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Chen, Joyce (14 September 1917–23 August 1994), restaurateur, author, and chef, was born Liao Jia-ai in Beijing, China, the daughter of Liao Xin-shi, a railroad administrator and city executive; her mother’s family name was Wu. As a high-ranking Chinese official, Chen’s father was able to employ several servants, but both parents encouraged Chen to learn to do things for herself. She often recalled her mother warning, “You had better learn how to cook … so you don’t [ever] have to eat raw rice” ( ...

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Diat, Louis Felix (05 May 1885–29 August 1957), chef de cuisine, was born in Montmarault, France, the son of Louis Denis Diat, a shoemaker, and Anne Alajoinine. Trouble at school drove young Louis toward his life’s work: left-handed, he was persecuted by a schoolmaster who rapped his offending hand with a heavy metal ruler. When he began to walk in his sleep, his parents made a plan; if he would try to write with his right hand, he would be allowed the honor of helping his mother in the kitchen. He proved so enthusiastic and adept that when he was fourteen his father purchased a two-year apprenticeship at Maison Calondre, a fine restaurant in nearby Moulins. Diat then moved to Paris to the kitchens of the Hôtel Bristol and then the Hôtel du Rhin....

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Scotto, Charles (13 March 1886–24 October 1937), chef and founder of the American Culinary Federation, Inc., was born in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Little is known about Scotto’s early life, though he was survived in 1937 by three brothers and three sisters. He attained at least an elementary education, and judging by his rapid rise in career, he probably was an exceptional student. Scotto served a lengthy apprenticeship in the pastry shop of the casino at Monte Carlo before moving to the Hotel Metropole in Brighton, England, in 1900. He completed his culinary apprenticeship at age twenty-one under Master Chef Georges Auguste Escoffier in Brighton. Scotto’s relationship with the world-renowned Escoffier (called by the press the “Chef of Kings and the King of Chefs”) was exceptionally close. Escoffier’s biographers as well as the ...