Fascinating facts and interesting stories

Food named after famous people: T-Z

Talleyrand : a pineapple savarin is one of many dishes named for the epicurean French statesman Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Prigord (1754-1838). Influential negotiator at the Congress of Vienna, Talleyrand considered dining a major part of diplomacy. Antonin Creme worked for him for a time, and Talleyrand was instrumental in furthering his career. The famous host’s eponymous dishes include sauces, tournedos, veal, croquettes, orange fritters, et al.

Tarte Tatin : Stephine Tatin (1838-1917) and Caroline Tatin (1847-1911). In French, the tarte is known as la Demoiselles Tatin for the sisters who ran the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte Beuvron, France. Stephine allegedly invented the upside-down tart accidentally in the fall of 1898, but the pastry may be much older.

Beef Tegetthoff : Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff (1827-1871), Austrian naval hero, is celebrated by this beef dish with seafood ragut.

Shirley Temple : the classic children’s cocktail of club soda, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry was invented in the late 1930’s at Hollywood’s Chasen’s restaurant for the child star (b.1928). A slice of orange and a straw is suggested; the paper parasol is optional.

Chicken Tetrazzini : named for operatic soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, the “Florentine Nightingale” (1871-1941), and created in San Francisco.

Omelette Andr Theuriet : the French novelist and poet Andr Theuriet (1833-1907) has this omelette with truffles and asparagus named for him.

Tootsie Rolls : Clara “Tootsie” Hirshfield, the small daughter of Leo Hirshfield, developer of the first paper-wrapped penny candy, in New York, 1896.

Biscuit Tortoni : the Italian Tortoni, working at the Caf Velloni which had opened in Paris in 1798, bought the place and renamed it the Caf Tortoni. It became a very successful restaurant and ice cream parlor in the 19th century. This ice cream dish is said to be one of his creations.

General Tso’s Chicken : the Chinese-American dish (variously spelled Tzo, Cho, Zo, Zhou, etc.) may be named after General Zou Zang-Tang of the Qing Dynasty.

Typhoon Tina : a Martini cocktail named after Christina Yu created by celebrity chef Bobby Chinn.

U

Chicken Soup Ujhzi : said to have been made of rooster originally, this soup was the creation of amateur chef and well-known Hungarian actor Ede Ujhzi c. 1900.

Cases of squabs Umberto : Umberto I (1844-1900), king of Italy and husband of pizza’s Queen Margherita, has this Delmonico’s dish by Ranhofer named after him.

V

Pure of wild ducks van Buren : Martin van Buren (1782-1862), 8th president of the United States, developed a taste for French cuisine while a minister in London, where he became acquainted with Talleyrand’s dining philosophy. During his presidency, White House dinners were even more French than in Jefferson’s day. Ranhofer may have been returning the compliment with this soup.

Van Gogh potato : artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) is commemorated by this potato developed in the Netherlands in 1976.

Sole Jules Verne : Jules Verne (1828-1905), the famous French novelist, had several dishes named after him besides this, including a sauce, a garnish, grenades of turkey, breasts of partridge, and meat dishes.

Fillets of Brill Vron : Dr. Louis Dsir Vron (1798-1867) gave up his Parisian medical practice for the more fashionable life as a writer, manager of the Opera, paramour of the actress Rachel, political influence, and pre-eminent host of  lavish dinners for the elite. Vron sauce accompanies the brill.

Victoria plum and Victoria Sponge or Sandwich Cake : Queen Victoria (1819-1901). Many dishes are named for the British Queen – including sole, eggs, salad, a garnish, several sauces, a cherry spice cake, a bombe, small tarts, et al. There is also a Victoria pea and a Victoria apple.

Celery Victor : Victor Hirtzler, (c. 1875-1935) well-known American chef from Strasbourg, France considered this braised celery dish one of his two best recipes, the other being Sole Edward VII. Both dishes were created at San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel, where Hirtzler was head chef from 1904 to 1926. His 1919 cookbook can be seen in full
at Hotel St. Francis Cookbook

W

Pears Wanamaker : of the Philadelphia merchant Wanamaker family, Rodman Wanamaker (1863-1928) seems most likely to be the inspiration for this dish. The son of John Wanamaker, founder of the family business, Rodman Wanamaker went to Paris in 1889 to oversee the Paris branch of their department store. When he returned to the U.S. in 1899, he kept his Paris home and contacts.

Beef hash Sam Ward : Sam Ward (1814-1884) was perhaps the most influential Washington lobbyist of the mid-19th century. He was as well-known for his entertaining as his political work, apparently agreeing with Talleyrand that dining well was essential to diplomacy. Why Ranhofer named a beef hash after him is open to speculation.

Washington Pie : George Washington (1732-1799), first U.S. president, has this cake named after him, as well as a French sauce or garnish containing corn.

Martha Washington’s Cake : Martha Washington (1731-1802), wife of George Washington, is remembered for this fruitcake. Her original recipe for her “Great Cake” called for 40 eggs, 5 pounds of fruit, and similar quantities of other ingredients.

Chicken Raphael Weill : Raphael Weill (1837-1920) arrived in San Francisco from France at the age of 18. Within a few years he had founded what was to be one of California’s largest department stores. Later he helped found the well-known Bohemian Club, which still exists. He liked to cook, and is remembered in San Francisco restaurants with this dish.

Beef Wellington : Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), British hero of the Battle of Waterloo, has this dish of beef with pt, mushrooms, truffles and Madeira sauce, all encased in a pastry crust, named after him. It was probably created by his personal chef. Stories vary – either the Duke had no sense of taste and didn’t care what he was eating – leaving his chef to his own devices, or loved this so much it had to be served at every formal dinner, or the shape of the concoction resembles the famous Wellington boot.

Lord Woolton Pie : Frederick Marquis, Lord Woolton, was the British Minister of Food during World War II. This root vegetable pie created by the chef at London’s Savoy Hotel marked Woolton’s drive to get people to eat more vegetables instead of meat.

X

Potage la Xavier : this cream soup with chicken has at least two stories associated with its name. Some sources say that the gourmand Louis XVIII (1755-1824) invented the soup when he was Comte de Provence, and known as Louis Stanislas Xavier de France. Others suggest the soup was named after Francis Xavier (1506-1552), a Basque missionary to Goa and India. The gout-suffering associate of Talleyrand would seem a more likely candidate than a 16th-century Christian missionary.

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05/02/2010. Category: food. Tags: , , .

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