This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
A name often met with in the literature of epicurism. It is necessary to a polite education to know something about a name so prominent. Careme was an original genius who happened to be a cook, had the good fortune to get into the employ of kings and emperors, and seing his advantages and having the ability, he wrote books and laid the foundation of a new school of cookery. It was Careme who invented or re-invented the great list of sauces now in use - the hot sauces and garnishes and ragouts - of which the names even have never been learned outside of France. There was another able man at the time doing practical work, Bean-villiers, the founder of the French restaurant, of whom it has been said he exhausted the classical school of cookery; he used up all the resources of the old world, but Careme invented a new one. Carfime made a new departure. In CarSme's time and afterwards, the old names and fashions of cookery disappeared and the uniform, almost universal language of the art, spread from Paris to all the civilized capitals; it was the end of the old feudal era of boar-hunting barons and coarse feasting and the beginning of a period of gastronomlcal refinement and the cultivation of the manners of the table. Cargme died less than fifty years ago.
He was doing his best work in the first quarter of the present century. We have some of his recollections of great men, which was written in 1S32. He wrote several books on cookery and kindred subjects; one of them was his Maitre d'Hotel or steward-cook. He himself was maitre d'hotel at one time to Prince Talryrand in that famous man's old age. He was in the employ of the emperor Alexander of Russia, at $6,000 a year, and spent for the emperor $5,000 a week on the kitchen and table. Careme was not an economical cook or steward, neither are they who follow him faithfully. And yet he wrote in praise of economy and claimed to practice it. Before that time he had been cook to King George of England, but left London in disgust, complaining of the dullness of both the people and the climate. It is said the immediate cause of his leaving England was an insult he imagined he had sustained through the king having added salt to one of his soups and eaten asparagus with one of his new entremets. But in Russia he was not quite satisfied, and looked back upon the massive furnishings of the English table with something like regret " When he cooked for the Emperor Alexander he never could reconcile himself to the Russian fashion of 'a table not six feet broad ' and mostly wasted on flower pots, which enforced the carving up beforehand of all his glorious grosses pieces.
No, his pet crotchets were better humored by the oval table of polished steel at the Prince Regent's pavilion, which was heated by steam, like a hot plate, and was large enough to hold forty entrees at one time, in addition to its monster decorations. Before the Revolution iron tables of this kind were, Cargme says, to be seen in the Chateaux of France and the private ' hotels ' of Paris. And it is no wonder that iron was employed, for, gross as the custom was in Cargme's time, it was much worse about 1750. He copies from Vincent la Chapelle one menu for 100 guests, which comprised 24 soups, removed by as many large dishes of fish 548 joints; 66 dishes of oysters, replaced by 66 entrees; 34 cold meats and 4S roasts; besides, 66 salads, followed by 66 other entremets, and 30 sauces. Thus no fewer than 472 different dishes of all sorts - round, oval, square, octagonal and fanci-form - had to be put on the table, and with all this each pair of elbows had but eighteen inches play." Cargme was not the finisher of a reform movement, he was the beginner of one. His works were grandiloquent and verbose and not adapted to be translated, and do not appear to be in print in English, if they have ever been.
The essence of Cargme's work is in Francatelli, and French manners and fashions have now left both behind. Beauvilliers and CarCine were the chief of two opposite schools of cookery - the classical and the romantic. According to Mr. Hayward, "Beauvilliers was more remarkable for judgment, Cargme for invention; Beauvilliers exhausted the old world of art, and Cargme discovered a new one; the former was great in an entree, and the latter sublime in an entremet; and while Beauvilliers might be backed against the world for a rot, Cargme alone could be trusted to invent a sauce".