Downton Abbey Wiki

Arsène Avignon was a chef specializing in French haute cuisine at the Ritz.

When Alfred Nugent goes to London to enter a contest in hopes of realizing his dream to become a chef, he receives lessons from Avignon on preparing fish and cream dishes.

Avignon also questions Alfred about his work experience, particularly that he has worked as a footman. Alfred insists he wants to do more with his life, and Avignon replies they will not keep him waiting.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Avignon was portrayed by Yves Aubert.
  • Arsène Avignon was, in real-life, a maître-chef at the Ritz Hotel. Avignon even has a portrait of himself drawn in circa 1937, by Florence Enid Stoddard, at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • This museum of learning disability in south-west London commemorates the work of Dr John Langdon Down, a Victorian physician who pioneered the study of Down’s Syndrome. For Downton’s purposes, it stands in as the kitchen of the Ritz hotel where in episode five footman Alfred endeavoured to impress fearsome French chef Escoffier. Just out of shot is a 15ft model ship weighing three-and-a-half tons, which had stood in the middle of the otherwise perfect tiled basement. “We had to get a specialist removal firm to move it inch by inch, says Locations Manger Mark Ellis. “My goodness, it was nerve-racking!”


Appearances and Mentions
Series 4 Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5
Episode 6 Episode 7 Episode 8 Christmas Special

External Links[]

  1. PREVIEW: Downton Abbey finds no room at The Ritz for its chef’s starring role at The Express