This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
In the preparation of this volume my aim has been to supply just such a book as I wished for myself when I was a beginner in hotel employment and saw how much there was before me to learn before I could reach the paying positions. It has fallen to my lot to be the first to write down what have hitherto been the unwritten rules of hotel management; as the hotel system of this country is advancing and expanding, I have looked upwards and not downwards for my examples; and I beg the reader, who may find some things contrary to his preconceived notions of hotel interiors, to note that I have not made the mistake of imagining that I had to invent a code or system, but have only had to state the facts as they exist already; the expressions of opinion or advocacy of special rules are but the links to make the whole plan coherent, where otherwise it would be broken by the difference in practice of different hotel-keepers. It is due to those who will disagree with me on some points to admit that my friends, the editors, who have published some of the matter serially, found some statements 60 opposed to their previous ideas they even hesitated to print them; the doctrine which they seemed to think most monstrous is that laid down in " The Steward and His Management of Help," beginning at the bottom of page 23. Perhaps they read it hastily or misconstrued it Though not too dogmatical to review my own work and reconsider it, I have not, after a year's interval, found a word to change, and have in the same time passed through experiences with two hotel keepers which showed that they, at least, did not misunderstand, and the rule is sound, always premising that the incoming man is a real steward and is competent.
It is a formal investment of the steward with his authority that is advocated, the old and efficient hands do not really leave, they are trained to the system and bow and accept the new dictator. The "clean sweep" business is named in connection with corruption and misdoing. Let us suppose a case - or call it reality if you will: A man is sent for by a hotel proprietor to be steward, and the proprietor says: "My help all seem to be unmanageable; they are insubordinate, noisy, quarrelsome, independent, insolent; I want you to change all this; it is injuring my business." The new steward finds a too-good barkeeper, a pet of the proprietor, too, is giving the hands whisky, and this ill-advised liberality with his employer's property is making the barkeeper the most popular man in the house, but is keeping the hands half drunk and unmanageable. All the power the steward has over the barkeeper is to notify him not to treat his hands any more, but that does not help much, for his hands are then sulky and sullen, his bitter enemies. That Is the time for a "clean sweep," or else the steward must back down and leave.
In another place it may be a colored girl, my lady's pampered and bejewelled maid, who Is the power behind the throne; who orders the cooks and sends the waiters away on errands, and the new steward finds that when he gives his directions the help all look to the pet maid to see whether they are to obey him or not If the decaying proprietor of such a declining business as this symbolizes wants reform there must be a "clean sweep," not necessarily of the maid, too, but new hands must come in who have not learned to look that way for orders.
In short, I have entertained the idea of writing this book for years past, and made observations accordingly so extensive and thorough as to be able to claim a full preparation for the task before it was undertaken. The interior of a large hotel is not a place of pleasure for the employe's. All the heads of departments are autocrats In their sphere if they are good men; if they are bad men they may be tyrants.
In regard to the dictionary, which will commend itself at a glance, it only needs to be said that in the anticipation that it will find a welcome not only among hotel stewards and chefs, but among diners-out, bons-vivants, club men, restaurateurs, printers who set up bills of fare, editors with gastronomical proclivities, and the polite world in general, I have made It as light reading as was practicable, by embodying the brightest and best paragraphs on every subject in turn by the best writers wherever they could be found. This is the dictionary of that peculiar culinary language, which is not to be found in the regular dictionaries of any tongue, however complete otherwise; it Is the language of epicurism and of the table.
Possibly the practice which has prevailed for some time of interpolating poetical quotations in the bill of fare might be improved by the introduction of informatory paragraphs about some special kind of game, fish, or novelty in sweets, turning the attention of those who dine upon one leading feature of the dinner by giving an intimation of its quality, its-rarity, its merits, its relation to literature, its origin. Suitable quotations of that kind will be fovind abundant in this volume. They might be accredited to "The Epicurean Dictionary," which will be fair and impartial to all, for it has been found neither expedient nor even possible to name the authors whose words are placed in quotation marks herein; some of them, it is true, belong to the most famous names, but the greater part are the words of unknown contributors to current literature whose terse sentences offered the briefest explanation of the subjects named.