He had a deep impact on the evolution of French gastronomy by gathering an immense knowledge that he wrote down in his Le Livre de Cuisine and his Le Livre de Pâtisserie. Revered by great names such as Pierre Hermé and Bernard Loiseau, his legacy is still vibrant among cooks of today.
His learning began under his father's supervision who owned a pâtisserie (pastry shop) on Neuve Saint-Merri street, Paris. Gouffé became Antonin Carême's pupil at the age of 16, with whom he would remain for seven years. A story tells that Carême, who was passing by, would have stopped to admire the pièces montées that were exposed. He would have congratulated the craftsman and offered to take his son under his protection.
In 1840 he opened a shop rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré which would soon gain fame. He sold the shop in 1855 and then became inactive.
In 1867 he accepted an offer from Alexandre Dumas and the Baron Brisse to become chef de bouche of the Jockey-Club de Paris. While he held this position he began writing books that would ensure him renown and posterity. Most of his works have been translated into English by his brother, Alphonse Gouffé, Head Pastry Cook to Queen Victoria.
- Le Livre de Cuisine : comprenant la cuisine de ménage et la grande cuisine avec 25 planches imprimées en chromolithographie et 161 gravures sur bois dessinées d'après nature par E. Ronjat, Paris, Librairie Hachette (1867) Read on line (French)
- (The Royal Cookery Book)
- Le Livre de Pâtisserie : Ouvrage contenant 10 planches chromolithographiques et 137 gravures sur bois d'après les peintures à l'huile et les dessins de E. Ronjat, Paris, Librairie Hachette (1873) Read on line (French)
- (The Royal Book of Pastry and Confectionery)
- Recettes pour préparer et conserver les Viandes et les Poissons salés et fumés, les terrines, les galantines, les légumes, les fruits, les confitures, les liqueurs de famille, les sirops, les petits fours, etc., Paris, Librairie Hachette (1869) (Le Livre des conserves)
- (The Book of Preserves)
- Le Livre de Soupes et des Potages contenant plus de 400 recettes de potages français et étrangers (1872) (Le Livre de soupes et des potages)
- (The Book of Soups)