what’s cookin’

…One of the chief concerns of a fashionable lord was to keep a good table, and the key to a good table was a French cook. The cartoon shows the Duke of Newcastle remonstrating with his famous chef, Cloue: “Oh Cloue, if you leave me I shall be starved.” But Cloue has been reading King George’s proclamation against Papists, and is not staying in England. After struggling along for a while with an English cook, Newcastle addressed an appeal to Lord Albermarle, the British ambassador to Paris, who had taken Cloue into his service. After consultation with Cloue, Albermarle reccomended a man named Herve, taking care to warn the Duke that “a cook of greater reputation may be got, but then most of them are very impertinent…none of that class chuses to leave paris without they are attended by an Aide, a Rotisseur, and a Patissier.”

— Title: The Duke of N- – -tle and his cook
Date Created/Published: [England : Publisher not named, 1745 or later]
Medium: 1 print : engraving.
Summary: “The scene of this engraving is laid in the Duke of Newcastle’s kitchen, where his cook, Chloe, is pointing to the “Proclamation against Papists”, and remonstrating with the Duke, “Bégar, me can no rélish dis dam Englis Proclémacion”…” (Source: Stephens) —Read More:http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2006682076/

Herve did not satisfy, and within the year, Newcastle was back to his problem.This time Cloue undertook to set his old master straight: “My Lord Duke, at this moment I know of no cooks available such as your Grace requires; it is indeed very rare to find one who is both a good cook and a good rotisseur. In most of the best houses in France a cook never makes the roast.”

Fortunately, Newcastle in the meantime had become prime minister and his Paris correspondents were able to find him a cook named Fontenelle who suited his taste. Dessert was always a galaxy of Gallic confections…


(see link at end) Lord Chesterfield:I must not omit mentioning to you, that at the Duke of Newcastle’s table, where you will frequently dine, there is a great deal of drinking; be upon your guard against it, both upon account of your health, which would not bear it, and of the consequences of your being flustered and heated with wine: it might engage you in scrapes and frolics, which the King (who is a very sober man himself) detests. On the other hand, you should not seem too grave and too wise to drink like the rest of the company; therefore use art: mix water with your wine; do not drink all that is in the glass; and if detected, and pressed to drink more do not cry out sobriety; but say that you have lately been out of order, that you are subject to inflammatory complaints, and that you must beg to be excused for the present. A young fellow ought to be wiser than he should seem to be; and an old fellow ought to seem wise whether he really be so or not….Read More:http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/chesterfield/letters/volume6.html

Read More:http://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/catalog/pennell/pennell-2.html

(see link at end)… By no great man in the annals of cookery have I been so puzzled as by that once famous “Chloe,” French cook to the Duke of Newcastle, and important enough in his own generation to swagger for a minute in the Letters of Horace Walpole and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. I had heard of Chloe, the beloved of Daphnis; I had heard of Chloe, the rival of Steele’s Clarissa; I had even heard of Chloe, the old darky cook of the South. But of Chloe, a Frenchman, I had never heard, and I knew, without consulting the Encyclopædia, he simply could not exist. Who, then, was the Duke of Newcastle’s Chloe? He was the last person I had in my mind when I began to read Verral’s title, but by the time I got to the end I understood: A Complete System of Cookery, In which is set forth a Variety of genuine Receipts; collected from several Years’ Experience under the celebrated Mr. de St. Clouet, sometimes since Cook to his Grace, the Duke of Newcastle. Clouet — Chloe — is it not as near and neat a guess as could be hoped for in the French of eighteenth-century London? He deserves his fame, for his receipts are excellent; wisdom in all he says about soup; genius in his use of garlic. Verral, moreover, writes an Introductory Preface, a graceful bit of autobiography, “to which is added, a true character of Mons. de St. Clouet;” so well done that there is scarcely a cook in history, not Vatel, not Carême, whom I now feel I know better. “An honest man,” Verral testifies, “worthy of the place he enjoyed in that noble family he had the honour to live in,” not extravagant as was said, but “setting aside the two soups, fish, and about five gros entrées (as the French call them) he has with the help of a couple of rabbits or chickens, and six pigeons, completed a table of twenty-one dishes at a course, with such things as used to serve only for garnish round a lump of great heavy dishes before he came.” Fortunately for the Duke of Newcastle’s purse, St. Clouet must still have been with him for the famous banquets celebrating his installation as Chancellor at Cambridge, when, according to Walpole, his cooks for ten days massacred and confounded “all the species that Noah and Moses took such pains to preserve and distinguish,” and, according to Gray, everyone “was very owlish and tipsy at night.” This was in 1749; 1759 is the date of Verral’s book, by which time St. Clouet had become cook to the Maréchal de Richelieu. Read More:http://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/catalog/pennell/pennell-2.html

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>