Charles Elmé Francatelli

Portrait of Charles Elmé Francatelli by Joseph Brown, 1861, serving as the Frontispiece to The Cook's Guide
Engraving of Francatelli drawn by Auguste Hervieu and engraved by Samuel Freeman, probably in 1846, serving as the Frontispiece to Francatelli's The Modern Cook

Charles Elmé Francatelli (1805–10 August 1876) was an Anglo-Italian cook,[1] known for his cookery books popular in the Victorian era.


Francatelli was born in London, of Italian extraction, in 1805, and was educated in France, where he studied the art of cookery. Coming to England, he was employed successively by various noblemen, subsequently becoming chief chef of the St James's Club, popularly known as Crockford's club. He left Crockford's to become chief cook to Queen Victoria from 9 March 1840 to 31 March 1842,[2] returned to Crockfords, and afterwards he was managing steward of the Coventry House Club from the day it opened on 1 June 1846 until it closed on 25 March 1854, at the Reform Club 1854-61, then Manager of the St James's Hotel, at the corner of Berkeley Street and Piccadilly, 1863–70, and also chef de cuisine to the Prince and Princess of Wales at Marlborough House 1863-65. From 1870-76 he was manager of the Freemason's Tavern.[3][4]


He was the author of The Modern Cook (1845);[5] of A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes (1852), The Cook's Guide and Housekeeper's & Butler's Assistant (1861), and of The Royal English and Foreign Confectionery Book (1862). Francatelli died at Eastbourne.

A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes was reprinted in 1993, complete with the original advertisements and introduction.


Clarissa Dickson Wright, describing Francatelli as "the Italian confectioner", describes him as liking "his elaborate sugar decorations. He also talks about making pearls, birds and feathers out of sugar to decorate your dessert course." She compares it to a meal in Daisy Ashford's The Young Visiters, and comments that while such fiddly decoration may have looked good, she wasn't sure it did anything for the taste.[6]

See also


  1.  "Francatelli, Charles Elmé". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. Account books of the Lord Steward of the Royal Household for 1840-42, National Archive, Kew, refs. LS 2/66, LS 2/67 and LS 2/68
  3. Colin Smythe, "Charles Elmé Francatelli, Crockford's and the Royal Connection" in Petits Propos Culinaires 101 (2014), pp. 42-67, and "Charles Elmé Francatelli, Additions & Supplementations" in Petits Propos Culinaires 102 (2015), pp. 100-118
  4. Public Domain Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Charles Elmé Francatelli". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. The Modern Cook
  6. Wright, Clarissa Dickson (2011). A History of English Food. Random House. pp. 340–341. ISBN 978-1-905-21185-2.

External links

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