed so amiable and engaging a tone, that all these extra articles had the air of being so many benefactions from himself. But this Amphitryon-like character lasted but a moment; he vanished after having supported it, and the arrival of the bill gave ample evidence of the party's having dined at a restaurant. 'Beauvilliers,' says the author of the Physiologie du Goût, made, unmade, and remade his fortune several times, nor is it exactly known in which of these phases he was surprised by death; but he had so many means of getting rid of his money, that no great prize could have devolved upon his heirs.' Shortly before his exit he discharged the debt which according to Lord Bacon every man owes to his profession (though we should not be sorry if it were less frequently paid), by the publication of his L'Art du Cuisinier, in two volumes octavo. He died a few months before Napoleon.
Carème, like his great rival, is an author; and an intrepid one, for in the preface to his Maître d'Hotel Français he says, I have proved incontestably that all the books down to the present time on our cuisine are mediocre and full of errors;' and he then proceeds to give evidence of his own superior breeding, with his natural and acquired qualifications for the art. We have to thank himself and Lady Morgan, who prides herself on a personal acquaintance with bim, for most of the leading particulars of his life.
Carème is a lineal descendant of that celebrated chef of Leo X., who received the name of Jean de Carème (Jack of Lent), for a soup-maigre which he invented for the pope. It is remarkable that the first decisive proof of genius given by our Carème himself was a sauce for fast-dinners. He began his studies by attending a regular course of roasting under some of the leading roasters of the day; though it is a favourite belief amongst gastronomers that poets and roasters are in one and the same category;— on se fait cuisinier, mais on est né rôtisseur-poëta nascitur, non fit. He next placed himself under M. Richaut, fameux saucier de la maison de Condé,' as Carème terms him, to learn the mystery of sauces; then under M. Asne, with a peculiar view to the
belles parties des froids; and took his finishing degree under Robert L'Ainé, a professor of l'élégance moderne.
The competition for the services of an artist thus accomplished was of course unparalleled. Half the sovereigns of Europe were suitors to him. He was induced, by persevering solicitations and the promise of a salary of 1000l., to become chef to George IV., then Regent, but left him at the end of a few months, complaining that it was a ménage bourgeois. We have heard that, during the time he condescended to stay at Carlton House, immense prices were given for his second-hand pútés, after they had made their appearance at the Regent's table. The Emperors of Russia and Austria made new advances to him on this occasion-but in vain;―mon ame (says he) toute Française, ne peut vivre qu'en France;-and he ended by accepting an engagement with Baron Rothschild of Paris, who nobly sustains the characteristic reputation of a financier.
Having spoken of Beauvilliers and Carème as chiefs of two rival schools of art, we may naturally enough be expected to distinguish them; yet how are we to fix by words such a Cynthia of the minute as the evanescent delicacy, the light, airy, volatile aroma of a dish?—nequeo narrare, et sentio tantum. But if compelled to draw distinctions between these two masters, we should say, that Beauvilliers was more remarkable for judgment, and Carème for invention, that, if Beauvilliers exhausted the old world of art, Carème discovered a new one,—that Beauvilliers rigidly adhered to the unities, and Carème snatched a grace beyond them, that there was more à plomb in the touch of Beauvilliers -more curious felicity in Carème's,- that Beauvilliers was great in an entrée, and Carème sublime in an entremet,—that we would bet Beauvilliers against the world for a fricandeau, but should wish Carème to prepare the sauce were we under the necessity of eating up an elephant.*
As example is always better than precept, we subjoin Lady Morgan's sketch of a dinner by Carème at the Baron Rothschild's villa:
'I did not hear the announcement of Madame est servie without emotion. We proceeded to the dining-room, not as in England by the printed orders of the red-book, but by the law of the courtesy of nations, whose only distinctions are made in favour of the greatest strangers. The evening was extremely sultry, and in spite of Venetian blinds and open verandas, the apartments through which we passed were exceedingly close. A dinner in the largest of them threatened much inconvenience from the heat; but on this score there was no ground for apprehension. The dining-room stood apart from the house, in the midst of orange trees: it was an elegant oblong pavilion of Grecian marble, refreshed by fountains that shot in air through
Lorsque cette sauce est bien traitée, elle feroit manger un éléphant.'-Almanach des Gourmands.
VOL. LIV. NO. CVII.
scintillating streams, and the table, covered with the beautiful and picturesque dessert, emitted no odour that was not in perfect conformity with the freshness of the scene and fervour of the season. No burnished gold reflected the glaring sunset, no brilliant silver dazzled the eyes; porcelain, beyond the price of all precious metals by its beauty and its fragility, every plate a picture, consorted with the general character of sumptuous simplicity which reigned over the whole, and showed how well the masters of the feast had consulted the genius of the place in all.
To do justice to the science and research of a dinner so served would require a knowledge of the art equal to that which produced it; its character, however, was, that it was in season,-that it was up to its time, that it was in the spirit of the age,-that there was no perruque in its composition, no trace of the wisdom of our ancestors in a single dish,-no high-spiced sauces, no dark-brown gravies, no flavour of cayenne and allspice, no tincture of catsup and walnut pickle, no visible agency of those vulgar elements of cooking of the good old times, fire and water. Distillations of the most delicate viands, extracted in silver dews, with chemical precision
"On tepid clouds of rising steam "—
formed the fond all. EVERY MEAT PRESENTED ITS OWN NATURAL AROMA EVERY VEGETABLE ITS OWN SHADE OF VERDURE: the mayonese was fried in ice, (like Ninon's description of Sevigne's heart,) and the tempered chill of the plombière (which held the place of the eternal fondu and soufflets of our English tables) anticipated the stronger shock, and broke it, of the exquisite avalanche, which, with the hue and odour of fresh-gathered nectarines, satisfied every sense and dissipated every coarser flavour.
With less genius than went to the composition of this dinner, men have written epic poems; and if crowns were distributed to cooks, as to actors, the wreath of Pasta or Sontag (divine as they are) were never more fairly won than the laurel which should have graced the brow of Carème for this specimen of the intellectual perfection of an art, the standard and gauge of modern civilization. Cruelty, violence, and barbarism were the characteristics of the men who fed upon the tough fibres of half-dressed oxen; humanity, knowledge, and refinement belong to the living generation, whose tastes and temperance are regulated by the science of such philosophers as Carème, and such Amphytrions as his employers!'-France in 1829-30, vol. ii. p. 414.
We have never denied Miladi's cleverness-and some parts of this description manifest no inconsiderable advance in taste since our last happy meeting in these pages. It was good taste in M. le premier Baron Juif to prefer porcelain; it was good taste in Lady Morgan to appreciate it; and the sentence which we have printed in capitals seems to indicate that she had some vague notions of the peculiar merit of Carème. But what means she by No dark-brown gravies? Does she really mean to say that Carème was guilty of that worst of modern heresies, a service made up of entrées blondes, a tasteless, soul-less monotony of white? Then, flavour of
cayenne and allspice! tincture of catsup and walnut pickle!' To avoid such atrocities made a feature in the glory of a Carème !
In the course of the evening, Lady Morgan requested Madame Rothschild to present Carème to her. The illustrious chef joined the circle in the salon accordingly: and we are sorry we have not space for the affecting and instructive interview which ensued'The feast of reason and the flow of soul.'
The leading restaurants of Paris at present are the Rocher de Cancale, Rue Mont Orgueil; Grignon's, Rue Neuve des Petits Champs; Café de Paris, Boulevards Italiens; Lointier's, Rue Richelieu; Les Trois Frères Provençaux, Perigord's, and Véry's, all three in the Palais Royal.
We have a few historical particulars of most of them to set down, always subject to one preliminary remark. In the preface to his Agricultural Chemistry, Sir Humphry Davy describes science as extending with such rapidity, that even while he was preparing his manuscript for the press, some alterations became necessary.' Now, not only does cookery advance and vary upon the same principle, but its professors are subject to changes from which the professors of other sciences are happily exempt. The fame of a restaurateur is always, in some sort, dependent upon fashion,-for a plat's prosperity lies in the mouth of him who eats it; and the merit of a restaurateur is always in some sort dependent upon his fame;
For they can conquer who believe they can;' Confidence gives firmness, and a quick eye and steady hand are no less necessary to seize the exact moment of projection and infuse the last soupçon of piquancy, than to mark the changing fortunes of a battle, or execute a critical winning hazard at the billiard table. Besides, few will be public-spirited enough to keep a choice of rare things in readiness, unless the demand be both constant and discriminating. We must, therefore, be held blameless in case of any disappointment resulting from changes subsequently to the commencement of the present year, 1835.
The Rocher de Cancale first grew into reputation by its oysters, which, about the year 1804, M. Balaine, the founder of the esta blishment, contrived the means of bringing to Paris fresh and in the best possible order at all seasons alike; thus giving a direct practical refutation of the prejudice, that oysters are good in those months only which include the canine letter.* He next applied himself with equal and well-merited success to fish and game; and at length taking courage to generalise his exertions, he aspired to and attained the eminence which the Rocher has ever since enjoyed without dispute. His fullness of reputation dates from Novem
* Apicius is said to have supplied Trajan with fresh oysters at all seasons of the
ber 28th, 1809, when he served a dinner of twenty-four covers in a style which made it the sole topic of conversation to gastronomic Paris for a month. The bill of fare, a most appetising document, preserved in the Almanach,' exhibits the harmonious and rich array of four potages, four relevés, twelve entrées, four grosses pièces, four plats de rót, and eight entremets. To dine, indeed, in perfection at the Rocher, the student should order a dinner of ten covers, a week or ten days beforehand, at not less than forty francs a head, exclusive of wine; nor is this price by any means excessive, for three or four louis a head were ordinarily given at Tailleur's more than twenty years ago.* If you have not been able to make a party, or are compelled to improvise a dinner, you had better ask the garçon to specify the luxuries of the day; provided always you can converse with him with connoissance de cause, for otherwise he will hardly condescend to communicativeness. When he does condescend, it is really delightful to witness the quiet selfpossessed manner, the con amore intelligent air, with which he dictates his instructions, invariably concluding with the same phrase, uttered in an exulting self-gratulatory tone-Bien, Monsieur, vous avez-là un excellent diner! Never, too, shall we forget the dig. nity with which he once corrected a blunder made in our ménu by a tyro of the party, who had interpolated a salmi between the potage à la bisque and the turbot à la crême et au gratin. Messieurs,' said he, as he brought in the turbot according to the pre-ordained order of things, le poisson est NATURELLEMENT le relevé du potage.' Another instance of the zeal with which the whole establishment seems instinct, and we have done. A report had got about in the autumn of 1834, that the celebrated chef was dead, and a scientific friend of ours took the liberty to mention it to the garçon, avowing at the same time his own total incredulity. He left the room without a word, but within five minutes he hurriedly threw open the door, exclaiming, 'Messieurs, il vient se montrer;' and sure enough the great artist in his own proper person presented himself, and our distinguished ally enjoyed the honour of a brief but pregnant conversation with a man whose works are more frequently in the mouths of his most enlightened contemporaries, than those of any other great artist that could be named. Fastidiousness itself has detected but a single fault in them, which it would be wrong, however-particularly as manifesting some distrust of the influence of his general character-to suppress. been thought, hypercritically perhaps, that the entrées and entremets at the Rocher, have a shade too much of the appearance of elaboration, and that the classic adage, ars est celare artem,' has escaped the attention of the master. This fault, it is to be observed, is
Cambacères was present at one of Tailleur's three louis a-head dinners, given by M. des Androuins, and exclaimed in a transport of enthusiasm: M. Tailleur, on ne dine pas mieux que cela chez moi.