The last toast is done in honour of French cuisine and in the presence of the chef who has performed the Dinner.
With Auguste Escoffier, things never dragged on! A few months after founding the Epicure Notebooks, Auguste Escoffier created the League of Gourmands with friends. This allowed Escoffier to realize one of his old dreams: a planetary dinner called Epicure’s Diner and at the same time to demonstrate the excellence of French cuisine all over the world.
From March 3, 1912, when the League was created, the affair took a few weeks to go in complete secrecy.
The menu drawn up and signed by Escoffier (with new recipes) was luxuriously edited, so as to become a work of art. The chefs of the restaurants affiliated with the League received this menu and the recipes only ten days before, in a sealed envelope. They had to keep it a secret. If they have betrayed him, they would have been kicked out of the League.
The English and French newspapers informed of the project were faced with a refusal of more information, which only increased the suspense and the reservations in the restaurants.
Part of the profits would necessarily be donated to the French Cuisiniers retirement home.
THE FIRST EPICURE'S DINNER
It takes place on May 25, 1912, bringing together 300 people at the Cecil Hotel in London and more than 4 000 in the 37 restaurants scattered around the world but linked by telephone and telegraph that evening. All the international press echoed this "world event". It was on this occasion that Escoffier created, among others, the Fraises Sarah Bernhardt.
2 YEARS OF PRESTIGIOUS DINNERS
The second Epicurean Dinner was held on July 27, 1912 in more than 50 restaurants around the world, including the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, bringing together 5,400 people. Escoffier creates the ”Timbale Jean Richepin” for this occasion.
Every two months, these dinners followed one another, bringing together more and more guests.
There will be more than 140 restaurateurs around the world (London, Paris, New York, Pittsburgh, Bombay, Lahore etc.) when the last Epicure’s Dinner took place on June 14, 1914.
EPICURE'S DINNERS BY DISCIPLES ESCOFFIER INTERNATIONAL
In 1996, 82 years after the last Epicure's Dinner by Auguste Escoffier, the eponymous Foundation with the Disciples Escoffier resuscitated them to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Master’s birth.
On October 28, 1996, this Epicure's Dinner was served in over 150 cities around the world, from South Africa to Canada, and to Japan. Always in the Escoffier tradition, a very beautiful menu was printed, numbered and offered to each guest.
One of the most sumptuous of these Dinners took place at the Ritz, Place Vendôme, in Paris.
Today, every year, the Disciples Escoffier of each Region of France and of each Country of the world organize an Epicure's Dinner.
Around the 28th of October 2021, for Auguste Escoffier's 175th Anniversary, nearly 7,000 Epicureans in more than 20 countries gathered to toast in his honour and that of Gastronomy in the more than 60 dinners that were organized.