Oscar Tshirky was the Maitre d’Hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City from 1893 to 1943. He became revered throughout the hospitality industry for his work, and became widely known as “Oscar of the Waldorf.” On this day in 1943 he was honoured at a dinner at the Hotel Raleigh in Washington DC.
The menu for the dinner read:
In honor of Mr.Oscar Tschirky of the Waldorf Astoria, New York, on the occasion of the dedication of the “Oscar of the Waldorf Suite”
Hotel Raleigh, Washington DC
Les Amuse Bouche
Schloss Reinhartschnausener Cabinet 1934
Délice de Sole a L’Oscar
Supreme de Pintade, Bercy
Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1929 Endive Braise
Souffle à L’Orange
Sauce Triple Sec
Lanson, Pere et Fils 1928 Mignardises
Tshirky was not, as is commonly believed, a chef, but he did author a cookery book based on classical recipes from the era, and I give you a couple from it that are close to the dishes in the menu above.
From The Cook Book, by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky (published 1896.)
Stewed Endive with Cream Sauce.
Take three large heads of endive and clean thoroughly; cut off all the outer green leaves and wash the endive in several waters. Drain and blanch them in boiling salted water for ten minutes. Remove, cool in cold water, then take them out and press out the water; chop up, place in a saucepan with four ounces of butter and cook for a quarter of an hour, until dry. Pour over two wine-glassfuls of cream or milk, a very little at a time, reduce, and grate in a little nutmeg, adding salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and leave on the fire for five minutes, turn it out on a hot dish, and serve with croutons of fried bread for a garnish.
Baked Sole with Wine Sauce.
Clean, trim off the gills and dark skin, and scrape the white side of a large sole; make a deep cut on each side of the backbone, and cut off the fins. Butter well the inside of a grating pan and put in the sole ; season with a little pepper and salt, and pour in one pint of French white wine, and bake in the oven for twenty minutes. Put about one ounce of butter into a saucepan with two tablespoonfuls of flour and stir over the fire until well mixed, then add one and one-half breakfast cupfuls of water and a little pepper and salt ; stir the sauce over the fire until boiling. When cooked strain the liquor off the sole into the sauce, boil the whole together, and then move the pan to the side of the fire ; put in one ounce of butter and one tablespoonful of chopped parsley, and stir it until the butter has melted. Put the sole on a hot dish, pour the sauce over it, and serve.