The Chef at War

Front Cover
Penguin UK, Apr 7, 2011 - Cooking - 112 pages

The flamboyant Frenchman Alexis Soyer was the most renowned chef in Victorian England. This is his colourful account of his time at the front in the Crimean War, where he joined British troops in order to improve the quality of the food they were eating.

Divulging the secrets of preparing stew for 1000 soldiers, sharing sweetmeats with a Turkish Pacha, and teaching a Highland regiment to cook with his pioneering gas-fuelled 'field stove' that would be used by armies up until the Second World War, Soyer gives a vividly enjoyable lesson in making a little go a long way.

 

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Contents

How it All Began
KIDNEYS À LA BROCHETTE PARIS FASHION
Off to the War
A Tour Round the Kitchen
Three Weeks at Scutari
Camp Life at Headquarters
My Great Field Day
Soyer Très Heureux
HOW TO SOAK AND PLAINBOIL THE RATIONS OF SALT BEEF AND PORK ON LAND OR AT SEA
SALT PORK WITH MASHED PEAS FOR ONE HUNDRED MEN
TO COOK FOR A REGIMENT OF A THOUSAND MEN
FRENCH BEEF SOUP OR POTAUFEU CAMP FASHION FOR THE ORDINARY CANTEENPAN
COFFEE A LA ZOUAVE FOR A MESS OF TEN SOLDIERS
COCOA FOR EIGHTY MEN
SERIES OF SMALL RECEIPTS FOR A SQUAD OUTPOST OR PICKET OF MEN
SUET DUMPLINGS

Soyers Hospital Diets
NO 12 CALFSFOOT JELLY
JELLY STOCK
NO 17 RICE WATER
NO 20 SEMICITRIC LEMONADE RECEIPT FOR FIFTY PINTS
NO 23 CHEAP PLAIN RICE PUDDING FOR CAMPAIGNING
NO 25 BREAD PUDDING
NO 35 FRENCH HERB BROTH
Soyers Field and Barrack Cookery for the Army
SOYERS SCUTARI TEAPOT
Bill of Fare for London Suppers
RELISHING STEAK
SANDWICHES FOR EVENING PARTIES
GAME FOR SUPPER
PLAIN SALAD WITH ANCHOVIES
HERRING A LA ROB ROY
SOYERS CRIMEAN CUP A LA WYNDHAM
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About the author (2011)

Born in France, Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) is a celebrated chef and kitchen innovator. He became the first chef at the Reform Club, London where he instituted many innovations in the Club kitchens, including cooking with gas, using refrigerators cooled by cold water and ovens with adjustable temperatures. His kitchens were so famous, they were opened for tours and his 'Lamb Cutlets Reform' still feature on the menu at the Club today. Later on in his life, Soyer campaigned for better food, setting up soup kitchens in Ireland during the potato famine and offering his services to British soldiers during the Crimean War, training chefs, organising provisions and using his own invention, the Soyer stove (a portable stove) in the field to cater for troops.

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