Carême, Marie-Antoine


Famous nineteenth-century French chef, often considered the founder of classical cuisine (haute cuisine). Although an incomparable pastry cook, Carême was also famous for his sauces and soups.

Born in 1783 to a large impoverished family, Carême found himself on the streets at the age of ten. He was taken in by the owner of a common restaurant where he learned the basics of cooking. At age 16, he became an apprentice to the famous French pastry chef Sylvain Bailly of the Rue Vivienne. Impressed by Carême’s abilities, Bailly encouraged him not only in the kitchen but to study and copy architectural drawings in the print-room of the National Library. Carême used this experience as the foundation for his patisserie creations for which he became famous.

Carême went onto manage the Tallyrand kitchens. Tallyrand was known for wielding gastronomy effectively as a diplomatic tool and the impressive culinary works of art by his head chef Carême helped him to amass great influence.

Carême had a keen sense of what was fashionable and he understood the desires for ceremony and entertainment of the new aristocracy. He spent the last years of his life working for the Baron de Rothschild and focused on his dream ‘To publish a complete book on the state of my profession in our times.’

His published works include:

Le Maitre d’hotel francais (1815)

Le Patissier royal parisien (1825)

L’Art de la cuisine au XIX siecle (1833)

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