“London’s Westminster Kingsway College was founded in September 2000 following the merger of Westminster and Kingsway Colleges. The Victoria centre, where the School of Hospitality first opened its doors to learners in 1910, celebrated its centenary in 2010. Based in Vincent Square, the centre houses the college’s own restaurant, The Vincent Rooms, with cuisine prepared and served by second and third year professional chef students.
Westminster College began as a School of Hospitality in Vincent Square in 1910 when in 1908 a consultative committee which included Sir Isidore Salmon, Auguste Escoffier and Cesar Ritz was established to design training programmes in professional cookery in readiness to produce graduates that could work in London’s finest hotels. The first course to be developed was the Cookery Technical Day School, which was soon to be formulated into the Professional Chef Diploma. Within a couple of years, the school had added food service to its course portfolio and a training restaurant was opened. Records show that this was in fact the UK’s first Hospitality School established in 1910.”
In his review of Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, The Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class (2018), by Luke Barr, Paul Levy writes:
“César Ritz (1850–1918) gave his name to some of the world’s most luxurious hotels—in Paris, Madrid, and London—as well as to the ninety-one hotels in the Ritz-Carlton chain and, posthumously, to a cracker. His surname even became an adjective, “ritzy.” The success of his original hotel enterprises owed much to his partner, Auguste Escoffier (1846–1935), history’s most celebrated cook and still the secular patron saint of most professional chefs.
They were both crooks. (So was Ritz’s deputy, Louis Echenard.) On March 7, 1898, their employers, the Savoy Hotel in London, where Ritz was the general manager, sacked them for larceny, embezzlement, and fraud…”
To leave a sweeter taste in the mouth, then, let us not forget that Escoffier created many famous dishes at the Savoy. In 1893, he invented the pêche Melba in honour of the Australian singer Nellie Melba, and in 1897, Melba toast. Other Escoffier creations, famous in their time, were the bombe Néro (a flaming ice), fraises à la Sarah Bernhardt (strawberries with pineapple and Curaçao sorbet), and baisers de Vierge (meringue with vanilla cream and crystallized white rose and violet petals).