In 1892, Nellie Melba was performing in Wagner's opera Lohengrin at Covent Garden. The Duke of Orléans gave a dinner party for her. For the occasion, Escoffier created a new dessert, and to display it, he used an ice sculpture of a swan, which is featured in the opera. The swan carried peaches on a bed of vanilla ice cream and topped with spun sugar. He was exalted as Chevalier of Legion d'Honneur in 1920Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany declared Escoffier Emperor of Germany. He was noted for the modernization of the menu and the organization of the professional kitchen. Other Escoffier creations were Melba toast, bombe Néro (a flaming ice), fraises à la Sarah Bernhardt (strawberries with pineapple and Curaçao sorbet), baisers de Vierge (meringue with vanilla cream and crystallised white rose and violet petals) and suprêmes de volailles Jeannette (jellied chicken breasts with foie gras).
Dry, crisp and thinly sliced toast. It is named after Dame Nellie Melba. Its name is thought to date from 1897, when the singer was very ill and it became a staple of her diet. It is made by lightly toasting slices of bread under a grill, both sides. The resulting toast is then sliced laterally. The thin slices are then returned to the grill, the untoasted sides towards the heat source, resulting in toast half the normal thickness.