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The Chef They Called King : Care^misms

February 22, 1996|CHARLES PERRY

Care^me has been credited with these innovations in French cuisine:

* Croquembouche, a pyramidal display of cream puffs stuck together with caramel.

* Vol-au-vent, a shell of puff pastry filled with meat (especially chicken) mixed with sauce; usually small and served as an appetizer.

* Piped meringue ornaments.

* Large standing meringue desserts.

* Various dishes named for such patrons as Talleyrand and the Russian-Georgian Princess Bagration.

* Perfecting puff pastry and souffles.

* Perfecting the basic sauces of French cuisine (the original 1935 edition of Larousse Gastronomique quoted a number of Care^me's sauce recipes verbatim, though usually with a notation that this was the old recipe).

* New designs of certain utensils such as pastry molds (Care^me believed the usual ones of his day were so high the tip of the pastry wouldn't cook thoroughly) and saucepans for pouring sugar.

* Various details of a chef's uniform, including the shape of the toque.

* While influencing the court cookery of all the countries he worked in, he also introduced a number of dishes to France, including sauces from Italy and Portugal, borscht and coulibiac from Russia, and kugelhopf (or couglauffe, as he spelled it) from Germany.

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