The Wizard of the Kitchen

A Sketch of a Famous French Chef.

August 1 1917

The Wizard of the Kitchen

A Sketch of a Famous French Chef.

August 1 1917

The Wizard of the Kitchen

A Sketch of a Famous French Chef.

ROMANCE is to be found everywhere—in the office, in the workshop, in the kitchen. If you doubt the latter read what Marie Mattingly Meloney writes in Everybody’s about Panchard. Panchard is a great French chef who has reduced the feeding of multitudes to an actual science. Recently he offered to serve the American army, which is made the reason for the following story of his career:

Napoleon said: “An army marches on its belly.” Csesar said it. Grant admitted it. Every military leader who has seen war knows it. General Wood knows it. Panchard knows it.

Who is Panchard? You would call him a cook. You might call him a Frenchman. General Wood would call him an American. Panchard? He is an American citizen, born, in Paris of French blood but born a potential American.

This man who knows how to feed an army, this chef with a French name who offers his services to, America "my country” is the son of a mm of wealth and power. He is a student of chemistry and medicine, a former officer in the reserve army of France. He has lectured at Columbia U'hiversity. He is the directing chef of one of the biggest hotels in the United States. His salary at the MpAlpin is eighteen thousand dollars a year. And he volunteers as an armv cook, a job that pays thirty dollars a month.

* Panchard Btands ready and equipped. General Wood is going to use Panchard. There are army cooks to be trained. This man knows to a bean how much it takes to feed a regiment: how to buy and store and provision.

From his eighteenth year when he was a medical student in Paris, until now, when he directs three hundred servants and feeds an average of fifteen thpusand people a day, Edouard Panchard has shaped his life with a definite purpose. That purpose has been to teach first to France and later to America the importance of food.

In his medical studies at the Hôpital de la Pitié, he took up stomach and intestinal diseases. The young student’s whole mind was filled with causes and effects. He began to study food. He looked at the people he met in restaurants, in public places, and in his nome. He measured them in scientific terms terms of stomach and intestines.

“Mankind has a weak stomach,” he con-

cluded.* “Why?" was his question, i ind then he did an amazing thing-—this son of t majordrimo, the directing chief and COOT selor to Prince Lobanov-Rostovski. Ruaatan n oblesaan and Minister of Foreign Affairs. H took • job as night helper in the kitchen o^ a famous Paris restaurant.

When he had learned the weak spotd in that organization, and found that he couldjnot put it on a scientific, sanitary basis, he left and entered another department of cookihg in large hotel. He worked at night and| in the daytime. And all the while going from one big kitchen to anotl serving every department of cookinj soup to nuts.

The second year found him employ^ big pastry-shop. There conditions bad that after mastering his job he the proprietor and protested.

Pànchard spoke with authority, conviction, and a patriotic purpose. Monsieur le pattaster, who boasted the most exclusive^rade in| Paris, flew into a rage. An apprentice __ criticize his establishment! There wc words, threats, and insults, and youni chard, "born an American in Paria,” great American weapon—ungloved, waiting to count him out, the apprenti his employer and walked into the stt Paris, still thinking about the weak of the human family.

It was then he-said: “A nation is no er than its stomach.” And added wha4 ling might have written: "The moralsl of a nation can not be healthy unless its gut is clean.”

Thus a prophet and a teacher was

The mayors of all the towns in were to meet in Paris. A great at the Tuileries. Twenty two thoii

guests were to celebrate the évent, wft something which appealed to the nation of Panchard. He hunted up| the directing chefs. Potel and Chabot, and to be allowed to help. He studied hi food was bought, stored, then portion« and prepared. He kept close to the dii chef, and watched everything. He himself useful and attracted the

of the director.

Guests were/ divide^ into groups of hundred with an experienced chef in ch^i of each group. Telephone connections from the directors’ headquarters to each i leid kitchen. Every detail was worked out by clock; At the appointed hour the diret; tor lifted the receiver and proudly gave theorqsr:

“En avant de bouillonƒ” (On with

soup.) •

Comic opera? Yes. But to Panchard it

a revelation, an achievement—a victory for efficiency. Twenty-two thousand people had been fed at one meal. Everything went through without a hitch, on time and in order.

It had all been figured out on paper—in pounds and quarts, tons and barrels. Panchard had learned a lesson in quantity. And the director had discovered Panchard.

Came the time for his military service. Panchard went__to the colonel fn charge of the student assignments. He told his story, and with the ardor of an enthusiast painted his vision. Two things stood out in the colonel's mind:

“A nation is as strong as its stomach, and “An army fight^on its stomach.”

The French peojJ* were considered the best-fed race on earth. And this boy said France had a weak stomach. But he told other truths which the colonel admitted, so Panchard was put in the reserve officers school -a small group of university men with marked talents, useful to the army in special

services. . „ . ... . .

When he came out of the army with his commission, he went to Monte Carlo as chef of the Grand Hotel. He was only twentyone years old then, so he grew an imperial and a mustache to make him look older. His success at Monte Carlo brought a position at the RiU-Carlton in Paris. Later he worked and studied in other big establishments. Offers began to come from American hotels. When he was twenty-three years old he had the income of a banker. Then his family said: “It is time for Edouard to marry. When a man is young and making plenty of money, he must marry if you would keep Him a good boy.” And so they looked about for a

suitable wife. . . , , ..

But Panchard, born independent of soil and a lover of freedom, declared that he would choose for himself. In fact, he had already made his choice.

“Mon Dieu, the boy must think he is an American,” said the Panchard family.

“An American!” It was the second time the unconscious prophecy had been made. 'The first was when Edouard was attending an Austrian school in Vienna where his father was living with Prince LobassovRostovski. A teacher had attempted to beat him. And he who was born freedom-loving, and whose very blood was opposed to Prus-

sian rule, dared oppose Austrian authority, even fought with all his young body hands and feet - for he was small.and frail and the professor was a man, and strong. In the fracas the boy’s agile limbs got tangled up with ’he professor’s eye-glasses and broke them in hi» fuce.

It was a serious matter, that, and Edouard Panchard was asked to explain and apologize. The boy’s explanation—satisfactory to him alone— was: “I had my own opinion about something—and he should not have struck

It was then the professor exclaimed: The

boy must think he is in America!

Panchard had already begun to think about the United States before his family confronted him with the tradition of his country — a marriage arrangement.

The St. Regis, then the newest and one of the finest hotels in America, was about to be opened. The position of chef was offered to Panchard, and he accepted it.

Panchard found in New York many opportunities to put his ideas into effect. But his dream did not come true until he met L. M. Boomer, a hotelman with a vision and plenty of money behind him. And so Panchard took charge of the McAlpin kitchens before they were built, t; and modeled them as a standard.

“Food. Engineer” would probably be a^ more accurate title for Panchard than “chef. - He conducts the four big restaurants which are under his direction much as the head of a gjreat corporation manages his affairs.

“Sanitary” is the watchword of Panchard’s army of workers. Clean, wholesome food has been the ruling passion of his life. His men know that he will stand for tardiness, for breakage of chma or glassware, for impudence. for almost anything except uncleanness or carelessness in the handling of food.

The house pays out more than two thousand dollars a month for broken crockery. Men are not fined for this carelessness. But let one ^kitchen worker put his hand to his face or handle salads, bread, butter and such uncooked foods, and there is a fine to be paid.

When the Board of Health in New York started its investigation of public eatingplaces, last year. Panchard’s kitchens were given the first “white card,” which meant the highest prize for sanitary standards.