Ritz and Escoffier by Luke Barr

Ritz and Escoffier

In a tale replete with scandal and opulence, Luke Barr, author of the New York Times bestselling Provence, 1970, transports readers to turn-of-the-century London and Paris to discover how celebrated hotelier Cesar Ritz and famed chef Auguste Escoffier joined forces at the Savoy Hotel to spawn the modern luxury hotel and restaurant, where women and American Jews mingled with British high society, signaling a new social order and the rise of the m...

Details Ritz and Escoffier

TitleRitz and Escoffier
Release DateApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherClarkson Potter Publishers
GenreNonfiction, History, Biography, Food and Drink, Food

Reviews Ritz and Escoffier

  • Judy Lesley
    I received an ARC of this book through the Amazon Vine program.Cesar Ritz was already on his way to making a name for himself before Richard D'Oyly Carte convinced him to come to London for a short stay to help get the new Savoy Hotel on its feet. Ritz brought along Auguste Escoffier to take care of the food side of the service. Both men remained much longer than they had expected to and were instrumental in changing the old rules of accommodatio...
  • Margaret Sankey
    Have I mentioned lately how much I miss teaching the World of Food class? Before Ritz and Escoffier, "hotels" were either the house of someone from whom you could wrangle and invitation, or a crummy inn where you might sleep with strangers and bedbugs, or maybe an exclusive spa that refused to admit nouveau riche Americans or Jews. Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier has begun their quiet revolution in hotels in Switzerland and along the holiday coa...
  • Marks54
    Luke Barr, who has written before on high profile chefs, provides a dual biography of Cesar Ritz and August Eschffier, the hotelier and chef who together invented 20th century models for the luxury hotel with the world class restaurant attached to it and serving the most prestigious customers in the world. The book chronicles the rise of the duo from early successes in Europe to their breakout at the Savoy Hotel in London to their move back to Pa...
  • Dianne Everson
    I enjoyed this book, but it is not for everyone.The history is interesting, but Escoffiers menus were a little tedious after the second multi course one.It would make a fun movie, with the "ritzy" hotels and period costumes.
  • Theresa Connors
    Well researched but the writing was meh. It didn’t draw me in.
  • SundayAtDusk
    This book provides an interesting look at the lives of hotelier César Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier. Both left "the continent" to tackle the jobs of establishing a grand hotel with a grand restaurant in London. At that time in England, fine entertainment was usually done only in private homes and gentlemen's clubs, which of course excluded a lot of people. Also, it was debatable if the food served during such exclusive gathering could even qua...
  • Lauren Albert
    This gives a very good sense of what it was like then for people with money and/or fame. He shows how Ritz stage managed a change from a world where women did not eat in restaurants to a world where anyone who could afford to ate in restaurants. And perhaps most significantly, a world where hotel rooms did not have bathrooms to a world where they did. 😉
  • Linda
    Hotelier Cesar Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier transform the Savoy in London and later open the Ritz hotel. Their story is quite interesting as it exposes the prejudices and the rise of the leisure class.
  • Deidre
    A captivating and well-researched slice of Gilded Age life. Ritz and Escoffier are legends in the worlds of service, luxury, and style. The book captures the moment that the Savoy hotel became the place to be seen by London's elite. The details on Escoffier's famed elaborate menus, gossip at the time, and the tidal shift in wealth made this a fascinating read.
  • Ronald Koltnow
    What does one think of when one hears the name Ritz? Cesar Ritz, the man behind the concept of ritzy, was a simple man, uneducated and insecure. He thought he had peasant hands. Yet, he knew the hotel business. When approached by the owners of the Savoy Hotel in London, Ritz took charge and modernized the concept of hotels and service forever. Ritz's first act was to install Auguste Escoffier as the hotel's chef. Escoffier, with his theory of bri...
  • Janet
    From the Publisher - In early August 1889, Cesar Ritz, a Swiss hotelier highly regarded for his exquisite taste, found himself at the Savoy Hotel in London. He had come at the request of Richard D'Oyly Carte, the financier of Gilbert & Sullivan's comic operas, who had modernized theater and was now looking to create the world's best hotel. D'Oyly Carte soon seduced Ritz to move to London with his team, which included Auguste Escoffier, the chef d...
  • Schuyler Wallace
    The stories of both a legendary hotelman and an exemplary chef make for a great read in Luke Barr’s “Ritz & Escoffier.” The late 1800s into the early 1900s was the period of the European grand hotel and two men, Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier, were largely responsible for the proliferation of many fine hostelries at that time. Hotelier Cesar Ritz became famous as his travels around the world of hospitality took him through ever-increasing...
  • Laurie
    Cesar Ritz started his career as a waiter in Parisian restaurants. He worked his way up to better and better eateries, and finally made the step to being a hotel manager. He had an eye for improving things and a memory for what guests liked and didn’t like. Auguste Escoffier was a brilliant chef, with equal skills in creating food and managing kitchens. When he started, kitchens were mad houses filled with yelling, drunkenness, food that arrive...
  • Jennifer Malinowski
    Ritz and Escoffier by Luke Barr is a fascinating story of the rise of the famed Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz and the French chef Auguste Escoffier. Barr's pleasant writing style made this narrative nonfiction book one I read in a little over a day. I enjoyed the descriptions of the opulence of the Savoy and Ritz Hotels and a glimpse into the life of the upper class who stayed at these hotels. However, I did not find that the book sufficiently explor...
  • Brian
    Ritz and Escoffier is the story of the founder of the Rtiz Carlton empire and the chef that made the whole thing possible. Cesar Ritz figured out the rising luxury class of new money and the old monied classes of Europe were ready for a new form of travel with modern amenities and the finest dinging to be had. His chef Auguste Escoffier would provide those original dishes as the two managed a series of hotels until landing at the Savoy started by...
  • Richard
    Very nice read about Cesar Ritz (Swiss) et and Auguste Escoffier (French) and how their partnership changed the hospitality world w/ their hotels and restaurants. Initially at first, both of them were employed at the Savoy (London) conceived by a englishman and his investors. Their talents both drew aristocrats, the wealthy and upper-crusts to the Savoy. It was a place to see and be seen in. It was ahead of it's time. It was the first hotel to of...
  • Marilyn
    A delightful read. The author says that at the Savoy Hotel, Cesar Ritz and Antoine Escoffier introduced fine dining and entertainment to the nouveau riche of England. Before Ritz, men of the upper classes dined in their clubs, men of the lower classes ate in pubs (if they could afford to eat out) and all women dined in their homes. But the industrialists, businessmen and bankers (most of them Jews) - the rich but not titled - were not allowed ins...
  • Kristine
    Ritz and Escoffier by Luke Barr is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early April.Hotelier Cesar Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier debut in London at the Savoy Hotel during 1889 to draw in continental European clientele.  Both are motivated, inspired, full of ideas, focus on opulence and quality, and work hard to cater to their guests' extravagant whims. The arc of this book takes place over approximately 15 years while Ritz opens the Rome Gran...
  • Margaret
    Lots of fascinating details here. Charmed by the cameo appearance of Rosa Lewis, whom I met collaterally via “The Duchess of Duke Street; much struck by Escoffier’s insistence on quit and civility in the kitchen — so different from the atmosphere demonstrated by some of today’s celebrity chefs; interested to learn more about D’Oyly Carte whom I knew only through Gilbert and Sullivan; much amused to find a Henry Higgins among the investo...
  • Theresafic
    Interesting;one of my favorite kind of book- history and the story of people who shaped it. I felt as though the book emphasized Escoffier more than Ritz. Although Ritz was a visionary when it came to hotels the book mostly described the restaurant, who ate there and what Escoffier made. The book discussed some how Ritz got a hotel up and running but little about what it is like to run a hotel except to anticipate the guests needs. I wonder how m...
  • Sarah
    I received this copy for free from Goodreads. Nonfiction is not a category i typically read, especially not about historical figures I’m not already familiar with, but I found the history and human aspects fascinating. It follows the rise of famous hotelier Ritz, and his counterpart restauranteur Escoffier. While I knew of Ritz hotels before reading this book I had no clue about the history, and this book definitely filled in any blanks on the ...
  • N.R. Tomasheski
    I received this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. (And was quite pleased: I entered about 50 giveaways that day, but this was the book I was most interested to read.)It's an enjoyable volume; an easy read, full of charming detail about the period (1889 to 1901). It is well-researched, but never stuffy: the tone is conversational and upbeat. Ritz and Escoffier were indeed the primary innovators of what we know today as the luxury hotel experience, with...
  • Kelly Heyesey
    I won this book through a Goodreads sweepstakes. I was of course familiar with the name Ritz, but was not familiar with his background and how he revolutionized the customer service experience for the hotel industry. It was interesting to learn about his almost obsessive attention to detail. It was also equally enlightening to learn about Auguste Escoffier who I was unfamiliar with. The lists of the decadent menus he created left me wishing I cou...
  • Linda Smatzny
    Loved loved this book. It tells the story of Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier and how they catered to the rich people of Europe and America. The book begins in 1889 thru 1902 when money was so important. It talks about how Ritz changed hotels by introducing modern conveniences like bathrooms in each room, elevators and other items. Escoffier rearranged a kitchen so that service flowed and meals arrived hot to the table. He also made menus just fo...
  • Sherrie Pilkington
    ***I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway***I don't know y'all...I just couldn't get into this book. It was fine, I guess, but not more than that. I did learn things that were fascinating, but I wish there had been more. I feel like the author started in the middle of the story and glossed over large swathes of Ritz and Escoffier's lives. It felt rushed. All in all, it's a great topic but a mediocre book.
  • Zack
    Goodreads Giveaway - This was a very fun book to read. It’s a narrative history of the rise and success of the Hotelier and the Chef of the title. It goes over how their partnership at the Savoy hotel generated a new class of hotels and changed the expectations of dining out. If cultural history is of interest, this book is well worth time. Additionally, it is worth tracking down Escoffier’s cookbook, which is the definitive French cookbook.
  • LillyBooks
    This was such a fascinating book, and I enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes drama of the story of Cesear Ritz and Auguste Escoffier. The author kept it moving at a brisk pace, and I felt like we really got to know the personalities of these men although it's more weighted on Ritz than Escoffier. It's frothy and diverting but not just empty calories; it manages to give you enough historical research and detail in which to really sink your teeth.
  • Shalaka G
    I will go with 3.5I am not a fan of non fiction but this book kept me hooked. I have always been curious, whenever I am came across the words Savoy and Ritz; they frequently appeared in old books. But this might not be for everyone. Read this only if you are interested in history and particularly hotel industry or social life in the late 1800s.
  • Amber
    3.5 stars. I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads program. It made for an interesting peek behind the scenes of the luxury hotel industry, and the hotelier and chef whose names became synonymous with luxury. One caveat: probably not a good idea to read on an empty stomach, as some of the menu descriptions are mouthwatering.
  • Kathy Cooley
    Very good! If you have any interest in the time period or the aristocracy at that time, you will enjoy this. I'm not one to read nonfiction as a rule, but this is very well-written and avoids the pedantic slant of many nonfiction books.