In Celebration of Chefs
It is International Chef’s Day on Thursday 20th October – a day to celebrate the joys that chefs and cooking bring to us. So, in honour of that – here is our list of food related facts.
I bet you didn’t know that…
- The word ‘restaurant’ comes from a sign on a French shop opened by a Parisian called Boulanger in 1765. The sign above his door said ‘restoratives,’ or ‘restaurants,’ which referred to the soups and broths that were being offered on the menu. The word ‘restaurant’ then took on the meaning, ‘a public eating place.’
- Henry Ford is often cited as being the man who made a success of production line work in factories, making things more efficient and streamlined. It’s less well known that Auguste Escoffier, an eminent chef from France, created the brigade system in the 1870s which brought to kitchen what ford popularised in factories. According to his system, each person in the kitchen had a particular task. The system worked like a military hierarchy — first, there was the head chef in charge of the whole kitchen, then the sous chef, and so on. His book “Le Guide Culinaire” is still in print and is included in the curriculum of modern culinary students due to its relevance.
- Roman gourmet Marcus Apicius writes the world’s first cookbook comprising over 400 recipes.
- The word "biscuit" itself originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning "twice-cooked".
- Believe it or not, the question of whether Jaffa Cakes are cakes or biscuits actually became a matter for the courts to decide. VAT is payable on chocolate covered biscuits - but not chocolate covered cakes. McVitie’s classified Jaffa Cakes as cakes, and in 1991 had to defend this categorisation in a VAT tribunal. After an appeal, the court found in favour of McVitie’s and stated that, legally, Jaffa Cakes are considered a cake, which means that McVitie’s doesn’t have to pay VAT on Jaffa Cakes in the UK.