Australian diva Nellie Melba would stay at the Ritz Carlton, London, where Escoffier was chef. In 1893 she starred in Wagner's Lohengrin and sent him 2 tickets. In gratitude he created a dessert of poached peaches & raspberry sauce, served on a block of ice carved in the shape of a swan. "Pêche Melba is a simple dish made up of tender and very ripe peaches, vanilla ice cream, and a purée of sugared raspberry. Any variation ... ruins the delicate balance of its taste", he later wrote.