Louisa Tetrazzini (1871-1940) was an Italian operatic soprano. Chicken Tetrazzini was created in her honor by an American chef in the early 20th century.
As with many popular food creations, the identity of the creator is uncertain, and several candidates have been nominated.
he following information was contributed by Andrea Niosi:
James Beard believes it [Chicken Tetrazzini] was created in San Francsico, as well as many others, but I find no documentation.
My research shows one of two scenarios:
1. Created by Chef Pavani at the Knickerbocker in NY around 1912 or
2. Created by Chef Arbogast at the Palace Hotel in SF, CA around 1908.
Coordinator, Alice Statler Library
Culinary Arts & Hospitality Studies Department
City College of San Francisco
10/27/04 Here is an e-mail from Christine Romani:
“Hola! I stumbled upon your website whilst doing some late-night surfing and figured I'd pass on some useful info. On your page about chicken tetrazzini (sic), you speak of the American chef who created the dish. The chef is actually [my great-grandfather] Nicholas Sabatini who worked at the Mayflower Hotel. While he did live and work in the U.S., he was originally from Italy. I wish I had more info to give you, but an online search for my great-grandfather turns up nothing. The Mayflower Hotel apparently doesn't exist anymore, but someone who knows of the history of the hotel may be able to help you. I do know that the Staten Island Advance published an article about him a few years back and spoke of the recipe.”