Antoine Carème

Marie-Antoine Carême was a French gourmet, cook and architect from 1783 to 1833, on Rue du Bac in Paris . Known for having been the first European scholar of sauces in French cuisine in his work L’art de la cuisine française.


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  • 1 Biographical Synthesis
    • 1 Works
  • 2 Death
  • 3 Source

Biographical Synthesis

Marie-Antoine Carême, was born on June 8, 1783 , into a miserable and extensive family, supported by her father, a stevedore on the nearby docks. When Carême was 10 years old his father abandoned him. Hosted by the owner of a Maine tavern , he learned the basics of cooking for about five years.

Determined to obtain a complete education, at the age of fifteen he entered Chez Bailly as an apprentice on the Rue Viviente. Thanks to his abilities and disposition, the boss encourages and authorizes him, when there is no excess work, to go to the engraving section of the National Library and examine the architectural designs and engravings that were kept there. Thus he learns only to read and write.

Demonstrates talent for drawing and architecture and transfers the acquired knowledge to his pastry works, reproducing in sugar great architectural works that make Bailly’s pastry famous. He maintained contacts with Jean Avice, a brilliant pastry chef, who advised and encouraged him.

The young man, gifted and hard-working, stood out very soon, and Tayllerand, who supplied himself with Bailly, proposed to him to enter his service. At the age of 18, in 1801 , he left Bailly and became a chef in the pastry shop of the Gendron heirs. This new job allowed him to carry out the “extras”, to reinforce the great banquets that were held in Paris.

In 1804 he opened his own pastry shop on Rue du Pax. In this period, from 1803 to 1814 , Careme continues with its innovations in pastry making, perfecting itself in an extraordinary way in the art of cooking, working alongside the great chefs of the time, those whom Carême himself considers his Masters are: Lannes for cold delicacies, Richaud for sauces, and above all, Bouchet, the cook of Tayllerand and Laguipierre, cook of Murat.

In 1814 , the armies of the anti-Napoleonic alliance were installed in Paris, and Carême entered the service of the Russian Tsar Alexander I, until this part of Paris. But in 1815, with the return of Napoleon and the defeat of Waterloo, there is a new allied invasion, and again we have Carème at the service of Alexander I.

In 1816 Carême left for England, to direct the kitchens of the Prince of Wales, at the time regent of England , and who would later reign under the name of George IV. In 1817 he returned to France, and in 1818 he went to Vienna , to serve Lord Steward, British ambassador to the Austrian court. In 1819 he moved to Saint Petersburg , to apply for the post of chef de cuisine at the Russian court, but the tsar was absent, and what Carême observed in the palace kitchens did not convince him, so he returned to France .

Back in Paris, he entered the service of the Princess de Bragation, but received an offer from Lord Steward to resume the management of his kitchens in Vienna and, with the acquiescence of the Princess, accepted the offer. He remained in his service until the ambassador returned to London in 1820. Carême gave up accompanying him and preferred to return to Paris, where he entered the service of Lord Stairs. In 1821 he was hired by Prince Sterhazy, Austrian ambassador to Paris, in whose service he remained until 1823, when he went to work for Baron Rostchild, until 1829, when he retired and ended his career, dedicating himself fully to his literary work until his death.

Carême writes cookbooks, but she writes some works that are an improvement on the cookbooks and treatises written up to then.

Carême has a very rigorous sense of organization that made him especially appreciated at Vertus (three banquets in three days, far from the capital and with enormous supply difficulties) and at the court of France at a banquet of 1,200 place settings. In short, Antonin Carême is the undisputed master of monumental law firms, in which he presents pieces that recover all the symbols of the builders, with remarkable harmony and balance. Founder of the “haute cuisine” concept.

He created both spectacular and refined recipes, made for the elite of the new society. Some of these formulas are still famous, especially the sauces. On the other hand, as a true founder of great French cuisine, he put it at the service of the prestige of France.

He redesigned certain kitchen utensils, modified the shape of the pans to spin the sugar, conceived molds and even worried about the shape of the chefs hat and the white uniform, as a flag of cleanliness and hygiene.

He is also credited with creating the volován and the great meringues. He was an incomparable pastry chef, as well as the man of sauces and stews (in L´art de la cuisine he names 186 French and 193 from other countries). His name is linked to recipes and preparations named in his honor. We can consider Carême a forerunner of dietetics and logic in nutrition.

Marie-Antoine Carême.


  • Le pâtissier pittoresque.
  • Le pâtissier royal parisien.
  • Projects d’architecture, dédiés à Alexandre 1er.
  • Projects d’architecture pour les embellissements de Paris et de Saint-Pétersbourg
  • Projects d’architecture pour les embellissements de Paris.
  • Le maître d’hôtel français.
  • Le cuisinier parisien.
  • L’art de la cuisine française au XIXe siècle.

This work consists of 5 volumes. The first is included in Le cuisinier parisien, the second and third were published in 1833, after his death, and the fourth and fifth, published in 1844, were written by Plumerey, based on the notes left by Carême.


On January 12, 1833, he died while, already very ill, he was teaching one of his students to correct the mistakes of a plate of meatballs . On June 21, 1894, Paris paid tribute to the memory of Carême by giving its name to one of its streets.


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