Sunday, August 31, 2008

Age of excess.

Royal Chef- Gabriel Tschumi

As a young chef staring out Gabriel Tschumi got a job, that even today would be considered a great opportunity. He was hired as a cook for the British Royal family. This is not that same Royal family that is tabloid fodder. His time in the kitchen was a little before all that. When he started in his employment Victoria was Queen.

The one thing that stands out in this book is the extravagant excess's that the Royals seemed to go in for. Judging form the menus listed copious amounts of food were a regular thing. How often does one read a culinary book where the roasting of a baron of beef is a regular occurrence?
This was the age of regal excess. The Swiss born Tschmi writes about his experiences in the royal household kitchens as an outsider. Certainly not one who lived that way(who did) but some one who did his duty. There is obvious affection for the families he served, most notably Queen Mary.

Given that it was written 1954( a year after the death of Queen Mary)this is not a salacious tell all. but simply an affectionate memoir. This is good for the reader as it is a window into a time and lifestyle that is long gone. When he started in his employment Victoria was Queen

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