Skip to main content

Charpentier, Henri 1880-1961

CHARPENTIER, Henri 1880-1961

PERSONAL:

Born 1880, in Nice, France; died 1961, in Renondo Beach, CA; married. Education: Studied with chefs Escoffier, Jean Camous, and Cesar Ritz.

CAREER:

Chef at various restaurants, including: Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo; Maxims, Paris; Tour d'Argent, Paris; Café Royale, London; Savoy, London; Metropole, Moscow; Vier Jahresszeiten, Munich; Quirinale, Rome; and Belle Meuniere, Rome. Henri Restaurant, Long Island, NY, restauranteur, 1906.

WRITINGS:

(With Boyden Sparkes) Life á la Henri; Being the Memoirs of Henri Charpentier, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY), 1934, reprinted, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2001.

Food and Finesse; The Bride's Bible, W. B. Conkey Company (Chicago, IL), 1945, published as The Henri Charpentier Cookbook: Recipes and Memoirs of the World-famed French Chef Who Created Crèpes Suzette, Price, Stern, Sloan (Los Angeles, CA), 1970.

SIDELIGHTS:

Henri Charpentier, who immigrated to the United States from France in the early 1900s, not only created the Crêpes Suzette, but also the very notion of the superstar French chef in the United States. After working at nine of the most famous restaurants in Europe, Charpentier opened his own restaurant on Long Island in 1906. Over the next three decades he opened more U.S. restaurants and in the process served kings, presidents, moguls, and movie stars. So in 1934 it seemed natural that the celebrity chef publish his memoirs. Life á la Henri; Being the Memoirs of Henri Charpentier, coauthored with Boyden Sparkes, serves up Charpentier's life story, together with celebrity anecdotes and actual recipes. The memoir was reprinted in 2001 as part of the Modern Library's food series, leading a Kirkus reviewer to praise the book's "unique blend of success story, food history, romance, and sheer magic." A Publishers Weekly praised it as "thoroughly old-school," while a critic for Los Angeles Magazine fell for Charpentier's "devastating Gallic charm." Craig Seligman, writing for the New York Times Book Review, agreed that Life á la Henri "practically waddles under the weight of [Charpentier's] personality," but admitted to having been won over by "the sheer oppressive force of his good cheer."

1970 saw the posthumous publication of the long-awaited Henri Charpentier Cookbook: Recipes and Memoirs of the World-famed French Chef who Created Crèpes Suzette, a version of the chef's 1945 privately published Food and Finesse; The Bride's Bible. Again Charpentier's writing provided a mix of anecdotes and recipes, though George Aguirre of the Library Journal preferred the "interesting people and events" over recipes that "provide illuminating insights into a well-known chef, but … are not for a beginner."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2001, Mark Knoblauch, review of Life á la Henri; Being the Memoirs of Henri Charpentier, p. 1106.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2001, review of Life á la Henri, p. 366.

Library Journal, April 15, 1971, George Aguirre, review of The Henri Charpentier Cookbook: Recipes and Memoirs of the World-famed French Chef who Created Crèpes Suzette, p. 1368.

Los Angeles Magazine, May, 2001, review of Life á la Henri, p. 139.

New York Times Book Review, December 6, 1970, Nika Hazelton, review of The Henri Charpentier Cookbook, p. 97; March 25, 2001, Craig Seligman, review of Life á la Henri, p. 10.

Publishers Weekly, September 14, 1970, review of The Henri Charpentier Cookbook, p. 37; January 15, 2001, review of Life á la Henri, p. 72.*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Charpentier, Henri 1880-1961." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Charpentier, Henri 1880-1961." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/charpentier-henri-1880-1961

"Charpentier, Henri 1880-1961." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved September 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/charpentier-henri-1880-1961

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.