Born in France, Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) is a celebrated chef and kitchen innovator. He became the first chef at the Reform Club, London where he instituted many innovations in the Club kitchens, including cooking with gas, using refrigerators cooled by cold water and ovens with adjustable temperatures. His kitchens were so famous, they were opened for tours and his 'Lamb Cutlets Reform' still feature on the menu at the Club today. Later on in his life, Soyer campaigned for better food, setting up soup kitchens in Ireland during the potato famine and offering his services to British soldiers during the Crimean War, training chefs, organising provisions and using his own invention, the Soyer stove (a portable stove) in the field to cater for troops.
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