Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday, Saturday & Sundae ~ There's an Art to Being a Chef

Once upon a time I decided it might be interesting to investigate the astrology of famous chefs. Here's one, a chef who is world-famous, king of all the chefs:
Georges-Auguste Escoffier.

Before starting to write, I asked myself what I'd expect to find prominent in the charts of those whose life's work is to prepare and present food. My first thought was of the element Earth, and the zodiac sign Taurus in particular. My second thought was that preparing food is a nurturing activity - nurturing others - the zodiac sign of Cancer relates to this. Beyond those factors, any successful individual, in whatever sphere they choose to operate, will need drive and energy. Any occupation involving the mass preparation and serving of food is demanding, make no mistake about that! Presentation of food is very important, so an artistic eye would be helpful. When you get right down to it, preparation of food is artistry in itself. Individual chart factors will be determined by any sidelines a chef might engage in: writing, for instance, would entail some strong Mercurial input.

Born 28 October 1846 at 10am in Villeneuve-Loubet, France (Astrodatabank). My software doesn't have that city as an option, but Nice is at almost exactly the same latitude/longitude, so I've used it.

Well - was I wrong, or was I wrong? No Taurus, no Cancer planets. We do have an artistic streak via Venus/Mars in Libra (ruled by Venus, planet of the arts), and this at 10th house, the area of career. What we have here is a very Airy chart, in spite of the fact that natal Sun and Mercury lie in Watery, intense and passionate Scorpio.

There's a nice Grand Trine in Air linking the Libra planets to Jupiter in Gemini and the three planets in Aquarius. This reflects a high degree of natural intelligence, an intellectual nature.

Sagittarius was rising as Escoffier came into the world, and right opposite, on the descendant is Jupiter (Sagittarius' ruler) in Gemini. Sagittarius and Jupiter relate to excess, exaggeration, publication, and travel and are generally a benign influence. There's a link to the enjoyment of good food here, and a definite link to writing about food, which Escoffier did in several well-known volumes.

What about Aquarius though - how does that relate to the work of a chef? This particular chef was known for inventing new dishes (Peach Melba, we all know) and re-organising the way restaurant kitchens were run. There is the Aquarius influence! His philanthropic endeavours as mentioned in the quote below reflect another side of Aquarius, and of course, his benign Sagittarius ascendant.
Three of Escoffier's most noted career achievements are revolutionizing and modernizing the menu, the art of cooking and the organization of the professional kitchen. Escoffier simplified the menu as it had been, writing the dishes down in the order in which they would be served (Service à la Russe). He also developed the first à la Carte menu.

He simplified the art of cooking by getting rid of ostentatious food displays and elaborate garnishes and by reducing the number of courses served. He also emphasized the use of seasonal foods and lighter sauces. Escoffier also simplified professional kitchen organization, as he integrated it into a single unit from its previously individualized sections that operated autonomously and often created great wasted and duplication of labor.

Throughout his career, Escoffier wrote a number of books, many of which continue to be considered important today. Some of his best-known works include Le Guide Culinaire (1903), Le Livre des Menus (1912) and Ma Cuisine (1934).

As well as making changes in the culinary world, Escoffier undertook several philanthropic endeavors including the organization of programs to feed the hungry and programs to financially assist retired chefs.
(See here)

The dynamic tension, the engine room of Escoffier's nature, comes mainly from the oppositions Aries to Libra, Uranus opposes Mars, Pluto opposes Venus. Both Uranus and Pluto represent the urge for change and transformation - which is exactly what Escoffier achieved in his kitchens.

Something I've learned from this experiment already: Earth isn't a necessary ingredient in the natal chart of a chef - Escoffier's contains no planets in Earth signs.


LB said...

Twighlight ~ Your first thought (about Taurus) was my first thought too. My next thought involved any 6th house placements or Taurus connected to the 6th ~ which he has. Ruler of his Taurus 6H, Venus, is placed in the 10th in Libra, a placement associated with appealing forms.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thank you for this - yes, it's not a straight-forward connection, but it's there for a sharp eye to find. :)

LB said...

Just thought of something else. Since Escoffier's Sun is in Scorpio 11H, his *Earth* would be exactly opposite in the sign of Taurus, in the 5H of creativity and self-expression.

Twilight said...

LB ~ There's that too, yes. On balance, I think his writing career might be equally important in his chart as his cooking career. Without his books he might not be as widely known, or as much praised.