Mes 50 Ans de Metier – Le livre d’un Chef de Cuisine


by Raymond L. Vaudard, St. Maxime, France, first printing, 1985. Trade paperback, text in French, 291 pages.

Vaudard is cited as one of a group of French chefs who came to New York right before WWII, some to run the French restaurant at the 1939 World's Fair. They hung out together, and became, in essence, ambassadors of that cuisine. Henri Soule's Le Pavillon, founded in 1941, was staffed with those French chefs, but I can't find a reference that says Vaudard worked there.

In any event, this book is both a homage to the growing recognition in the U.S. of international appeal of classic French cooking in the 20th century and a somewhat academic culinary primer (salads, fish, patisserie, etc.) from a chef, teacher and writer who was apparently a force in Franco-American culinary circles.

The back cover reproduces a 1976 Certificate of Appreciation from The City of New York, signed by Mayor Abraham D. Beame, for his efforts in fostering Franco-American culinary ties.

Vaudard was an officer or member of many Francophile U.S. culinary societies and schools such as the Chefs de Cuisine Assn. of America, the National Academy of Cuisine, the French Culinary Institute, and the American chapter of Cordon Bleus de France. Several food competition prizes or trophies carry his name.

Vaudard does not provide any biographical information in the book. Further, as far as I can discover, there is no online trace of where he learned his craft, when he came to America, and in what restaurants or hotels here or abroad in which he rose through the ranks. I suspect his recognition by the various academies he was part of came at a time when few French chefs were known outside the restaurant business by the general American public, so they celebrated their own. Pristine condition: As New.

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