Chefs/restaurants who still use MOTHER SAUCES

3
10
Joined May 1, 2010
Hi everyone!!

I need help finding a Chef or any restaurants that still use the mother sauces. please help! I can't seem to find anyone online. Need is ASAP please. thank you!
 
8,550
209
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Hello Acerezo,

It would help if you could just ask your questions straight out.

Could you be a little more specific about what you want?  And, which "mother sauces" in particular? 

You don't have to look far to find cooks using bechamel, hollandaise, and some version -- not Escoffier's -- of tomate.  On the other hand, most modern chefs view espagnole's role as a precursor to an old fashioned version of demi-glace; and instead make a more contemporary demi without it.  There's a surprising number of veloutes running around in regional and comfort foods -- for instance chicken ala king -- but the people who make those don't necessarily identify the sauces as veloutes.  "It's just roux, stock and milk, sugar."

BDL
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
6,980
476
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Just about every French restaurant uses mother sauces.
 
188
14
Joined Aug 4, 2010
Just about every sauce is a variation of a mother sauce - it's hard not to use them.  Maybe you are asking about the way they are employed, such as keeping a bain marie with 3 or 6 of the mother sauces in for easy menu diversification like in a chalk board menu bistro?  Like that a cook can quickly make 100's of sauces and soups.

For the most part, sauces use up scraps that are full of flavor and neutrients but that people don't want to eat - like bird heads and veggie peels.  Knowing the mother sauces helps because a cook can look at what the sauce is going out with, what scraps they have made the base with, and apply that to a mother sauce technique.
 
8,550
209
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Coup-de-Feu,

You wrote, 
Maybe you are asking about the way they are employed, such as keeping a bain marie with 3 or 6 of the mother sauces in for easy menu diversification like in a chalk board menu bistro? 
Six of "the mother sauces" in a bain marie?  I don't get this at all.  Maybe we understand the term "mother sauce" differently.  What do you mean?

Let's skip the bird's heads (please) for the time being and move along to,
Knowing the mother sauces helps because a cook can look at what the sauce is going out with, what scraps they have made the base with, and apply that to a mother sauce technique.
I thought I was lost before.  What do you mean?  What's a "mother sauce technique?"

BDL
 
188
14
Joined Aug 4, 2010
BDL

I understand mother sauce to mean what one uses to make all sauces with.  A mother sauce is what holds whatever one wants to put in it.  The term mother sauce is subject to a lot of interpretation; some chefs leave out gastrics, coulis, glace de viande, sabayons and other egg emulsions such as mayo and anglaise... 

By bain marie I mean a roasting plaque filled with water and however many "bain marie" pots in it.  Each pot has a mother sauce kept warm in it to be used as the cook sees fit.  Example: bechamel in the bain marie used to make either sauce mornay for mac and cheese, or country gravy for the biscuits - but the list of uses for bechamel goes on and on for each sauce made with milk and thickener as a "base", or "mother".

I got to admit I made up "mother sauce technique" up. but how else to explain?  A sauce cook can work for days to make something not knowing what it is going to go out with, sweet or savory and all of scraps.  A sauce can also be a soup, dessert sauce, or ice cream...  give me a minute and I may be able to explain what I mean
 
3
10
Joined Jan 16, 2010
http://lynnescountrykitchen.net/sauc/mothersauces.html

DEFINING THE FIVE MOTHER SAUCES

[color=fc0000]Béchamel[/color], the classic white sauce, was named after its inventor, Louis XIV's steward Louis de Béchamel. The king of all sauces, it is often referred to as a cream sauce because of its appearance and is probably used most frequently in all types of dishes. Made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux, the thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of flour and butter to milk. The proportions for a thin sauce would be 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk; a medium sauce would use 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour; a thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each.

[color=fc0000]Velouté[/color]  is a stock-based white sauce. It can be made from chicken, veal or fish stock. Enrichments such as egg yolks or cream are sometimes also added.

[color=fc0000]Espagnole[/color], or brown sauce, is traditionally made of a rich meat stock, a mirepoix of browned vegetables (most often a mixture of diced onion, carrots and celery), a nicely browned roux, herbs and sometimes tomato paste.

[color=fc0000]Hollandaise and Mayonnaise[/color]  are two sauces that are made with an emulsion of egg yolks and fat. Hollandaise  is made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating, and served warm. It is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic Eggs Benedict. Mayonnaise  is a thick, creamy dressing that's an emulsion of vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. It is widely used as a spread, a dressing and as a sauce. It's also used as the base for such mixtures as Tartar Sauce, Thousand Island Dressing, Aïoli, and Remoulade.

[color=fc0000]Vinagrette[/color]  is a sauce made of a simple blend of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper (usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar). More elaborate variations can include any combination of spices, herbs, shallots, onions, mustard, etc. It is generally used to dress salad greens and other cold vegetable, meat or fish dishes.
 
5,516
185
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Hey BDL. Who's on first, whats on second, he's on third . What was purpose of original question????  Vinagrette , Veloute  a mother sauce????

 Am I in the correct venue??
 
Last edited:
6,367
128
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Just about every sauce is a variation of a mother sauce - it's hard not to use them

While that's true if you confine yourself to classic French cooking, it's by no means universally correct. There are, literally, thousands of sauces that have no connection with the mother sauces of French cooking.

Even modern sauce making, with its emphasis on lightness, is far removed from the constrictions of the classic mothers.
 
8,550
209
Joined Feb 13, 2008
There are seven mother sauces in "classic" French cuisine.  Careme had four, one of which didn't overlap with Escoffier's five.  At some point after Escoffier touched Adam's finger and gave humanity life, everyone slapped themselves on the forehead and said, "merde."  Merde is not a mother sauce, but mayonnaise is.

Careme:

Allemande

Bechamel

Espagnole

Veloute

Escoffier:

Bechamel

Espagnole

Hollandaise

Tomate

Veloute

Modern, Synthesized:

Allemande:

It's pretty much an egg stiffened veloute.  No one uses it.  It started petering out of French cuisine by the mid 19th C around the beginning of the culinary revolution and trend towards simplicity which carried Escoffier to sainthood.  It enjoyed a brief resurgence right after WWI, with a bunch of dishes (especially fish) which everyone called Parisienne then, but nobody does anymore.  Now Parisienne seems to mean anything but.

Bechamel:

Darn near everyone uses bechamel.  The issue is, uses it for what.  Bechamel, Espagnole, and veloute, as roux based sauces have pretty much disappeared from the high end haute French, some other high-end European, and New International Cuisines, but they're still going very strong in a lot of regional and bourgeois cuisines.  

Espagnole:

It's been rendered pretty much redundant, especially as a path to demi.  During the nouvelle and California revolutions we discovered that if you left stock on the stove it thickened up by itself, and that was pretty much it.  I like Espagnole as a mother, but haven't been a professional cook for multiple decades; so I don't count.  A few people on CT use it -- one of whom employs it not as a mother but as gravy.  Titomike is using my version to make demi, and is very happy with it.

Hollandaise:

Mmmm.  Hollandaise.

Mayonnaise:

Where would the Japanese be without it.

Tomate:

The mother tomato sauce, "tomate," wasn't something you tossed on spaghetti, or used right out of the pot.  Rather it was used to supply structure without starch as well as some color and sweetness -- the sweetness coming after it married the other ingredients and cooked down.  Everyone still uses a tomato "sauce" for the same purpose, but no one uses Escoffier's version or anything like it because canned tomato products are so good there's just no need.  Modernly, we use tomato paste and go from there.  

Veloute:

It's pretty much gone from modern high end French cuisine, New International Cuisine, and so on; but is very much alive in ordinary cooking worldwide.  Think of it as gravy and you get the idea. 

Vinaigrette*: 

NOT a mother sauce, for two reasons.  Vinaigrettes should be made a minute, because they eventually separate, and the eventuality doesn't take very long.  Daughter vinaigrettes are still vinaigrettes, there isn't enough distinction or progression in the daughters.  Mostly though the daughter is created at the same time as the mother, which drives a stake into the heart of the whole mother/daugher relationship as I understand it. 

Distinguish all that from, say, taking jarred mayonnaise, thinning it with diluted vinegar, and sweetening it with sugar in order to make "Alabama White Barbecue Sauce." 

But Bluesed got it from Lynne's who got it from someone else -- which means at least there's some following for the idea that it's a grande.  Plus, I'm not researching this, just pulling it out of my bony head; and I certainly don't know everything.   There's something on which we can all agree.

Hope this illuminated for someone,

BDL

PS.  It seems our OP, who pleaded help ASAP, has forgotten us.  Que lastima.  

PPS.  I published a slightly edited version of this, called Snow White and the Seven* Mother Sauces, to my blog.
 
Last edited:
5,376
845
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I think our OP has written her test by now.......

So BDL, you're telling me that ketchup isn't a mother sauce?

Ducking and running......
 
G

Guest

Guest
Helllo Scotttoooo I still use all my mother sauces and then some. You know how it is here the the Alps!!! lololol
 
8,550
209
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Ed:  We will probably never know.

Foodpump:  Ketchup is tomate sweetend with sugar, acidified with vinegar, and seasoned with smoked cloves.  I understand Canadians like it quite a bit when they can't get curds and gravy. 

Scott and Chris:  If you use a lot of roux based sauces it says the Nouvelle/California revolution pretty much missed your establishments.  That's not a comment on quality or a criticism of any sort, just an observation.  One man's stodgy and old fashioned is another man's retro.

I'm wondering if the "brown sauce" is based on a roux pincage, itself created around browned or sweated mirepoix.  In other words, is it an Espagnole

Why no veloutes?  Surely, if you're making the other stuff you're making veloutes

What goes into your tomate? Or, as the case mahy be, tomates?  Escoffier and the other alte kakers (Japanese for "reverend masters") used to bend themselves around pretzels trying to work with dodgy tomatoes.

BDL
 
Last edited:
523
18
Joined Mar 9, 2010
Wow no one has answered the original question  "does anyone know restaurants or chefs that use the mother sauces?"

I do not know where you live Acerezo but the Grand Sauces are a part of every kitchen....maybe just a derivative of them

Demi Glace, Veloute. Bechamel, Tomato ,Hollaindaise .....   these are starting points

Here is something  to consider  to start off a good Glace de Viande...........  Espagnole

Well ketchup is a derivative of tomato sauce.....

and hey BDL we are the ones to invent Poutine....we never replace ketchup for that ....so taboo
 
Last edited:
8,550
209
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Gypsy,

Historically, demi-glace is a daughter not a mother.  Espagnole is the mother. 

Lots of restaurants and professional chefs still use many of the mother sauces.  No question about it.  A blessing on their heads.

At the very high end, though, especially with French and New International Cuisines, you just don't see many flour thickened sauces.  This isn't snobbery on my part, it's just how it is. If you search "Espagnole" in Chef Talk, you'll see that I stand up for it as a really good way to make demi-glace. I was trained to use the old mothers and happen to like fooling around with them, but food fashion is not up to me.  

If you're making tomate (aka tomato sauce) the Escoffier way, you're one of very few people to still do it.  Not all tomato sauces are created equal, and only a very specific type can be termed a "mother" within the context of French cuisine.    Canned tomato paste does a better job of doing the things Escoffier wanted that particular mother to do -- structure, color, sweetness.  At the other end of the structure spectrum, good, canned, crushed tomatoes do a better job as well.

When a Canadian -- like Foodpump -- makes a ketchup joke, poutine is the proper response.  In fact, poutine is the proper response to most Canadian jokes.

BDL
 
523
18
Joined Mar 9, 2010
BDL....

      Espagnole is the beginnings of the Mother or Grand Sauce Demi Glace . Equal parts fond de veau brun and espagnole....

I am   Canadian ....eh.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom