After the Waldorf Hotel opened in March 1893, writer Oliver Herford quipped that it “brought exclusiveness to the masses.” The same could be said for the famous Waldorf salad, a dish that was made for New York City’s elite but that became, through the 20th century, a staple of Americana.
The salad, originally a mix of diced apples and celery tossed in a good-quality mayonnaise, was created for the hotel’s debut event, a charity ball in honor of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on March 14, 1893. The menu was developed by the hotel’s first executive chef, Edouard Beauchamp, and its maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirky, who became known as “Oscar of the Waldorf.”
The Original Waldorf Salad (Serves 1)
1 medium ripe apple
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
2 cups lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
Peel apple and cut into halves.
Remove core and slice halves 0.5cm thick.
Reserve 4 slices. Cut remaining slices into thin strips.
In a medium bowl, mix celery, mayonnaise and apple strips; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange on lettuce and top with apple slices.
The New York Times