The Prince Regent’s Cook

Born in Brunswick, Louis Weltje became cook to the Prince of Wales in the 1780s and landlord of his Marine Pavilion at Brighton. L.W. Cowie describes his life and times.

The royal pavilion, that unique, fantastic building in Brighton, owes its position, though not its present architectural form, to the Prince Regent’s cook. The best-remembered of the Prince’s cooks is Marie Antoine Careme (1784-1833), the author of. Maitre d’Hotel Français, Les Déjeuners de l'Empereur Napoleon, La Cuisine Française and other books.

Careme, however, was only cook to the Prince for a short time. He came to him late in 1816, after he had made for himself an international reputation at the Congress of Vienna as Talleyrand’s cook, but he remained with him for only eight months. Then homesickness drove him back to France, though the Prince was paying him a salary of £1,000 a year.

The man who established the Prince in Brighton, and did much else for him as well, was Louis Weltje, sometimes called the ‘Enlightened Cook’. According to the Court Calendar, Weltje was the Prince’s Comptroller and Clerk of the Kitchen and Cellars from 1783 to 1789 and may, in fact, have held the post for a longer period.

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