Cooking For Kings: The Life Of Antonin Careme – The First Celebrity Chef

Ian Kelly / Food & Drink / Non-Fiction

Book cover

UK Publisher

Short Books

US Publisher

Walker & Company

Date Published

September 25th, 2003


Zahar (Brazilian)

Dramatic Rights

L'Insense Films

A unique feast of biography and Regency cookbook, Cooking for Kings takes readers on a chef’s tour of the palaces of Europe in the ultimate age of culinary indulgence. Drawing on the legendary cook’s rich memoirs, Ian Kelly traces Antonin Careme’s meteoric rise from Paris orphan to international celebrity and provides a dramatic below-stairs perspective on one of the most momentous, and sensuous, periods in European history – First Empire Paris, Georgian England, and the Russia of War and Peace. Carrme had an unfailing ability to cook for the right people in the right place at the right time. He knew the favorite dishes of King George IV, the Rothschilds and the Romanovs; he knew Napoleon’s fast-food requirements, and why Empress Josephine suffered halitosis. Careme’s recipes still grace the tables of restaurants the world over. Now classics of French cuisine, created for, and named after, the kings and queens for whom he worked, they are featured throughout this captivating biography. In the phrase first coined by Careme, “You can try them yourself.”


A delicious backstage tour of the Royal Kitchens of Regency Europe, complete with recipes you can try yourself... Absolutely irresistible.

- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

A magnificent work

- Anthony Bourdain

For anyone who finds food or history relevant this is required reading. Kelly breathes life into a vital period in the making of modern Europe

- Mark Kurlansky

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