Sources of Names in Classical Menus

I found more kitchen notes while cleaning out the toolbox. Old menus often used the names in previous centuries that were inspired by famous people. Kings, queens, authors, artists and politicians and actors as well as significant historical events and geography.
Below are representative examples of an extensive list.

Agnes Sorel~ mistress of Charles the 7th, King of France (1410-1450)
Andalousia~ province in southern Spain
Argenteuil~ area near Versaille, famous for white asparagus
Avignon~ district capital of Vaucluse in France
Bagration~ Peter Ivanowitch, Russian feudal lord (1760-1794)
Balzac~ Honore de, French author, intense writer with coffee addiction
Bearn~ province in France, invented to be served with potatoes
Bechamel~ Marquis of Nointel (Louis de Bechamel)
Bercy~ famous market in France, sauce universal for meat and fish
Bernard~ Emile, the master chef emperor Wilhelm the First, co-author of La Cuisine Classique
Berny~ Francois Adrien, (1775-1826) known for his famous book, La Physiologies de Gout
Caen~ District capital of Calvados, France
Careme~ Antonin, one of the most famous chefs in his time, author, artist, inventor of centerpiece
Caruso~ Enrico, famous opera tenor (1873-1921), favorite pasta dish he created of Naples
Cayenne~ French colony in South America
Chantilly~ town in Oise region of France, 1720 the very first whipped cream was served at a festive dinner
Chateaubriand~ Francois, Rene, Viscount of Chateaubriand,(1768-1848) French statesman
Chipolata~ from the word ‘cipolla’, onion in Italian
Choron~ Alexandre Stephen (1772-1834) director of the Paris Opera House of France
Clamart~ place near Paris, famous soup with peas, artichokes and pigeon
Colbert~ Jean Baptiste (1619-1834) secretary of state under Louis the XIV
Conde~ family of princes from Bourbons, loved to hunt and eat rice
Conti~ Francois, Louis, King of Poland (1664-1709)
Cordon-Bleu~ woman chef who learned from a famous chef
Crecy~ region on the Seine, France famous for its carrots
Dauphine~ Crown princess in the French Court
Delmonico ~ famous restaurant in New York at the time of Prohibition
Dobos ~ famous Hungarian chef who died in 1924, inventor of Dobos Torte
DuBarry ~ Marie Jeanne (1734-1793) mistress of Louis the XV, her female chef was honored the first time with the title ‘Cordon-Bleu”
Duglere ~ Adolf, the most famous of his time with his best known restaurant Café Anglaise in Paris
Dumas ~ (1802-1870) famous author in France
Duxelles ~ Marquis d’Uxelles, his chef Francois-Pierre de la Varenne named his creation after him
Escoffier ~ Auguste George (1846-1935) famous chef, author, best known cookbooks are Le Guide Culinaire and Ma Cuisine
Eszterhazy ~ Miklos (1765-1833) noble feudal lord in Hungary
Espagnole ~ one of the basic brown sauces
Fontainebleau ~ town in the region of Seine et Marne in France
Frascotti ~ small town near Rome, also a famous restaurant in France
Grenoble ~ town in the region Isere France
Henry ~ (1533-1610) King of France who said “I want everyone in my kingdom to have a chicken for Sunday supper.”
Joinville ~ Francoise of Orleans, Prince (1818-1900)
Julienne ~ Jean Julien, well known French chef who served consommé with strips of vegetables
Lamballe ~ Marie Therese Princess, (1749-1792) beheaded during the French Revolution
Marengo ~ village in the province of Italy where Napoleon defeated the Austrian army, the dish was created by Napoleon’s chef who foraged for goods after the battle, chicken or veal cooked in olive oil with garlic, wine, tomatoes and cooked egg garnish
Marie-Antoinette ~ (1755-1793) daughter of Maria Therese, wife of Louis the XVI, beheaded during the revolution
Melba ~ Nelly (1861-1931) Australian opera singer, had four foods referencing her, peach, sauce, toast, garniture
Mirabeau ~ Honore Gabriel Riquetti (1794-1791) French politician, legendary, boulevard in Paris named after him
Mirepoix ~ prince, (1699-1757), also town in the region of Ariege
Montepellier ~ district capital of Herault in southern france
Mornay ~ Philippe, statesman and author (1549-1623)
Newberg – town in New York State, a lot of theories on the origin of lobster Newberg
Orloff ~ Nicolai Alexejewitsch, Russian Statesman (1855-1885) ambassador to France. Thin sliced veal with mushrooms, onions and mornay.
Orly ~ place near south Paris, used to describe seafood preparation
Parmentier ~ Antoine Auguste, promoted potatoes in France (1737-1813), many classic preparations are named after him.
Perigord ~ town in the province of Dordogne, France. Four regions: noir, blanc, vert, and pourpe. Truffle named after this region from oak and hazelnut trees.
Pompadour ~ Jeanne Antoinette, favorite marquis of Louis the XV, created banquets to please the king, loved truffles, chocolate and champagne
Pojarski ~ Russian folk hero, once an innkeeper, veal cutlet dish
Provencale ~ literally from the region of Provence
Richelieu ~ Armand Jean, statesman and cardinal (1585-1642) very impactful for France
Rossini ~ Italian composer, gourmet cook, friend of Careme, many dishes named for him
Rothschild ~ Careme used to work for this banking family
Sacher ~ French, inventor of the Sacher Torte, created at the age of 16
Saint Germaine ~ historical fortress, boulevard, communes, parish, center around the abbey, home to many chocolatier and patisseries in the city
Saint Honore ~ French patron saint of bakers, piping tip named after him
Saint- Hubertus ~ patron saint of hunters, held animals in high regard, feast day in first day of hunting season, namesake omelette has game meat with demi-glace and mushrooms
Sandwich ~ notorious gambler, rumored that when he needed to eat and could not be interrupted in game
Soubise ~ Charles de Rohan, French prince interested in culinary arts, based on béchamel
Stroganoff ~ very wealthy merchant in Russia, developed in friendly competition with other chefs, this nobleman always had the best cooks
Suchet ~ Louis Gabriel, prince of Albufera, namesake fillet of sole
Toulouse ~ capital of the region in France known for its poultry
Turbigo ~near Milan Italy, name of Napoleon battlefield with the Austrians and a dish prepared with kidneys
Vatel ~ famous chef committed suicide because fish ordered was not fresh, expert in organizing feasts, creator of the Chantilly cream, absolute dedication and obsessive worker, ran out of food and could not wait for more food to arrive so he fell on his sword
Windsor ~ town and castle in England, also soup made with calves feet
Yorkshire ~largest county in England, also town, also sauce, much like a Cumberland Sauce
Zingara ~ Spanish gypsy girl, or gypsy style in French cuisine, the dish migrated through Europe and has many variations

Glossary of French Culinary Terms

Glossary of Traditional French Culinary Terms

A growing collection of terms used in the kitchen, some taught and spoken, some forgotten.

A
A la carte ~list of food items priced separately
A la mode ~in the fashion
Abaisse ~a piece of dough rolled to required size
Abaitis ~winglets, giblets of poultry, (de Volaille)
Aboyer ~the person who announces orders to the different parts of the kitchen
Agiter ~to stir
Agneau ~lamb
Aigrefin ~haddock
Aiguiller a Larder ~a larding needle
Aiguilletes ~meat of fish cut into strips
Aiguller a Brider ~a trussing needle
Aigullette ~long thin slice of cooked meat, usually from the breast of poultry
Ail ~garlic
Aileron ~winglet of poultry
Airelle Rouge ~cranberry
Al dente ~to the bite
Ala Broche ~roasted on a spit
Ala ~in the style, e.g. a la Francaise
Allumettes ~match stick size, usually potatoes
Aloyau ~sirloin of beef, (contre-filet)
Aloyau ~whole unboned sirloin of beef
Amuse- Guele `name to describe cocktail canapes
Anchois ~anchovy
Ancienne ~a la
Anglaise a la English style, plainly cooked food
Anguille ~eel
Anis ~aniseed
Annoncer ~to announce (to call out orders)
Antipasto ~italian cold appetizer
Appareil ~prepared mixture of food made ready for further processing
Apricot ~apricot
Argentuil ~district in France famous for its asparagus
Aromates ~herbs, spices, flavorings
Aromats ~mixture of vegetables and herbs used to impart flavor
Arrowroot ~starch obtained from the roots of the arrowroot plant
Artichaut ~artichoke
Asperge ~asparagus
Aspic ~savory jelly
Assiette Anglaise ~selection of sliced cold meats
Assiette ~plate or dish
Au Blem ~method of preparing and cooking live trout in court bouillion
Au Blue ~term used to describe of cooking fish when live in court bouillion
Au Four ~bake in the oven
Au Four ~in the oven
Au Jus ~with natural juice
Aubergine ~eggplant

B
Baba ~small yeast cake soaked in rum flavored syrup and topped with whipped cream
Bain-Marie ~double boiler insert for slow cooking, when direct boiling is to be avoided. Also a steam table in which smaller pans and their contents are kept hot.
Ballotine ~stuffed boneless game or domestic bird
Bar Raye ~rock salmon
Bar ~bass
Barder ~to cover meats with slices of salt pork
Barder ~to cover with thin slices of bacon
Baron of Lamb ~the saddle with legs
Baron ~double sirloin and rumps of beef, the saddle and legs of lamb
Basilic ~basil
Baste ~to moisten meat in the oven, to prevent drying
Baton/Batonnet ~stick, commonly denotes small stick garnish
Batter ~a liquid dough, thin enough to cover
Batterie de Cuisine ~kitchen equipment
Becasse ~woodcock
Becassine ~snipe
Bechamel ~basic milk sauce, white, one of the foundation sauces
Beignets ~fritters
Bettarve ~beetroot
Bien Cuit ~well or thoroughly cooked
Bisque ~a thick cream soup
Blanc d’oeuf ~white of an egg
Blanc ~water with flour and lemon juice
Blanchir ~to blanch by immersing in cold water, bring to boil, drain and refresh by re-immersion in cold water
Blanquette ~ragout of stew made of veal and lamb in rich veloute
Bleu ~blue, applied to very rare broiled meat
Boeuf ~beef
Bombay Duck ~dried fillets of fish used as an accompianment with curry
Bombes ~ice cream dessert
Borfure ~border, usually a bordure of rice
Bouchees ~small puff pastry
Boudin Noir ~blood sausage or black pudding
Bouillabaisses ~fish stew, specialty of southern France
Bouillion ~reduced meat stock
Bouillir ~to boil
Boulanger ~baker
Boulangerie ~the baker department
Bouquet Garni ~combo of herbs: bay leaf, thyme, parsley, tied in celery or leek to flavor soups and sauces
Bourgeoise ~dish prepared in the bourgeois family style, meats served with vegetables
Bourgogne ~burgundy (wine)
Bousisson(en) ~items of food dressed on top of each other in a pile
Boutons (de Bruxelles) ~buttons of Brussels, poetic term for brussel sprouts
Braiser ~to braise
Braisiere ~braising pan or stewing pan
Breme ~bream
Brider ~to truss or tie poultry or meat
Brine ~salted liquid used for preserving meat
Brioche ~yeast leavened sponge dough
Brochette ~a skewer
Broil ~the ancient term for grilling
Buerre Manie ~kneaded butter for thickening sauces

C
Cabillaud ~codfish
Caille ~quail
Calotte ~cap of prime rib
Canapes ~pieces of toasted bread garnished and served as snack
Canard Sauvage ~wild duck
Canard ~duck
Caneton ~duckling
Cantaloup ~melon
Caramel ~melted sugar in a light brown syrup stage
Caramelizer ~to caramelize, to cook sugar until it reaches a brown color
Carbonnade ~braised steak
Carcasse ~carcass, the bone structure or meat or poultry without the meat on it
Carpe ~carp
Carre ~rack of veal or lamb
Carrelet ~flounder
Cartouche ~a greased round of paper for covering papers during cooking
Casserole ~fireproof dish or names of dishes served and cooked in casserole
Cassis ~black currant
Cassoulet ~earthware dish featuring beans with pork, mutton, goose or duck
Cayenne ~a very hot pepper
Celeri ~celery
Celeri-Rave ~celeriac or celery root, turnip like rooted celery
Cepe ~edible fungus, yellowish flap mushroom
Cerfeuil ~chervil
Cerise ~cherry
Cervelle ~brain
Champignon ~mushroom
Chanterelles ~mushrooms (Cantharellus variety)
Chantilly ~whipped cream sweetened with sugar
Chapalure `bread crumbs
Chapelure ~brown bread crumbs
Chapon ~capon castrated cock
Charcuterie ~items of pork butchery
Charcutier ~butcher and sausage maker
Charcutiere ~butchers shop
Chateaubriand ~double steak cut from the center of the beef filet
Chaufroid ~food coated in cold white sauce
Chef de Cuisine ~chef in charge
Chef de Partie ~chef in charge of one of the sections in the kitchen
Chemise ~to line a mold or to coat an item with jelly
Chevreuil ~Venison
Chicory ~endive
Chiffonnade ~leaf vegetables shredded or cut into ribbons
Chinois ~a conical strainer
Chinois ~cone shaped fine strainer or seive
Chipolate ~type of small sausage
Chou de Bruxelles ~brussel sprouts
Chou de Mer ~sea kale
Chou paste ~eclair batter
Chou ~type of pastry used for eclairs
Choucroute ~sauerkraut, cabbage pickled and fermented
Chou-fleur ~cauliflower
Chou-fris ~curly kale
Ciseler ~to shred finely, or to cut incisions
Clarifier ~to clarify or clear liquids
Clarify ~to clear of impurities and sediment
Clouter ~oignon clout, onion with cloves
Cocotte of Oeuf ~indivisual porcelain dish
Cocotte ~small ovenproof dish
Coeur ~heart, e.g. coeur de laitue — heart of lettuce
Colin ~coal fish
Commis ~an apprentice in the kitchen or dining room
Compote ~stewed fruit
Concasser ~to roughly dice or chop
Concombre ~cucumber
Confiture ~jam
Congre ~conger eel
Contrefilet ~a boned out sirloin
Contre-filet ~sirloin which faces the tenderloin
Coq Au Vin ~chicken stewed in wine sauce
Coquille St. Jacques ~scallop
Coquille ~1. shell shaped dish 2. cooked and served in shell
Corbeille of Fruits ~basket of fruit
Cote ~cut of beef attached to the rib
Cotelette ~cutlet
Coulibiac ~in brioche
Coulis ~essence made from shellfish as a basis for a sauce
Coupes ~small bowls to serve cream or compote
Courgette ~zucchini
Court Bouillion ~water, vinegar and or wine, herbs, seasoning for poaching
Crabe ~crab
Crème Patissiere ~pastry cream
Crème ~cream
Crepes ~thin pancakes
Crepine ~pigs caul used as casing for sausage and forcemeat
Crepinettes ~individual portions of meat, chicken or pork enveloped in crepine or breaded and sautéed and baked
Crevette ~prawn
Croissants ~crescent shaped French rolls
Croquette ~foodstuff, molded, breaded and deep fried
Croute au pot ~beef broth, garnished with vegetables and dried crusts
Croutons ~fried pieces of bread of various sizes and shapes, served as accompianments to soups or used as socle
Cru ~raw
Cuire ~to cook
Cuisiner ~cook
Cuisse, Cuissot ~the leg of veal, beef
Cuit ~cooked
Culotte ~rump of beef
Culotte ~top top butt sirloin
Cuisine Brigade
1. Chef de Cuisine – chef in charge
2. Tournant – rounds cook
3. Saucier- sauce cook
4. Rotisseur – roast cook
5. Entremetier- vegetable cook
6. Potager – soup cook
7. Buffetier – pantry cook
8. Poissonier – fish cook
9. Garde Manger – cold cook
10. Patissier – pastry cook
11. Boucher – butcher
12. Boulanger – baker
D
Darioles ~small baba mold shape
Darne ~a thick middle cut slice of salmon steak
Darne ~selection of fish cut across and through the bone of a whole round fish
Debarrasser ~to clear away
Debrider ~to remove trussing string after cooking
Decoree ~to decorate platters, cakes
Deglacer ~to dilute roasting plaque with wine, stock, ect
Degraisser ~to skim off grease from stews and sauces
Dejeuner ~luncheon
Demi glace ~half glaze, brown sauce
Demi-tasse `literally half cup, also, small black cup of coffee
Depouiller ~to remove scum from surface of liquid during cooking
Des ~dice
Desosser `to bone out poultry or fish
Diable ~deviled
Diabolitins ~small gnocchi or croutons topped with grated cheese and browned
Dinde ~turkey
Dindonneau ~young turkey
Dredge ~to coat food with flour by rolling or sprinkling
Du Jour ~of the day
Duxelle ~chopped shallots and mushrooms cooked in butter

E

Echalote ~shallot
Éclairs ~choux pastry baked in thick fingers, filled with cream or pastry cream, iced with fondant or chocolate
Ecrevisse ~crayfish
Egoutter ~to drain, strain off liquid
Emincer ~to mince, to chop as fine as possible
En-Papillote ~mode of cooking in greased paper
En-Tasse ~in cup
Entrecote ~steak cut from sirloin of beef, literally between the ribs
Entrée ~in US, the main dish
Entremets ~sweets, desserts
Entremetier ~cook who prepares vegetables and egg dishes
Enveloper ~to wrap
Epaule ~shoulder
Eperlan ~smelt
Epinards ~spinach
Escalope ~a scallop or slice
Escargot ~edible snail
Espangnole ~basic brown sauce
Estouffade ~brown meat sauce
Estragon ~tarragon
Esturgeon ~sturgeon
Etuver ~to cook slowly under cover with minimum of added liquid
Entremets ~sweet dishes

F
Fagot ~faggot, bouquet garni
Faisan ~pheasant
Farce ~stuffing or forcemeat
Farcir ~to stuff
Faux-filet ~boned out sirloin
Fecule ~cornstarch or flour used for thickening soups, sauces, ect
Fenouil ~fennel
Feuilletage ~puff pastry
Filet Mignon ~small steak cut from the tenderloin of beef, veal, lamb
Filet ~fillet; thin cut of meat, poultry or skinless flesh of fish removed from bone
Flamber ~to flame
Flan ~open tart
Flanchet ~flank
Fletan ~halibut
Fleurons ~small crescent shape puff pastry
Foie Gras ~fat goose / duck liver
Foie ~liver
Fond blanc ~white stock
Fond brun ~brown stock
Fondant ~thick liquid sugar icing
Fonds de Artichaut ~artichoke bottoms
Fonds de Cuisine ~basic stocks or essences
Fondue ~a cheese dish of melted cheese for dipping bread
Fontaine ~the well or hole made in the dry flour, ect. Before adding liquid to make pastry
Fouetter ~to whip or whisk
Fourre ~stuffed, as when a filling is placed in a omelette
Fraise ~strawberry
Frangipane ~custard like pastry cream
Frappe ~chilled
Frappe ~iced
Frapper ~to ice
Friandise ~small candy-like
Fricandeau ~veal braised until very tender
Fricassee ~a white stew
Frire ~to fry
Frit ~fried
Friture ~deep fat frying
Fumer ~to smoke
Fumet ~concentrated stock or essence from fish or shellfish

G
Galantine ~stuffed chicken or veal in the form of a large roll, usually glazed with chaud-froid sauce and decorated for cold buffets
Garbure ~a thick vegetable soup
Garde-Mange ~cold kitchen, chef who is in charge of garde-manger
Garnir ~to garnish, garnished, to decorate
Garniture ~the garnish, starches and or vegetables served with the main course
Gateau ~cake
Gelee ~jelly
Gibier ~game
Gigot d’Agneau ~leg of lamb
Glace de Poissan ~fish glaze or extract, made by reducing stock or fumet to the consistency of syrup
Glace de Viande ~meat glaze made by reducing meat stock to a dark thick, semi liquid
Glace ~frozen or glazed
Gnocchi ~dumplings of semolina, flour or potatoes
Goujon ~gudgeon, meat or fish cut into small strips, roughly of gudgeon size
Granite ~water ice
Gratin ~browned surface of foods cooked in hot oven or under salamander
Griller ~to grill, to broil
Groseille ~currant
Glacer
• to color food under the salamander or hot oven
• to cook in such a way to acquire a shiny surface
• to freeze

H
Hacher ~to chop finely
Hachis ~hachis de boeuf, minced meat
Hareng ~herring
Haricot Blanc ~bean, white
Haricot Vert ~bean, green
Hatelet ~decorative silver skewer
Haute Cuisine ~the finest of high class cookery
Homard ~lobster
Hors d’Oeuvres ~the first course or appetizer, canapés, served hot or cold at the beginning of the meal
Huitre ~oyster

J
Jambon ~ham
Jardinière ~fresh mixed vegetables cut into small dice or julienne
Jarret ~knuckle of veal
Jaune d’Oeuf ~egg yolk
Julienne ~meat or vegetable cut into fine strips
Jus Lie ~thickened juice
Jus ~gravy as in jus lie, juice as in jus de citron

K
Kebab ~skewered and grilled meat, onion, bay leaf
Kirsche ~cherry liquor used to sweeten dishes
Kromeski ~a type of meat croquette

L
Laitue ~lettuce
Langouste ~spiny lobster
Langue ~tongue
Lapin ~rabbit
Lard ~bacon or salt pork
Larder ~to lard, i.e. to insert strips of fat with a larding needle into lean meat
Liason ~a thickening or binding agent, commonly egg yolk and cream, to thicken soups and sauces
Lie ~slightly thickened
Lier ~to thicken
Lievre ~hare
Limande ~dab, lemon sole

M
Macedoine ~diced, mixed vegetables or fruits
Maigre ~lean, Lenten meal without meat
Mais ~maize, sweet corn
Maitre d’Hotel ~restaurant manager
Maquereau ~mackerel
Marinade ~blend of liquids and flavorings used in marinating
Marmite (le petite) ~type of consommé cooked and served in small earthenware pot
Marmite ~stockpot
Marron ~chestnut
Masquer ~to coat or mark with sauce or jelly
Medallions ~round pieces of meat
Melanger ~to mix two or more ingredients together
Menthe ~mint
Merlan ~whiting
Merluche ~hake
Meuniere ~method of cooking in which meat of fish is dredged in flour and shallow fried in butter, served with sauce meuniere
Mignonnette ~whole peppercorns roughly ground
Mirepoix ~diced vegetables and herbs sautéed in bacon fat used as flavorings for soups and sauces
Mise en Place ~literally put in place, the kitchen expression for being prepared for cooking and service
Moelle ~marrow from a beef bone
Mollet ~soft boiled egg
Monter au Beurre ~to enrich a sauce or reduction by adding small pieces of butter to blend
Monter ~the beating of cream, egg whites, ect
Morue ~salt cod
Moule ~mussel
Moulin ~hand mill or pepper grinder
Mousse ~applies to sweet or savory dish prepared in molds made on a cream base
Mouton ~mutton
Mulet ~mullet
Mur ~ripe
Mure ~blackberry

N
Napper ~to coat with sauce, aspic, sugar, ect
Navarin ~a brown stew, lamb or mutton
Navet ~turnip
Noissette ~nut, or in reference to meat, a round piece of veal or lamb tenderloin, also small potato balls
Noques ~flour dumpling
Nature ~cooked plainly
Nouilles ~noodles

O
Oie ~goose
Oignon ~onion
Oseille ~sorrel

P
Pailles ~straws (pommes paille – straw potatoes)
Paillettes ~cheese straws
Panada ~a binding agent, usually for forcemeats or stuffing
Paner, pane ~to coat with bread crumbs
Pannequets ~pancakes
Panure ~as chapelure- fine crumbs from dried bread crumbs
Papillotes ~cooking in paper wrapping
Paprika ~Hungarian red pepper
Parer ~to trim meat
Parfumer ~to impart bouquet by addition of aromatic herbs
Partie ~a section of the kitchen responsible for a course of the menu
Parures, ~trimmings, cooked or raw
Passer (a l’etamine) ~to pass through a tammy cloth
Pastillage ~sugar pastes used in molding
Pate ~paste or pastry
Paupiettes ~thin flattened slices of meat, stuffed and rolled
Paysanne ~triangular shaped pieces of mixed vegetables
Peche ~peach
Perdeau ~partridge
Persil Hache ~chopped parsely
Persil ~parsely
Persille ~sprinkled with chopped parsely
Petite Fours ~small fancy cakes or biscuits dipped in icing and decorated
Petite Pois ~peas
Piccata ~small veal cutlets
Piece montee ~centerpiece on a platter or buffet
Pied ~foot
Pieds de bouef ~cow heels
Pieds de Porc ~pork feet
Pilaw, pilaf ~a rice dish without meat
Pimento ~capsicum
Pintade ~guinea fowl
Piquant ~sharp or spicy in flavors
Piquer ~to insert small pieces of fat into lean meat with a needle
Plaque Rotit ~roasting plaque
Plat du Jour ~plate or dish
Plie ~place
Plongeur ~pot washer
Pluvier ~plover
Pocher ~to poach or cook young chickens or fish in liquid, on simmering temperature
Poeler ~a method of oven cooking similar to braising or pot roasting
Pointe ~tip
Poire ~pear
Poireau `leek
Poitrine ~breast (poitrine de volaille – chicken breast)
Poivrade ~flavored with pepper
Poivre ~pepper
Pojarski ~minced cutlet of veal in the shape of a cutlet
Pomme ~apple, also used as short for pommes de terre
Pommes de Terre ~potato
Porc ~pork
Potage ~soup
Pot-au-Feu ~rich soup with meats and vegetables
Potiron ~pumpkin
Poularde, poulardine ~young, fat chicken
Poule ~hen
Poulet d’Inde ~young turkey
Poulet ~young chicken
Poussin ~young, immature chicken
Praline ~toasted almonds and nuts in caramelized sugar
Pre-Sale ~lamb or mutton raised on a French seacoast, a high quality meat
Primeurs ~spring vegetables
Printaniere ~garnish of spring vegetables
Profiteroles ~small or medium balls made out of choux paste
Prune ~plum
Puree ~mashed or sieved potatoes, vegetables, fruit
Q
Quartier ~quarter, to divide or cut into quarters
Quenelles ~dumpling made of meat, poultry, fish, ect
Quiche Lorraine ~savory flan of egg, custard, gruyere cheese in a thick pie dough

R
Radis ~radish
Ragout ~rich brown stew of meat and poultry
Raifort ~horseradish
Ramequin ~savory tartlet or earthenware dish in which food is baked and served
Ravioli ~an Italian pasta dish
Rechauffe ~reheated
Rechauffer ~to reheat
Reduction ~result of reducing down sauces to increase flavor and richness
Refraichir ~to chill, cool rapidly under cold water
Releve ~braised or roasted joint with garnish
Rennet ~secretion froma calf’s stomach used in cheesemaking
Ris ~sweetbreads
Risotto ~Italian rice dish
Rissole ~deep fried small turnover
Rissole ~to brown
Rognon ~kidney
Rognonnade ~saddle of veal complete with kidneys
Rotir, roti ~to roast, roasted
Rouget ~red mullet
Roux ~thickening agent made of flour and melted butter or other fat used to thicken soups
Royale ~custard cut into various shape and used as garnish
Russe ~stew pan

S
Sabayon ~French name for Zabaglione, dessert made of eggs, sugar and wine
Saignant ~rare
Saisir ~to sear meat surfaces in hot fat
Salandre ~salamander, top fired grill
Sale ~salted
Salpicon ~mixture of finely diced meat of ham or tongue and mushrooms bound in saucisses
Sauerkraut ~choucroute
Sauge ~sage
Saumon ~salmon
Saute ~to shallow fry, to toss over while frying, to jump
Sauteuse ~shallow pan with sloping sides
Sautoir ~round shallow pan with straight walls and long handle
Savarin ~light yeast dough, usually baked in ring mold
Selle ~saddle (selle d’agneau – saddle of lamb)
Sorbet ~water ice served between courses to stimulate appetite
Soubise ~thick sauce with pureed onions stewed in butter
Soufflé ~light sponge either sweet or savory, made to order
Supreme ~the best part of the game or poultry, e.g. breast of chicken (supreme de poulet)

T
Table d’Hote ~the set menu for the day at a fixed price
Tamis ~unbleached calico cloth used to strain thick sauces
Tasse ~cup, (en tasse) served in a cup
Terrine ~earthenware casserole, term for pate cooked in a terrine, (terrine de porc)
Tete (de veau) ~head, calf’s head
Thon ~tuna fish
Timbale ~straight sided 2 inch deep dish mold
Tomate ~flavored with tomato product
Topinambour ~Jerusalem artichoke, sunchoke
Tournedos ~small steak cut the center of the tenderloin
Tourner ~to turn, to shape vegetables or potatoes with a tourner knife
Tranche ~a slice
Trancher ~to carve or slice
Trancheur ~carver
Travailler ~to work, manipulate or knead
Troncon ~section of the fish cut on the bone from a large fish
Truffe ~truffle, pungent black fungus which grows underground
Truite ~trout
Truite Saumonee ~salmon trout
Turbotiere ~turbot kettle

V
Veau ~veal
Veloute ~literally velvet, a thick textured soup or sauce
Venaison ~venison
Viande ~meat
Viennoise ~in Viennese style
Vol – au- Vent ~puff pastryin which ragout or fricassee is served
Volaille ~poultry

Z
Zabaglione ~dessert or sweet sauce
Zeste ~zest, the outer rind of citrus fruit

Methods

Methods: This is a living list of crucial cooking standards that every cook should know. This can be updated or changed but a basic set most kitchens should use. Some chefs may differ on these and others need to use these methods. You only know as much as the people you work with.  Know enough to know we learn everyday.  Best practice is to ask the chef, never assume you know the right method.

Taste is Everything, Quality is a fact.

Always taste everything, everything gets seasoned. Everything must be able to stand on its own. Always use a spoon, no fingers. Always taste throughout service and correct if necessary. Soups, broths, liquids can become salty or broken if not attended too.  Pursue the moment of excellence.

Garnish Garnish Garnish

Roasted Peppers

Place peppers over open flame and char on all sides.  A Mapp gas torch burns at an extreme high temperature and is perfect for scorching but not cooking the pepper.   Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap until skin has softened to peel, use bowl of warm water to peel and rinse, do not use running water in the sink, clean out the drain when finished.

Blanching

Use the largest pot for blanching in very salty boiling water, do not blanch anything in bundles, example asparagus.  Do not walk away from the pot while cooking.  Keep the water deep, boiling and moving to accurately blanch the vegetables evenly.  Remove vegetables and immediately immerse in 50/50 water and ice bath until completely chilled.  Remove and allow to drain.

Sear or Grill Proteins

Season with salt and pepper or dry spice rub immediately before placing on heat. Ensure heat source is hot, with or with out oil, grapeseed oil preferred. All meats seared in a pan, comal or flat top need whole thyme and rosemary sprigs in the pan. If grilling, determine diamonds with 60 degree turns for grill marks. When searing fish, allow for a solid brown caramel on meat before turning over. Poele with butter, shallots, herbs, lemon, white wine/vermouth. Remove and rest. Once it is placed in the oven, you can start to lose control of the temperature.

Tomato Concasse

Blanch in boiling water with scored base and cored, shock in cold water and peel, seed and dice.  A quick hint is to use the coffee machine hot water tap to quickly blanch a small amount of tomates.

Omelettes

Ingredients should be heated and held separately and then folded into cooked omelette. There should never be any brown color to the exterior of the omelette and ingredients will be inside. It is not proper to cook the omelette ‘frittata’ style unless you are making a frittata. Garnish garnish garnish.  P.S.  a ‘southern’ style omelette is a lazy mans omelette.

Crab Cakes

Seared in sauté pan, blue steel or carbon steel preferred, with clarified butter. This helps with a ‘crust’ on the outside, allowing for two distinct textures of the crab cake, a hot crispy exterior and a hot smooth interior. The flat top is not the correct method. Again, monte with with butter and fresh lemon before service.

Heating Sauces and Soups

Bring to a bare simmer, skim and pass through chinois. Every time a sauce is transferred from one pot to another, pass through a chinois, taste, adjust with stock. Fortify veal based sauces with a roasted veal bone, lamb bone/lamb stock, ect

Roasting eggplant

When cut, salt and let rest 20 minutes to purge the water, pat dry and grill, roast, or caramelize in a pan. No color = no flavor

Veal Stock

Rinse bones with cold water, drain. Cover bones with cold water, bring to simmer to purge bones, drain, rinse and cover again with cold water and bring to slow simmer with following veg. For 40# bones, 1 200 pan full of chopped onions and 1 400 pan split half with celery and carrot. Use these vegetables for the stock. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, herb sprigs. Add 12 gallons of water.  Do not bring to boil but keep on low, let cook 16 hours, skimming constantly with ladle. Remove bones for remoulage. Drain stock and prepare the pincage. Yield will be approximately 10 gallons of veal stock.  Sweat vegetables in braiser or large sauté pans. Caramelized 1 200 pan of fresh tomato. Deglaze and reduce 8 btls of red wine to half. Add veal stock to this and prepare for the demi glace.

Veal Demi Glace

Reduce veal stock slowly, use remoulage from previous batch if available, skim constantly. Pass through chinois into another pot when reduced by a quarter and again when stock has been reduce to half of its original quantity.

Chicken Stock

Purge 40# bones to start, cover with cold water and bring to simmer, skim foam and drain bones and water. Add veg, 4 gallons of mirepoix with fresh herb sprigs, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves, cover with water and cook low, barely a simmer, 6 hours, skim constantly. Strain, chill.

Mashed Potatoes

Keep gold potatoes in cold water, boil until fork tender in seasoned water. Drain, dry on sheet tray or in stock pot to allow steam to escape. Hot whole milk, not boiled and cold butter diced chunks to be folded in after ricing potatoes. Whisk quickly and violently to emulsify butter. Do not melt the butter with the milk. This separates and does not emulsify with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, pinch of nutmeg. Potatoes should be loose and form a meniscus on the plate when plated.

Pasta

Cook al dente in salted water, cool on sheet tray, do not rinse with water, oil and season with salt and pepper.

Soup

Season mirepoix every step of production, do not wait until the end. Chill soups overnight before serving. Vita prep all smooth soups before service. Check seasoning.

Mushrooms

Clean, pick stems, cut if necessary. In hot pan with olive oil blend or clarified butter add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, allow to brown on one side but do not stir or pack pan that the mushrooms will steam. Shake pan when one side is caramelized, remove from heat and allow to rest. Retain cooling juices or liquid for later use. May also deglaze with previous batch of mushroom ‘liquor’ or with wine, ect.

Clarified Butter

Butter blocks in bain marie in hot water bath. Melt completely until solids settle, skim top, transfer to quart containers.

Banquets

All food and preparations shall be the same as for restaurants. Quality and ingredients are the same.

Toasted Bread for Bruscetta

Season sheet tray with olive oil or clarified butter. Season with salt and pepper. Lay bread on tray, rotate gently and turn over. Toast lightly but not too hard until else it will chip a tooth. Avoid drizzling with oil.

Burgers

Fresh ground beef needs to be worked gently until almost sticky. This helps the myocin form with the myoglobins. Too much work and the burger is a meatloaf that will break when eating. Too little and the flavor is not great but it crumbles on the bun like picadillo. Gentle pressure and a thumbprint in the middle will help with the shape on the skillet. Avoid the grill unless using a comal on the grill, cast iron or flat top preferred.  Consider the condiments and how the burger is eaten.  I prefer the lettuce (chiffonade) and tomato, pickle, ect under the hot meat as it is a chaser, a cool intermezzo to the hot fatty and maybe cheesy burger.  Critical thinking on a burger.  Also works well if you have several on the the board, best to arrange them by temp and not assemble on the station, it only cools the burger before it gets to the guest.

A Letter to Read Before A Chef’s Job Interview

Dear Applicant:

Thank you for your interest in working with me and with the kitchen team as well as this company.  Before we get to the particulars and meet at my restaurant for a cup of coffee,  please do yourself a favor and look up the place you are applying to before you accept the interview.  Look up the chef, the menu, the reviews on social media all before you even send the application.  Lets make certain this is the place you want to look at and be a part of.  Know full well that if you live in a 20 mile radius I have given you a weeks advance opportunity to visit the property, eat in the restaurants for any meal before we meet.   Walk through the halls of the building, walk through the restaurant, sit at the bar, perhaps engage with the front of house team.  This interaction can tell you the passion or lack of in the kitchen and the food.  Decide if you believe you can ‘fit the wheel’ of this kitchen before you waste my time.  Decide if these are people you want to be around and represent your efforts in the kitchen.  Would you feel proud having this person serve your food?  Would you spend your money on this food?  Because people do this every day, spend their hard earned money and it provides for many of us a job.  Ask them questions about the menu.  It is a sneak attack on an possible employer.  Be certain I will ask you what you saw and what you can see to change if you work here.  I want to know what your vision is, what purpose do you bring if I were to hire you.  I am dumbfounded at the lack of initiative of prospective culinarians, with the ease of the internet we make life changing decisions but ever so lightly we cannot even start to research a prospective employer.

I want to talk to you about food and kitchens and flavors, I want your feedback on the current menu and what interests you to eat.  One of the highest honors we have is to cook for another chef and if you have any validity, you would appreciate the simple and sublime items on the menu.  I want to know what is on your bucket list of restaurants in any of five global cities.  I want to know where you ate at last, where your favorite restaurant in town is, what chef or restaurant you admire in the world and what cookbook you last purchased.  Most important, I want to know what you cooked on your last day off and why, who was it with?  This exchange, to hear you talk,  this voice pattern of your tastes and passion for cooking for others extends into my kitchen.  You have to like what you do to work here, cooking is natural, like breathing, something we do with other people who like to do it as well and maybe better.  I will probably ask you for menus of your past and current jobs, just to see where you are at and what flavors you drift towards.  A menu also tells me alot about technique in the kitchen and balancing productivity with volume.  I will ask you what you want to learn and what you are able to teach well.  With an ounce of humility, be able to talk about an area in which you are not proficient; ‘know what you don’t know’.

If you live in town, when we meet, I will ask you about your last experience here.  If you have lived in town for anything more than a month and are not familiar with the restaurant, please do not apply.  If you consistently use bases or soup or stock or prefab items on your menus and in your recipes, please do not apply.  If you don’t know how to access social media and traveler reviews, Zagat, ect or any other resource regarding guest experiences, please do not apply.  Hopefully you have left most of your previous employers on a good terms, it is amazing how small the world is and how connected we are as hospitality professionals.  You are only as good as your last service, you are only as good as your last day.

I hope this helps with your career path.

 

Regards,

John

Think Like a Chef: Kitchen Fundamentals

Kitchen Fundamentals

We Will:

 

Perform our jobs with professionalism and dedication

Taste everything as we prepare it and before we serve it

Serve top quality, fresh and wholesome food, from the first croissant to the last dessert

Know where our food comes from

Treat our colleagues with respect and dignity

Treat our products and kitchens with respect and dignity

Follow the rules of the kitchen

Work when we are supposed to work, there is always something to do

Realize we are here for the guest, to provide superior cuisine and service while achieving financial goals

Not be wasteful but fiscally responsible with product, equipment and energy sources

Be fanatical about food safety

Be fanatical about food safety– wash vegetables, wear gloves, abide time and temperature laws, label, date, clean

Follow all recipes and food preparation standards as determined by the chef

Protect our reputation with a passion

Not talk poorly of other people

Not serve anything we are not proud of

Work well with everyone

Be diligent and organized, dependable and on time

Respect our ingredients, typically our main job is to not mess them up

Simple obvious things are done well –blanching, crispy fries, perfect chives, golden sear, knife skills must be perfect

Challenge the pursuit of excellence and the quest for continued improvement

 

Think Like a Chef: Know

Basic, basic fundamental knowledge for cooking.  Simply put, these are things every cook should know.

More to be added later.

Definition of ‘sweat’  as it applies to vegetables.

Why salt is important to the aforementioned application.

Rapid cooling technique for cooked items to include liquids and solid foods.

Cross contamination of every food must be understood.

Temperature Danger Zone and why nothing may be in it.

Definition of ‘deglaze’, why is it necessary.

How to find ‘umami’ in the kitchen and how to develop it when cooking

Five mother sauces as defined by Escoffier.

Five derivatives minimum of one mother sauce.  Extra credit for all sauces.

‘How to’ consomme.

Seasons of vegetables and fruits and why to cook in the season.

Locations on earth of where this produce is grown.

Geography of the oceans and the seafood harvested from it.

How to read a menu.

How to develop synergy with ingredients.

Be aware of duplicity on the menu.