The world’s menus are full eponymous cuisine. Aunt Mae’s Pancakes, The Big Daddy Burger, Salmon a la Ralph. Sometimes it’s named after the chef who creates it, others a beloved relative—perhaps a regular who always ordered their dinner with a special twist.
Beyond all these examples at individual locations or chains—there are a slew of prolific culinary staples that also take their names from people. Here are a few for which you should know the (alleged) background. Because why shouldn’t you?
If any of these are on your menu, you just might be able to serve up an interesting story alongside a delicious entrée to the guest experience…
1) Fettuccine Alfredo
Named in 1914 a restaurant owner/operator from Rome named Alfredo di Lelio. De Lilio’s pregnant wife was having trouble keeping food down, so he evolved the dish from a 15th century recipe for "Maccheroni romaneschi" by essentially doubling the butter. I tbecame popular with tourists after he added it to his menu.
2) Eggs Benedict
This breakfast favorite has two conflicting accounts as to its origin. The first claims it came about when a New York stock broker named Lemuel Bendict ordered the concoction at the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 to cure a hangover.
The second claims to have kicked off the dish a year earlier in 1893 when chef Charles Ranhofer of New York's Delmonico's created the dish for Mr. and/or Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, a stockbroker and socialite.
The trail of this ingredient likely goes further back to a John Lubben and or Luther Burbank. A botanist named Rudolf Boysen, however, popularly holds the name and credit for developing the loganberry/raspberry/blackberry cross around the 1920s.
4) Caesar salad
Caesar Cardini lived in San Diego but operated Hotel Ceasarin Tijuana to circumvent Prohibition. Popular attribution for this pre-dinner classed goes to Cardini or one of his associates.
5) Chicken à la King – Four Theories
• William King of Philadelphia has been credited in 1915 (upon his death) as the inventor of this dish.
• The dish may have been first named "Chicken à la Keene" after James R. Keene, a London-born American
• Created by chef Charles Ranhofer for Foxhall P. Keene, James R.'s son, in the early 1890s
• Invented by chef George Greenwald around 1898 for Mr. and Mrs. E. Clark King (II or III) at the Brighton Beach Hotel in New York
The more modest, original version was simply fried tortillas covered with cheese and jalapeno peppers, and was invented in 1943 by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya.
7) Lobster Newberg
Popularly credited to a Captain Ben Wenberg, who discovered the recipe in his travels and brought it brought Delmonico's—where the chef recreated it for him as Lobster Wenberg in the late 19th century—then allegedly renamed it after the two men had a falling out.
8) Beef Stroganoff
19th-century Russian recipe named for a Count Stroganov—possibly Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov or Count Grigory Dmitriyevich Stroganov
9) Chicken Tetrazzini
Created in San Francisco and named for opera star Luisa Tetrazzini, the "Florentine Nightingale."
10) Beef Wellington
Credited to the personal chef of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, a British hero of the Battle of Waterloo.
11) Worcestershire Sauce
Ex-Governor of Bengal, Lord Marcus Sandys, returned to Worcestershire, England and missed Indian cuisine. Sandy’s commissioned two pharmacists to re-create a sauce recipe he had brought back with him. (cracked.com)
* All entires except #11 attributed to information at Wikipedia.org