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Manor House M Dubiard
"The servants are my friends but the masters, they are my enemy!" Monsieur Dubiard, chef de cuisine
M Dubiard
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M Dubiard

Watch the video diaries

Denis: Thoughts on Entering the House

The Chef de Cuisine: Daily Duties

Monsieur Dubiard spends much of his time keeping the coal-fired kitchen range hot
Monsieur Dubiard spends much of his time keeping the coal-fired kitchen range hot

The chef in his meat larder
The chef in his meat larder

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

More about Edwardian Food

How to Address the Family

Upstairs
Downstairs
The People: Denis Dubiard

Edwardian Role: Chef de Cuisine
Age: 38
Home: Middlesex
Occupation: Cook

Life before Manor House
Denis originally learned to cook as a child in his grandmother's kitchen in rural France.

His grandfather was also a truffle hunter, who managed to find truffles without the help of either pigs or dogs snorting out the delicacies. 'My grandfather just used his nose. He would go out early in the morning and come back laden with truffles. It was amazing.'

Trained at Maxim's in Paris, in the tradition of Careme and Escoffier, Denis has since worked in La Gavroche, Les Ambassadors and the Ritz.

At the start of the experiment, the father of two was looking forward to cooking on a traditional range, but was concerned about his new masters, thinking, "the servants will be my friends but the masters, they will be my enemy!"

Life in Manor House
M Dubiard's job is not just to cook for the family, but to impress their guests.

Only very rich families could afford to employ male chefs - and the fact that M Dubiard is French would have been a real status symbol. It will hopefully ensure that the great and the good of the country will flock to the Olliff-Cooper's dinner parties.

He is expected to summon up French luxuries such as truffles, oysters, game, patisseries, fine chocolates and champagne, all with a coal-fired kitchen range and no modern luxuries.

In terms, of the house hierarchy, [From the Rule Book] "As chef de cuisine, you are second only to the butler in the ranking of the male Servants. In the realm of the Kitchen, however, you are in charge, although due deference should be shown to the housekeeper whose duties and governance bring her here. The kitchen maid will assist you, as you see fit, and under your supervision will be responsible for producing meals taken by the servants, tutor and young Master of the house."

 


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