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Charles Elmé Francatelli

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Portrait of Charles Elmé Francatelli by Joseph Brown, 1861, Frontispiece to The Cook's Guide
Portrait of Charles Elmé Francatelli by Joseph Brown, 1861, Frontispiece to The Cook's Guide
Engraving of Francatelli drawn by Auguste Hervieu and engraved by Samuel Freeman, probably in 1846, Frontispiece to The Modern Cook, 1845
Engraving of Francatelli drawn by Auguste Hervieu and engraved by Samuel Freeman, probably in 1846, Frontispiece to The Modern Cook, 1845
"Salmon à la Chambord", a decorated serving-dish from The Modern Cook
"Salmon à la Chambord", a decorated serving-dish from The Modern Cook

Charles Elmé Francatelli (1805 – 10 August 1876) was an Italian British cook,[1] known for his cookery books popular in the Victorian era, such as The Modern Cook.

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Biography

Francatelli was born in London, of Italian descent, in 1805. He was educated in France, where he studied the art of cookery under Marie-Antoine Carême. Returning to England, he was employed successively by various noblemen, subsequently becoming chief chef of the St James's Club, popularly known as Crockford's club.[1] He left Crockford's to become chief cook to Queen Victoria from 9 March 1840 to 31 March 1842,[2] and then returned to Crockford's. He was managing steward of the Coventry House Club from the day it opened on 1 June 1846 until it closed on 25 March 1854, and at the Reform Club from 1854 to 1861. He was Manager of the St James's Hotel, at the corner of Berkeley Street and Piccadilly, from 1863 to 1870. He worked as chef de cuisine to the Prince and Princess of Wales at the nearby Marlborough House from early 1863 until at least late September 1866. From 1870 to 76 he was manager of the Freemasons' Tavern. He died at Eastbourne.[3][4]

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Italy

Italy

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, in Southern Europe; its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy is also considered part of Western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with Rome as its capital and largest city, the country covers a total area of 301,230 km2 (116,310 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland, Campione. With over 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the third-most populous member state of the European Union.

Marie-Antoine Carême

Marie-Antoine Carême

Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême was a French chef and an early practitioner and exponent of the elaborate style of cooking known as grande cuisine, the "high art" of French cooking: a grandiose style of cookery favored by both international royalty and by the nouveau riche of Paris. Carême is often considered one of the first internationally renowned celebrity chefs.

Crockford's (club)

Crockford's (club)

Crockford's, the popular name for William Crockford's St James's Club was a London gentlemen's club, now dissolved. It was established in 1823, closed in 1845, re-founded in 1928 and closed in 1970. One of London's older clubs, it was centred on gambling and maintained a somewhat raffish and raucous reputation. It was founded by William Crockford who employed Benjamin Wyatt and Philip Wyatt to construct the city's most opulent palace of gentlemanly pleasure, which opened in November 1827. and he employed two of London's finest chefs of the time, Louis Eustache Ude and then Charles Elmé Francatelli to feed its members, food and drink being supplied free after midnight.

Reform Club

Reform Club

The Reform Club is a private members' club on the south side of Pall Mall in central London, England. As with all of London's original gentlemen's clubs, it comprised an all-male membership for decades, but it was one of the first all-male clubs to change its rules to include the admission of women on equal terms in 1981. Since its founding in 1836, the Reform Club has been the traditional home for those committed to progressive political ideas, with its membership initially consisting of Radicals and Whigs. However, it is no longer associated with any particular political party, and it now serves a purely social function.

Piccadilly

Piccadilly

Piccadilly is a road in the City of Westminster, London, to the south of Mayfair, between Hyde Park Corner in the west and Piccadilly Circus in the east. It is part of the A4 road that connects central London to Hammersmith, Earl's Court, Heathrow Airport and the M4 motorway westward. St James's is to the south of the eastern section, while the western section is built up only on the northern side. Piccadilly is just under 1 mile (1.6 km) in length, and it is one of the widest and straightest streets in central London.

Marlborough House

Marlborough House

Marlborough House, a Grade I listed mansion in St James's, City of Westminster, London, is the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations and the seat of the Commonwealth Secretariat. It was built in 1711 for Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, the favourite and confidante of Queen Anne. For over a century it served as the London residence of the dukes of Marlborough. It became a royal residence through the 19th century and first half of the 20th. The house was expanded for the Prince of Wales, the future king Edward VII, and became closely associated with the prince in the Victorian era. Queen Mary lived there when she was Princess of Wales and took a special interest in the house; she returned to live there in her widowhood. The building was leased by Queen Elizabeth II to the Commonwealth Secretariat beginning in 1965.

Freemasons' Tavern

Freemasons' Tavern

The Freemasons' Tavern was established in 1775 at 61-65 Great Queen Street in the West End of London. It served as a meeting place for a variety of notable organisations from the 18th century until it was demolished in 1909 to make way for the Connaught Rooms.

Works

Francatelli was the author of The Modern Cook (1846),[5] A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes (1852), The Cook's Guide and Housekeeper's & Butler's Assistant (1861),[6] and of The Royal English and Foreign Confectioner (1862).[7]

A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes was reprinted in 1993, complete with the original advertisements and introduction.

Reception

Iced Pudding, a la Chesterfield. The illustration is one of the earliest to show ice cream cones, which Francatelli describes as gauffres.
Iced Pudding, a la Chesterfield. The illustration is one of the earliest to show ice cream cones, which Francatelli describes as gauffres.

Clarissa Dickson Wright, describing Francatelli as "the Italian confectioner", describes him as liking "his elaborate sugar decorations. He also talks about making pearls, birds and feathers out of sugar to decorate your dessert course." She compares it to a meal in Daisy Ashford's The Young Visiters, and comments that while such fiddly decoration may have looked good, she wasn't sure it did anything for the taste.[8]

In media

In Victoria Charles Francatelli is played by Ferdinand Kingsley. In the series, Francatelli works at the palace for several years until he marries Nancy Skerrett, the Queen's Head Dresser,[9] and the couple leaves the palace to open their own hotel.[10] But in real life, Francatelli never married the Queen's Head Dresser (whose real name was Marianne Skerrett).[11]

Source: "Charles Elmé Francatelli", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Elmé_Francatelli.

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References
  1. ^ a b "Francatelli, Charles Elmé" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. ^ Account books of the Lord Steward of the Royal Household for 1840–42, National Archive, Kew, refs. LS 2/66, LS 2/67 and LS 2/68
  3. ^ Colin Smythe, "Charles Elmé Francatelli, Crockford's and the Royal Connection" in Petits Propos Culinaires 101 (2014), pp. 42–67, and "Charles Elmé Francatelli, Additions & Supplementations" in Petits Propos Culinaires 102 (2015), pp. 100–118
  4. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Francatelli, Charles Elmé". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 774–775.
  5. ^ French Cookery. The Modern Cook
  6. ^ The Cook's Guide and Housekeeper's & Butler's Assistant
  7. ^ The Royal English and Foreign Confectioner
  8. ^ Wright, Clarissa Dickson (2011). A History of English Food. Random House. pp. 340–341. ISBN 978-1-905-21185-2.
  9. ^ Sax, Geoffrey (20 January 2019), London Bridge Is Falling Down, Victoria, retrieved 25 November 2022
  10. ^ Thomas, Chloe (3 February 2019), Foreign Bodies, Victoria, retrieved 25 November 2022
  11. ^ Dennison, Matthew (3 September 2016). "ITV didn't need to embellish Queen Victoria's life – it was wild enough already". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
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