As a chef, culinary writer and restaurant owner, Karen Mitcham-Stoeckley has made a career out of food. Currently, she is the co-owner of Eagle’s Nest Inn and Winery and Josephine’s Bakery in Louisiana, Mo.
Cooking is also part of her family heritage, but it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that she was able to discover more. The result is “A Culinary Legacy: From Escoffier to Today,” a book that is part narrative, part history, and part cookbook.
When Stoeckley’s doctor recommended a break from the stress of running a restaurant, she took the opportunity to complete a fifty-year-old wish and translate a book of recipes handwritten in French by her chef grandfather. She made plans to stay in a village in Provence, France for six months and undertook her mission.
While in the village, she met restaurant owner and chef Max Callegari, and they decided to collaborate on the book. Callegari helped Stoeckley with the translation and interpretation of the recipes, and the two tested many of the dishes in his restaurant.
Callegari recognized the influence of renowned 19th century chef Auguste Escoffier in many of the recipes, and at his urging, Stoeckley visited the Escoffier Foundation. From there they discovered that her grandfather likely was trained by Escoffier. Stoeckley's project so fascinated Auguste Escoffier's great-grandson Michel Escoffier, that he offered to write the forward of her book.
Among Stoeckley’s favorite recipes in the book are Josephine’s Paté, Mussels Provençal, Artichokes Barigoule, and a leg of lamb prepared in the Provençal style.
“A Culinary Legacy: From Escoffier to Today" is published by Acclaim Press.
Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted by Steve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.