Artistic Cookery - Introduction - 1870
Formerly, the science of good living, the research after delicate viands, were the privileges of the few; nowadays epicures may be counted by legions.
As respects, England, those who have studied its development, cannot fail to have observed that the art of eating, in the highest sense of the word, has undergone notoriously progressive transformations.
All classes of society furnish their contingent of expert and well-trained epicures; but it is in the higher circles more especially, that the taste for gastronomy is the most widely diffused and the most highly cultivated.
English cookery, considered in its practical results and in its opulent splendor, stands much higher than its former reputation; and it has in every respect improved, and advanced towards perfection.
The tables of the nobility and gentry are served with uncommon opulence, but above all with the most excellent care and attention. The viands are varied, abundant, luxurious, and delicate.
The kitchens are admirably organized, and richly stored; they are, in fact, permanent and thriving schools, whence good traditions are continually spreading.
In examining the ornamental subjects contained in this collection below, many persons may be inclined to suppose, that they are simply sketches proceeding from the pencil of an artist of a capricious imagination....
In fact, the greater number of these pieces were executed in the kitchens of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Prussia.
Culinary art, both in theory and application, is a vast field: its limits are unbounded, its details infinite. To treat it thoroughly in a single work, it would be necessary to compare its various methods, which we know are modified in practice, according to the situation in which we are placed.
I have studied Cookery with ardor and perseverance and have spent years in searching into its minutest details; but I am far from believing, that I have penetrated into all its secrets.
Nevertheless, if my unceasing endeavors have contributed, either to enlarge its limits or to improve its application, I consider it a point of honor to propagate the fruits of my researches in a land, abounding in sympathy for the art I profess.
Emblem of the King and Queen of Prussia
French Table Service Setting
Russian Table Service Setting