Francatelli, Charles Elmé (DNB00)

FRANCATELLI, CHARLES ELMÉ (1805–1876), cook, born in London in 1805, was of Italian extraction, and was educated in France. He studied the culinary art under Carême, and advanced it to unprecedented perfection in this country. He became successively chef de cuisine to the Earl of Chesterfield, the Earl of Dudley, Lord Kianaird, &c. Afterwards he managed the well-known Crockford's, or the St. James's Club, whence he removed to the royal household, becoming maitre d'hôtel and chief cook in ordinary to the queen. He next farmed the once flourishing Coventry House Club, and for seven years was chef de cuisine to the Reform Club. He afterwards managed the St. James's Hotel, Berkeley Street, Piccadilly, and finally the Freemasons' Tavern, which post he held until within a short period of his death. Francatelli was very successful as an author. In 1845 he published the 'Modern Cook,' which ran through twelve editions. This was succeeded in 1861 by 'The Cook's Guide and Butler's Assistant.' The same year he issued his 'Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes,' and in 1862 the 'Royal English and Foreign Confectionery Book.' In the latter work he discussed the art of confectionery in all its branches as practised in England and in all the leading European countries. While able to dress the costliest banquets, Francatelli was likewise a culinary economist. On one occasion he characteristically remarked that he could feed every day a thousand families on the food that was wasted in London. His cookery book for the working classes contained information of practical value to the poor. Francatelli died at Eastbourne on 10 Aug. 1876.

[Men of the Time, 8th edit.; Ann. Reg. 1876; Illustr. Lond. News, 19 Aug. 1876.]

G. B. S.