Culinary Arts Project

White Wine, Bechamel, and Chateaubrian Sauces – Day 6


  • When skimming stock, swirl from the middle and then skim the edges, you end up removing very little stock and lots of gunk
  • Use a square of spongy drawer liner to hold your cutting board in place
  • A “demi” glace is a stock reduced by half, a “glace” is a stock reduced by 9/10ths.
  • Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat brioche”, not “cake”.

AMAZING!!!!!! Finally had a “that tastes soooooooo good” moment. That’s what you get when you add a fish stock (fumet) to a wine-shallot-bayleaf-white pepper syrop, and then bind with double cream, salt and a few drops of lemon juice. HEAVEN! To date the stocks haven’t tasted that great, but now I understand why – when you concentrate them down, and add a few flavourings they totally transform. We started with a half litre of fish stock, and ended up with a couple tablespoons of sauce.

my first white sauce
my first white sauce

We also made a Bechamel sauce, which we used in making macaroni and cheese for lunch, and then the classic Chateaubrian Sauce (three types of sautéed mushrooms, shallots, flambe’d brandy, white wine, and then layered into this an Espagnole veal stock. I overheard Tim saying he had never cooked anything as delicious. I brought some home to serve over steak.






Stewart flambes brandy as part of the Chateaubrian Sauce
Stewart flambes brandy as part of the Chateaubrian Sauce

There’s a new chef in town (see picture above): Chef Veronica (was chef at Le Cirque, working with the dean emeritus of our school) has a very different style – at first… it was…uh oh, what are we in for, but she turns out to be fantastic as well, just …. let’s call it tougher love.




Pablo working on his Espagnole Sauce
Pablo working on his Espagnole Sauce

There are 5 mother sauces (Bechamel, Esapgnole, Veloute, Tomato, Hollandaise), which lead to 28 different derivations so far (which we have to know for the first exam on Wednesday.)

We got brioche straight from the oven today from the bread class. Homework is writing up tomorrow’s recipes and a potato ‘tourned’ into 6 cocottes. Lost my cake tester today, and also added that one pot to the dirty pot pile that made it collapse all over the kitchen floor with a huge bang. Sorry everyone.



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