What made Lucien Olivier famous

The New Year is not far off, which means that the famous Olivier salad, which is famous in our country, will again become the decoration of the festive table. A lot has already been written about the salad itself and the methods of its preparation, but it will not hurt to say a few words about its creator.

In the second half of the 19th century, a salad prepared by the French chef Lucien Olivier was very popular in the posh Moscow Hermitage tavern. It consisted of: fillet of hazel grouse and quail, French gherkins, boiled potatoes. But no one knew the exact recipe, the Frenchman was preparing his dish in a separate office in the strictest secrecy.

The native of France was well-versed in the gastronomic predilections of Russians, and his salad was a wonderful snack with a glass.

But in 1883, Lucien Olivier died unexpectedly at a young age - he was only 45 years old. He was buried in Moscow at the German (Vvedensky) cemetery, which is located not far from Preobrazhenskaya Square. A black granite monument with the inscription "Lucien Olivier" and a short line below "From friends" has survived to this day.

It would seem that after the death of the Frenchman, the salad recipe was lost forever, because no one knew the secrets of its preparation. But at the beginning of the 20th century, the dish, unexpectedly, appeared on the menu of Moscow restaurants. It was cooked by Ivan Ivanov, a cook who served as Lucien's assistant twenty years ago.

How did he get the recipe? There are several versions. According to one of them, Ivanov secretly spied on the chef and gradually learned all the subtleties of cooking. Another version is more prosaic: the Frenchman himself revealed his secret to Ivan during the feast.

Be that as it may, but Muscovites got the opportunity to taste the once favorite, almost forgotten dish.

In the 30s of the last century, Ivanov was already a chef in the elite restaurant "Moscow". And here he did not forget about the legendary salad, however, scarce products had to be replaced. Instead of hazel grouses - chicken, instead of gherkins - ordinary cucumbers. But, thanks to the simplification of the recipe, the salad has become truly popular. They began to cook it not only in restaurants, but also in ordinary canteens.

Years passed, and the Olivier salad became the main decoration of the festive table. What changes did the invention of the French chef undergo. They began to add doctoral sausage, green peas and other available products to it.

But the salad kept the name of its creator. This is how the French chef became the author of our national dish.