The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Soyer, Alexis Benoit

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SOYER, swä-yā, Alexis Benoit, French cook: b, Meaux-en-Brie, 1809; d. England, 5 Aug. 1858, Leaving Paris in 1830, he served the Duke of Cambridge and became the chef of the Reform Club, 1837-50. In 1847 he received an appointment from the government to go to Ireland, which was then suffering from famine, and there he built several kitchens and served food at about half the ordinary cost. In 1855 he went to the Crimea, reorganized the victualing of the hospitals, improved the food of the army and navy and introduced cooking wagons. He was the most famous cook of his time and is immortalized as the Mirololant of Thackeray‘s ’Pendennis.' His writings on cookery were widely read and include ‘Culinary Relaxations’ (1845); ‘Charitable Cookery’ (1847); ‘History of Food in all Ages’ (1853); ‘The Shilling Cookery Book’ (1854). Consult Volant and Warren, ‘Memoirs of Alexis Soyer’ (London 1858).