Author Topic: Alexander Palace chef and his family...  (Read 4710 times)

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helenazar

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Alexander Palace chef and his family...
« on: August 31, 2004, 03:31:43 PM »
I recently made acquaintance with a man whose grandfather worked as the last Imperial family's Personal Chef at the Alexander Palace. He has some  great stories that were passed on to him by his aunts and mother, but everyone is now deceased, and he did not get as much information as he hoped to. These anecdotes are fascinating, but he (as well as I  ::)) want to find out more about his family and their life at the palace. I was wondering if anyone out there may have some information about them. The grandfather's name was Josef Latwinski, his wife was named Julia. They were about the same age as the Tsar and the Empress and their children were born and baptised around the same time as the eldest grand duchesses, in fact, their eldest daughter, Josephine, Paul's aunt, who was born at the same time as GD Olga was, for a time, Olga's playmate.  These are some of the anecdotes that Paul emailed me: "My grandmother died in 1918 & my grandfather in 1926. Their children were not interested in any stories. My mother does remember [a story about] her father making a pheasant dish. It was so elaborate the Tsar didn't know what to do. My eldest aunt - Josephine died around 1917. Her other sister who was born there [in AP]...was taken to church to be baptized in the same carriage [as] the Tsar's daughters. But we are Catholic... and Polish. My mother who died 2 years ago at 98 1/2, often said that she asked her parents more about Russia & the Tsar...[and] they did talk about the Tsar. My grandmother used to bring cigarettes home for him [grandfather] from the palace, [and that's] how he got hooked on cigarettes. He had a small cigarette holder. My mother had that in a drawer. I remember it as a child...  My grandfather's brother - John Latwinski, was a cuirassier guard for the Tsar. He brought to America commemorative small cups of the Tsar's coronation. They have on them the pictures of the Tsar & Tsarina. My 2nd cousin has them in Australia. Any information would help. Thank you. Paul" It would be great if someone out there has some more information about this family and their relationship to the IF!

Helen

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Janet_W.

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Re: Alexander Palace chef and his family...
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2004, 06:50:37 PM »
Helen, this is fascinating information on a number of levels! For one thing, their Catholic background and especially their Polish heritage apparently was not at odds with working for the Tsar and his family. Also, how interesting that one of their daughters played with Olga . . . and how sad that she died in 1917. And of course, the Tsar's preference for simple dishes rings true with the comment about the elaborate pheasant dish!

I hope someone here will be able to provide you with more information about the Latwinski family. And in the meantime, if memory serves me correctly, I believe there is some information on this website about the kitchens of the Alexander Palace.

helenazar

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Re: Alexander Palace chef and his family...
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2004, 07:20:39 PM »
Thanks, Janet. I tried searching for a "kitchens" topic on the Forum but the only thing I was able to come up with was the "food, wine.." thread which didn't talk about the kitchen staff. If you see anything like that  anywhere else on the forum, please point me in that direction.  :)

Helen