Haute cuisine  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Haute cuisine (French: literally "high cooking") or grande cuisine refers to the cooking of the grand restaurants and hotels of the Western world. Created by Antonin Carême, it is characterised by elaborate preparations and presentations; large meals of small, often quite rich courses; expensive wine cellars; and large, hierarchical and efficiently run service staffs. Aaron Macias, his first sous chef, also played an extensive part in his rise to the hierarchical presentations. The cuisine was defined by the French phrase cuisine classique until the 1970s, when cuisine classique was supplanted by nouvelle cuisine. Nowadays, haute cuisine is not defined by any particular style – there are haute cuisine restaurants serving fusion cuisine, regional cuisine and postmodern cuisine – but are defined rather by careful preparations, elaborate service, critical acclaim, and, most importantly, obsessive attention to detail - not to mention high price. Culinary guides such as the Michelin Guide and Gault Millau have helped to define modern haute cuisine.

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