Portal:Food/Selected person

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These are the articles that are featured on the Food portal main page.

If you wish to add a biography, you will be expected to make a good-faith effort to address objections that are raised. Consensus must be reached for a biography to be promoted to be given selected article status. When adding a qualifying article, it should be classified as a Good article or better. These articles can be found in the Category:A-Class Food and drink articles, Category:FA-Class Food and drink articles and Category:GA-Class Food and drink articles categories. However, a biography of an individual who has made significant to food and drink, such as a noted chef or business person, can be included here. Use this as an incentive to bring that biographic article to GA status! Please note that you cannot determine the status of an article that you have worked on.

Please follow the usage instructions listed below when placing a new article here,

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Georges Auguste Escoffier
B. 28 October 1846 – d. 12 February 1935

Georges Auguste Escoffier was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a near-legendary figure among chefs and gourmets, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine. Much of Escoffier's technique was based on that of Antoine Carême, one of the codifiers of French Haute cuisine, but Escoffier's achievement was to simplify and modernize Carême's elaborate and ornate style.

Alongside the recipes he recorded and invented, another of Escoffier's contributions to cooking was to elevate it to the status of a respected profession, and to introduce discipline and sobriety where before there had been disorder and drunkenness. He organized his kitchens by the brigade system, with each section run by a chef de partie. He also replaced the practice of service à la française (serving all dishes at once) with service à la russe (serving each dish in the order printed on the menu).



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Julia Child.jpg
Julia Child
B. August 15, 1912 – d. August 13, 2004

Julia Child was a famous American cook, author, and television personality who introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream through her many cookbooks and television programs. Her most famous works are the 1961 cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and, showcasing her sui generis television persona, the series The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.



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Paul Bocuse.jpg
Paul Bocuse
B. February 11, 1926

Paul Bocuse, born in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or near Lyon, is a French chef, considered one of the finest cooks of the 20th century. He is widely credited with being one of the first chefs to emerge from the kitchen and to enter public life. In this role, he has extensively travelled for several decades, promoting French cuisine, starting restaurants and culinary institutions, and participating in other business ventures.

Bocuse is one of the most prominent chefs associated with the nouvelle cuisine (the term was first used to describe the cuisine in a newspaper article during 1972), which is less opulent and high-calorie than the traditional haute cuisine, and stresses the importance of fresh ingredients of the highest quality. In 1975, he created the world famous soupe aux truffes (truffle soup) for a presidential dinner at the Elysée Palace. Since then, the soup has been served in Bocuse's restaurant near Lyon as Soupe V.G.E., V.G.E being the initials of former president of France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.



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Gordon Ramsay.jpg
Gordon James Ramsay
B. November 8, 1966

Gordon James Ramsay, OBE and born in Johnstone, Scotland, is a celebrity chef, television personality and entrepreneur. He has been awarded a total of twelve Michelin stars, and is currently one of only three chefs in the UK whose restaurant is rated at three Michelin stars. He is famous in the UK for presenting TV programmes about competitive cookery and food such as Hell's Kitchen and The F-Word. He is best known in the United States as the host of FOX's Hell's Kitchen, which premiered in May 2005, and of Kitchen Nightmares, which premiered in September 2007, based on his successful British show Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.



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MFK Fisher
B. July 3, 1908 – d. June 22, 1992

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was a prolific and well-respected writer, writing more than 20 books during her lifetime and also publishing two volumes of journals and correspondence shortly before her death in 1992. Her first book, Serve it Forth, was published in 1937. Her books dealt primarily with food, considering it from many aspects: preparation, natural history, culture, and philosophy. She understood that eating well was just one of the arts of life, always her second theme, and she wrote with the pacing and precision of a first rate essayist or short story writer.



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Alain Ducasse
B. September 13th 1956

Alain Ducasse, originally from Castel-Sarrazin in southwestern France, is a famous French chef. In addition to his Louis XV restaurant in Monaco, he also operates an eponymous restaurant at the Plaza Athénée in Paris. He is currently the only chef within the Michelin Guide to hold three stars (the top ranking) in three different countries. In January 2007 he took the position as chef of the Jules Verne Restaurant located in the Eiffel Tower in Paris



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InaGartenSign.jpg
Ina Rosenberg Garten
B. February 2, 1948

Ina Rosenberg Garten is an American author and host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa. Known for creating fine cuisine foods with an emphasis on quality ingredients and timesaving tips, she has been championed by Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, and Patricia Wells as an authority on cooking and home entertaining.

Garten had no formal training; she taught herself culinary techniques with the aid of French and New England cookbooks. Later, she relied on intuition and feedback from customers and friends to refine her recipes. She was mentored chiefly by Eli Zabar, of Eli's Manhattan and Eli's Breads fame, and domestic maven Stewart. Among her hallmark dishes are cœur à la crème, celery root remoulade, pear clafouti, and a simplified version of bœuf bourguignon. Her culinary career began with her gourmet food store, Barefoot Contessa; Garten parlayed this success into a string of best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded convenience foods, and a popular Food Network television show.

The consistent use of the original store name through Garten's books, television show, and product line has led fans to refer to her as simply "the Contessa".



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Alton brown.jpg
Alton Brown
B. July 30, 1962

Alton Brown, originally from Los Angeles, California, United States, is an American food personality, cinematographer, author, and actor. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, the miniseries Feasting on Asphalt and the main commentator on Iron Chef America. Brown is also the author of several cooking how-to books and a regular contributor to Bon Appétit and Men’s Journal magazines.

He brings a knowledge and enthusiasm for the science of cooking and food, and a humorous approach to his shows. Bon Appétit magazine named him "Cooking Teacher of the Year" in 2004. Brown pronounces his given name "Al-ton" .


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Jamie Oliver
B. 27 May 1975

James Trevor Oliver, MBE, better known as Jamie Oliver and nicknamed The Naked Chef, is an English celebrity chef. He is well known for his role in campaigning against processed foods in British schools. Since his early years, his Essex accent, which is often described as "mockney" or "fake cockney," has become infamous, particularly the use of the hindi word "pukka" (colloquially meaning "brilliant" or "solid", originally "cooked" or "ripe"). Oliver is reported to be worth an estimated £25 million.



Selected person 10

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Jeff Smith
B. January 22, 1939 – d. July 7, 2004

Jeff Smith was the author of a dozen best-selling cookbooks and the host of The Frugal Gourmet, a popular American cooking show which began in Tacoma, Washington and aired on PBS from 1988 to 1997, and consisted of 261 episodes.

Jeff Smith was born on January 22, 1939. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1962 and from Drew University in 1965. He started off as a United Methodist minister whose first food-related venture was the Chaplain's Pantry, a deli and kitchen supply store near downtown Tacoma, where he offered cooking classes to the public. Soon after launching the show in Tacoma, he received a cooking show on a local PBS member station in Seattle. With an appearance on the Phil Donahue show in 1983 and a move to Chicago, his career took off.

Smith wrote many books about food and cooking, including The Frugal Gourmet (1984), The Frugal Gourmet Cooks With Wine (1986), The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American (1987), The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome (1989),The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors: Recipes You Should Have Gotten from Your Grandmother (1990) and The Frugal Gourmet's Culinary Handbook: An Updated Version of an American Classic on Food and Cooking (1991), and many more that he wrote with his assistant Craig Wollam.



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Nigella Lawson at a boog signing.
Nigella Lucy Lawson
B. 6 January 1960

Nigella Lucy Lawson is an English journalist, food writer, broadcaster and television presenter. Lawson wrote her first cookery book, How to Eat, in 1998; this became an instant bestseller and sold 300,000 copies. She followed this up with a second bestseller, How to be a Domestic Goddess in 2000, winning her a British Book Award. Her career progressed in the United Kingdom in 2000 when she hosted her own Channel 4 cookery programme, Nigella Bites, which was accompanied with another bestseller. She also hosted a less successful chat show on ITV in 2005, which was followed by two successful cookery series on BBC Two. Lawson also enjoys a successful career in the United States where Nigella Feasts has been aired on the Food Network. Her own cookware range is reportedly worth £7 million a year, and she has sold more than 3 million cookery books worldwide.



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The title page of a 1680 edition of Le cuisinier françois.
François Pierre La Varenne
B. 1618 – d. 1678

François Pierre La Varenne ( – Dijon ) was the author of Le cuisinier françois (1651), the founding text of modern French cuisine. La Varenne broke with the Italian traditions that had dominated medieval and Renaissance French cookery during 16th century. He was the foremost member of a group of French chefs, writing for a professional audience, who codified French cuisine for the age of Louis XIV. The others were Nicholas de Bonnefons, Le jardinier François (1651) and Les Délices de la Campagne (1654) and François Massialot, Le Cuisinier royal et bourgois, (1691), which was still being edited and modernized in the mid-18th century. La Varenne introduced the first bisque and Béchamel sauce. He replaced crumbled bread with roux as the base for sauces, and lard with butter. He was the first to use the concept of bouquet garni, fonds de cuisine (stocks) and reductions. It also contains the earliest recipe in print for the dessert mille-feuille.



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A pre-World War I ad introduced Washington's coffee to the public. Advertisement from The New York Times, February 23, 1914.
George Washington
B. May 1871 – d. March 29, 1946

George Constant Louis Washington was an American inventor and businessman of Anglo-Belgian origin. He is best remembered for his invention of an early instant coffee process and for the company he founded to mass-produce it, the G. Washington Coffee Company.

An emigrant from his native Belgium, he arrived in the New York area in 1897 and dabbled in several technical fields before hitting upon instant coffee manufacture during a sojourn in Central America in 1906 or 1907. He began selling his coffee in 1909 and founded a company to manufacture it in 1910. Based in New York and New Jersey, his company prospered and became an important military supplier during World War I. The company's products were also advertised in New York newspapers and on the radio. The success of his company made Washington wealthy, and he lived in a mansion in Brooklyn and then moved to a country estate in New Jersey in 1927. In that same year, he lost a dispute with the tax authorities. Washington was married and had three children.

Washington's company was sold to American Home Products in 1943, shortly before his death. Though the coffee brand was discontinued by 1961, Washington's name is still used today in the product G. Washington's Seasoning & Broth.



Selected person 14

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Hors d'oeuvres served at the James Beard House, January 2007
James Beard
B. May 5, 1903 – d. January 21, 1985

James Andrew Beard was an American chef and food writer. James Beard is recognized by many as the father of American gastronomy. Throughout his life, he pursued and advocated the highest standards, and served as a mentor to emerging talents in the field of the culinary arts.

He was born in Portland, Oregon, USA, to Elizabeth and John Beard. His mother operated a boarding house and his father worked at the city's Customs House. The family vacationed on the Pacific coast in Gearhart, Oregon. Here Beard was exposed to the unique local foods of the Pacific Northwest, including seafood and wild berries.

He trained initially as a singer and actor, and moved to New York City in 1937. Not having much luck in the theater, he and his friend, Bill Rhodes, capitalized on the cocktail party craze by opening a catering company, "Hors D'Oeuvre, Inc.", which led the publication of Beard's first cookbook, Hors D'Oeuvre and Canapes, a compilation of his catering recipes. Rationing difficulties in World War II brought his catering business to a halt. In 1946, he appeared on an early televised cooking show, I Love to Eat, on NBC, and thus began his rise as an eminent American food authority.

Over the next forty years, James Beard operated a cooking school out of his apartment in New York, wrote dozens of books on cooking and food, and hundreds of articles on food for many different magazines.



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Milton Snavely Hershey
Milton Hershey
B. September 13, 1857 – d. October 13, 1945

Milton Snavely Hershey was a confectioner, philanthropist, and founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company and the “company town” of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Hershey was born on a farm near Derry Church, Pennsylvania, the only surviving child of Henry and Fanny Hershey (Hershey’s middle name comes from his mother’s maiden name, Snavely). Due to the family’s frequent moves he dropped out of school after the fourth grade and was then apprenticed to a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, printer. The apprenticeship was soon terminated as he did not like the craft and purposely let his hat fall into the printing press.

He then served a four-year apprenticeship with a Lancaster candy maker, after which he established his first candy-making business in Philadelphia. That initial effort failed, as did his next two attempts in Chicago and New York City. His Reformed Mennonite mother’s family financed several of these unsuccessful ventures in the candy industry.

Returning to Lancaster in 1883, Hershey established the Lancaster Caramel Company, which quickly became an outstanding success. Utilizing a caramel recipe he had obtained during his previous travels, his company soared to the top. It was this business that established him as a candy maker, and set the stage for future accomplishments. Hershey became fascinated with the machinery to make German chocolate exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and bought the equipment for his company.



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Henri Nestlé
Henri Nestlé
B. 10 August 1814 – d. 7 July 1890

Henri Nestlé, born Heinrich Nestle, was the founder of Nestlé S.A., the world's largest food and beverage company, as well as one of the main creators of milk chocolate.

Henri Nestlé was born on 10 August 1814, in Frankfurt on Main, Germany. He was the eleventh of fourteen children of Johann Ulrich Matthias Nestle and Anna-Maria Catharina Ehemann. Henri Nestlé's father by tradition inherited the business of his father Johann Ulrich Nestle and became a glazier in Töngesgasse. The later Lord Mayor of Frankfurt on Main, Gustav Edmund Nestle, was his brother. It is impossible to say when Henri Nestlé started working on the infant formula project. His interest is known to have been spurred by several factors:

  • The high infant death rate in his family. Half of the 14 children died before reaching adulthood.
  • His background as a pharmacist’s assistant.
  • His wife who knew all about infant mortality being a daughter of a charity doctor.

Henri Nestlé combined cow’s milk with wheat flour and sugar to produce a substitute of mother’s milk for those children who could not accept breast-feeding. Moreover, Henri Nestlé and Jean Balthasar Schnetzler, his friend and a scientist in human nutrition, removed the acid and the starch in wheat flour because they were difficult for babies to digest. The product could be prepared by simply adding water and is considered the first infant formula. People quickly recognized the value of the new product, and soon, Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé (Henri Nestlé's Milk Flour in French) was being sold in much of Europe. By the 1870's, Nestle's Infant Food, made with malt, cow's milk, sugar, and wheat flour, was selling in the US, for $0.50 a bottle.



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Marie-Antoine Carême
Marie-Antoine Carême
B. June 8, 1784 – d. January 12, 1833

Marie-Antoine (Antonin) Carême was a French chef and author. He is well known for greatly simplifying and codifying the style of cooking known as haute cuisine, the high art of French cooking which is central to France's national cuisine. Known as "chef of kings and king of chefs," he is often thought of as the first celebrity chef.



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"Tony" Bourdain on WNYC television
Anthony Michael "Tony" Bourdain
B. June 25, 1956

Anthony Michael "Tony" Bourdain is an American author and the "Chef-at-Large" of Brasserie Les Halles, based in New York City with locations in Miami, Florida, and Washington, D.C.[1] Bourdain is also host of the Travel Channel's culinary and cultural adventure program, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.



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Title page of "La Physiologie du Goût" ("The Physiology of Taste") by French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) with a portrait of the author. 1848 edition.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
B. April 1, 1755, Belley, France – d. February 2, 1826, Paris

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."
Brillat-Savarin

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer and politician, was quite possibly the most famous French epicure and gastronome. He was born in the town of Belley, Ain, where the Rhone River then separated France from Savoy, to a family of eloquent lawyers. He studied law, chemistry and medicine in Dijon in his early years and thereafter practiced law in his hometown. In 1789, at the opening of the French Revolution, he was sent as a deputy to the Estates-General that soon became the National Constituent Assembly, where he acquired some limited fame, particularly for a public speech in defense of capital punishment. He adopted his second surname upon the death of an aunt named Savarin who left him her entire fortune on the condition that he adopt her name.



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Justin E. Wilson
B. April 24, 1914 – d. September 5, 2001

"Way back when I first started as a safety engineer, I took myself pretty seriously, and I found I was putting my audiences to sleep. So having lived all my life among the Cajuns of Louisiana, and having a good memory for the patois and the type of humor Cajuns go for, I started interspersing my talks on safety with Cajun humor."
Justin Wilson

Justin E. Wilson was a southern American chef and humorist known for his brand of Cajun cuisine-inspired cooking and humor. He was a self-styled "raconteur".

Wilson was born in Roseland in Tangipahoa Parish, one of the "Florida Parishes" east of Baton Rouge. He began his career as a safety engineer while he traveled throughout Acadiana. His safety lectures that he made to refinery workers prompted him on the road to becoming a Cajun storyteller. He remembered it this way on the back cover of The Justin Wilson Cook Book:

Wilson (who was actually only one-half Cajun, or "half-bleed Ca-jon" as he put it) later recorded several humor albums, beginning with "The Humorous World of Justin Wilson." He later appeared as a guest on the popular CBS series The Ed Sullivan Show. He was known for the catchphrase, "I gar-on-tee!". He later wrote seven Cajun cookbooks and two books of Cajun stories, and hosted several cooking shows on PBS that combined Cajun cooking and Cajun humor.



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  1. ^ "Les Halles Homepage". Brasserie Les Halles. Retrieved 2007-06-18.