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