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Oysters Rockefeller was created in 1899 by my great-grandfather Jules Alciatore. At that time there was a shortage of snails coming in from Europe to the United States and Jules was looking for a replacement. He wanted this replacement to be local in order to avoid any difficulty in procuring the product. He chose oysters. Jules was a pioneer in the art of cooked oysters, as they were rarely cooked before this time. He created a sauce with available green vegetable products, producing such a richness that he named it after one of the wealthiest men in the United States, John D. Rockefeller.
I have estimated that we have served over three million, five hundred thousand orders — quite a large number, considering that they have all been served in a single gourmet restaurant.
The original recipe is still a secret that I will not divulge. As many times as I have seen recipes printed in books and articles, I can honestly say that I have never found the original outside of Antoine 's. If you care to concoct your version, I would tell you only that the sauce is basically a puree of a number of green vegetables other than spinach.
Roy F. Guste Jr.
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