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The cooks of Franca have formed them■elves into a professional association, vrlth the object of maintaining the traditions of a Frenoh cuisine. Every year they organise at thetr own cO3t a culinary exhibition, at the close of which prizes are given atid certificates awarded. As a matter of fact, French cookery has preserved all Itp aDofent preatlge, and there Is not a sovereign, Emperor or King who has not a chef of French nationality. The race of beings whoie laurels were won by sooh men as Vatel and Oaresme will continue to hold their own fur all time, la France we find heaps of youngsters who express their intention of following the profession of a oook, jast as others deolare, while still qnlte yonng, that they will follow the oajreejr of arms, or that they will become Government engineers. According to a well-known chef, who hti held appointments with several of the crowned heads of Europe, the mere apprenticeship of a professional oook, doeß not usually commence before he has attained the age of 16 or 17 yeare. Only at tbil age, he asserts, does the taste adequately develop, does the palate have its fall power, and the senses of smell become sufficiently fine to distinguish the essenoea and judge the quality of a sauce. Then a young mm of 16 has had time to acquire a fair amount of instruction, he knows how to write, read, calculate—things which are highly neoessary for an Indlvidaal who has intricate accounts to keep and manage , At the end of two or three years of apprentice- j ship the young man is appointed assistant, and after ten or a d zan yean of practical experience he Is duly qualified to be raised to the dignity of a chef. The employment is a very remunerative one t A cook of superior attainments oan easily gain £600 per annum — about as much as a Uaneral In command of a brigade. Bat no#-a day* it is becoming the fashion to enter Into contracts w(tb the chef, and by this means he can often, m thy most legitimate manner, earn doable the sun above named- In many of the first houses when a grand dinner ia given, the chef is allowed a fixed snm per head, and It is for him to make the best arrangements he oan m his own interests, it being, of coarse, fally anderatood that his reputation and future success depend npon his givlog complete satisfaction. Under such conditions, many of the leading chefs beoome nothing more nor less than refreshment contractors, who endeavor, as is only natural, to make their fortunes as rapidly as they oan. It mast be a successful occupation In a pecan iary sense for we never sea any old chefs. At a recent callnai y exhibition, there was not a single man amongst the professional oooks who appeared to be over 40 years of age ; they all plsoed their white caps on the side of their beads, after a particular fashion, and they exhibited the air of Independence which always seems to he associated with the profession. Tbe clief, In a house, does not meddle with the servants : he lives apart, looks down upon the other persons employed m tbe plane, and domestlot address bin with the great d«feroow,

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Bibliographic details

FRENCH COOKS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2071, 23 February 1889

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FRENCH COOKS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2071, 23 February 1889