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Culinary Education 101 – The Five Mother Sauces/Culinary School Side Note

Hello to all my fellow foodies out there.  In case some of you have or have not yet realized, I am blogging on culinary terms and the educational part of the business. Just on a quick side note, I remember when I went to get my Associates  Degree in Culinary Arts,  I already had about 7/8 years in the business, so I had an advantage for sure.  Was kind of funny when I arrived to the first day of culinary school.  There were teachers, bankers, stay at home moms, and yes, even attorneys that wanted to become  Chefs.  Wow, I sure did not want to get them upset and tell them how much the real world works and how long it takes to get to the top of the industry.  (Always exceptions!)

They all thought as soon as they graduated, they would automatically become high paying Executive Chefs.  I still feel bad for that stay at home mom….Ouch!

Now we will dive right into the mother sauces.  There are 5 of them and all small sauces are derived from one of these five sauces. Why?  That is almost like asking why the sky is blue?

Let us first take a look at what the meaning of sauce is. It is derived from the Latin word Salus.  Meaning quite simply salted.  Back in previous centuries this was an adequate term because salt was the main stay in all sauces that kept them full of flavor and as a preservative.  Cooks of the ancient Roman times flavored many items with Garum.  This is a golden colored sauce made from fermented fish entrails combined with brine, water, wine, and usually a vinegar.  They also used a sauce referred to a “Single” made from oil, wine, and brine.  When boiled with herbs and saffron this became a double sauce.  Latter the “Byzines” added pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon and coriander.  During the middle ages Chefs were into either very spicy or very sweet and sour type sauces.  As the sauces of the world progressed, with varying big name Chef, in the end, during the 19th century it was Antonin Careme developed the modern system for classifying hundreds of sauces.  It is not know exactly how many  sauce recipes he wrote, but he did in fact write treasuries containing the theories and recipes for many sauces still used today.  Careme’s amazing list of sauces were reduced and simplified by Chefs later in the 19th century, most notably by Auguste Escoffier.  Just a small history lesson on how sauces came into play as of today.

The Five Mother Sauces are as follows: 1.  Bechamel 2. Veloute  3.  Espagnole (Brown Sauce)  4. Tomato Sauce  5. Hollandaise Sauce

The liquid used in each of these sauces are as follows as well: 1.  Milk  2. Chicken Stock,or Veal Stock, or Fish  3. Brown Stock  4. Tomato   5.  Butter

The thickening agent used in one of these sauces is as follows: 1.  Roux  2. Roux  3. Roux  4. Roux (Optional)  5. Egg Yolks

I am going to name a few sauces from each sauce family and that will be my lesson on the 5 Mother Sauces.

1.  Bechemel...Soubise, Mornay, Nantua, Nantua2. Veloute…Bercy, Cardinal, Normandy, Auroa
3.  Espagnole Sauce… Bordelaise, Robert, Perigueux
4.  Tomato …Spanish, Milanaise, Creole
5.  Hollandaise…Bearnaise, Choron, Foyot

And that is Executive Chef/Owner David Kratky from The Laughing Pear Group Private Chef Services/High End Catering take on mother sauces and beyond.  Call with any questions: 435.671.2351, email: chefdave@thelaughingpear.com


2 thoughts on “Culinary Education 101 – The Five Mother Sauces/Culinary School Side Note”

    1. Thanks Mitch. Really glad you are liking the blogs. They are more informational on cooking and cooking techniques, etc.


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