LES AMIS D'ESCOFFIER AND THE POST-DEPRESSION LABOR MARKET FOR CHEFS DE CUISINE IN AMERICA

Martin T. Ollif

Abstract


This essay uses a cultural studies approach to analyze the effort of the gourmet society Les Amis d'Escoffier to re-create the niche market for chefs’ services in the waning years of the Great Depression. It examines the depressed labor market for chefs after 1912 as well as aspects of the chefs’ culture that informed the unusual rules and rituals Les Amis used to educate wealthy men in gourmandaise. It concludes that, regardless of how successful the society was in its original goal, culture as well as functional response shaped the chefs’ remedy to their labor market problems.

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