You know you’ve made it when you have a dish named after you! Here’s a few to whet your appetite!
Sarah Bernhardt Cakes – this famous, French theatre and early film actress of the 19th century captured Danish hearts to such an extent that they named chocolate mousse topped meringue cakes after her. Read more about Ms Bernhardt and get the recipe here.
Omelette André Theuriet – the French novelist and poet André Theuriet (1833–1907) had this omelette with truffles, asparagus and morel mushrooms named for him. It sounds delicious and one I might be trying for brunch next weekend! Pictured here in all it’s eggy lusciousness!
Pommes Anna – Created by French chef, Adolphe Dugléré for the 19th-century courtesan/actress Anna Deslions, whose favourite haunt was Dugléré’s Café Anglais in Paris. This simply delicious dish comprises sliced potatoes cooked in butter in a pan and then finished in the oven. A dish that is surely in James Martin’s butter loving repertoire! I like this recipe from the lovely American bookshop, Williams of Sonoma!
Battenberg cake – probably named after one of the late-19th-century princely Battenberg family living in England, who gave up their German titles during World War I and changed their name to Mountbatten. Here’s the recipe from The Caked Crusader.
Béchamel Sauce – this classic French white sauce was named to flatter the maître d’Hotel to Louis XIV, Louis de Béchamel, Marquis de Nointel, also a financier and ambassador.
Carpaccio – named for Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio. So named due to the similarity of the color of the thinly sliced raw beef to the red hue Carpaccio was known for. Here’s a fabulously colourful version to try – Beef Carpaccio with Arugula.
Chateaubriand – a cut and a recipe for steak named for Vicomte François René de Chateaubriand, French writer and diplomat. His chef Montinireil is thought to have created the dish around 1822 while Chateaubriand was ambassador to England. For carnivores, there is no finer dish to share in my opinion!
Melba toast – Dame Nellie Melba (1861–1931), Australian soprano, who took her stage name from her hometown of Melbourne. Whilst staying at the Savoy, she was taken ill and all she fancied was some extremely dry toast, which became her staple diet for a while.
Melba Toast is thinly cut bread, twice baked to produce a heightened crispness, and was created for her by Chef Auguste Escoffier. It is however believed that his business partner, César Ritz came up with the name!
Melba toast was in vogue in the 80’s and served in restaurant with starters such as pate and soup. However, I didn’t know that it was at one time given to infants who were teething as a hard food substance on which to chew.
When Chef Escoffier heard her sing at Covent Garden, he was inspired to create a dessert for her, Peach Melba.
Crepes Suzette – said to have been created for then-Prince of Wales Edward VII, at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo. When the prince ordered a special dessert for himself and a young female companion, Suzette. Edward reportedly asked that the dessert be named after his companion (Suzette) rather than himself. He clearly wanted to show off, as this is a very theatrical dish – the recipe is lovingly explained here.