glossary

al dente: to cook, often pasta or vegetables, until just slightly underdone and retaining a toothsome bite.

au sec: to reduce a sauce until almost dry.

beurre monte: an emulsified sauce of butter and water. commonly used to poach meats and impart a gentle flavor and helps to ensure a silky texture.

brigade system: a kitchen hierarchy seen in traditional kitchens and codified by escoffier. highest ranking is the executive chef (chef de cuisine) and also includes positions like sous chef, saucier, and garde manger.

cage: in teaching and some professional kitchens, a large wire shelving unit where pots and pans are kept.

caramelize: to cook slowly over low heat and begin the maillard process of slowly drawing sugars out from meats and vegetables and cooking them into a complex, sweet flavor. 

consomme: a soup made of stock clarified with an egg white and protein raft.

cuisson: the liquid an item is cooked in. commonly served with the final dish.

dashi: a japanese stock commonly made from fatty fish, seaweed, and bonito.

dry heat cooking method: cooking methods that do not involve water but instead usually oil. includes sauteing, deep frying, pan frying, and roasting.

dry storage: where non-refrigerated items are kept.

expediter: person in charge of organizing tickets and how dishes are brought from the kitchen to the table in a timely and organized manner.

fire: called by the expediter. in a service kitchen, this tells the chef to start cooking a specific item.

moist heat cooking method: cooking methods that involve water. includes steaming, braising, poaching, and boiling.

mother sauce: one of the five major sauces identified by escoffier as being foundational in all classical french cooking. (hollandaise, bechamel, veloute, espagnole, and tomate).

robocoupe: an industrial strength food processor

vitaprep: an industrial strength blender