Carême’s Sonnet on his Fallen Soufflé



 When I consider how my yolk is spent

   Ere half the rising of this noble dough

   O’er which I’d laboured for an hour or so,

   Sunk back into the pan’s imprisonment,

Not fit to serve the diner, or present

   It to him on the platter, lest he chide,

   ‘Is this the best your kitchen can provide?’

   I fondly sighed, and in the bin it went.

My kind head waiter murmured, ‘If you need

   To make another soufflé with the rest

   Of your ingredients, then I’ll do my best

   To stall the diner ere you’ve done the deed.’

I’d be a maître d’, had I the nerve;

They also wait who only stand and serve.

  As dictated by Marie-Antoine Carême, through a medium [rare], to John Whiting