Historicaly credit is given to Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City for this dish. In the
1860's, a regular patron of the restaurant, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, finding nothing to her
liking and wanting something new to eat for lunch, talked to Delmonico's Chef Charles
Ranhofer. He put together some muffins cut in halves crosswise, toast them without
allowing to brown, then place a round of cooked ham an eighth of an inch thick and of the
same diameter as the muffins one each half. He then put a poached egg on each toast
and covered it with Hollandaise sauce. But others have also taken credit for this same
In September of 1967, a column in The New York Times Magazine wrote about a letter
received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American then residing in France. In it
Montgomery related that the dish was created by Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker
and yachtsman who died in 1920 at the age of 86. Montgomery also included a recipe for
eggs Benedict, stating that the recipe had been given to him by his mother, who had
received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.
Another origin of the dish is suggested in Elizabeth David's "French Provincial Cooking"
where she describes a traditional French dish named œufs bénédictine, consisting of
brandade (a puree of refreshed salt cod and potatoes), spread on triangles of fried bread.
A poached egg is then set on top and covered with a simple hollandaise sauce.
Today "Eggs Benedict" is traditionally made up of a toasted English muffin half, a round
piece of Canadian bacon ( which is really ham ), with a single poached egg covered in
hollandaise sauce and has become a Sunday brunch standard.
Some other variations use smoked salmon ( lox ) or breakfast sausage patties replacing
the ham, bagels instead of the English muffins, and swapping cheese sauces for the
traditional hollandaise sauce and occasionally adding some spinach for a Florentine
touch. But no matter how this dish of poached eggs is assembled, it is certain that it will
remain in the archives of culinary favorites for all time.