Culinary Terminologies

Have listed below few popular culinary terms for reference, along with their description.


Culinary Term


A La Carte A menu in which items and beverages are priced individually
A Point A French term for cooking until the ideal degree of doneness. When referred to meat, it means ‘medium rare’
Aerate To incorporate air into a mixture by sifting or mixing
Al Dente An Italian term meaning ‘to the tooth’. It is used to describe (mainly) pasta that is cooked until a slight resistance when bitten into
Albumen The primary protein found in egg whites
Allemande A sauce made by adding lemon juice and liason to veloute which is made from veal stock
Au Gratin Food cooked with a browned or crusted top, often made with bread crumbs, cheese and/or sauce topping and cooked under a salamander/broiler
Au Jus Roasted meat, poultry or game served with their natural unthickened juices
Bain Marie Hot water bath that is used to gently cook food or keep food hot.  It is also the name for a container which is used for holding food in a hot water tub
Bouquet Garni Fresh herbs and vegetables tied into a cheesecloth bundle and used for flavouring sauces, stocks, soups and stews
China Cap/Chinois A conical shaped strainer
Concasse Peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
Degrease To remove fat from the surface of a liquid such as a stock or sauce, by skimming the surface
Dredging To coat a food item in flout or ground crumbs prior to frying or sautéing
Dress To trim or clean an animal for cooking
FIFO First In First Out. This is part of the inventory management system which items which are put in inventory first is removed first for preparation
Fillet To remove the side of fish intact while removing all the bones
Frenching Trimming racks of ribs or poultry so the bone is cleaned and prominent
Mince To cut into very small pieces
Mis en Place French for ‘put in place’. It refers to the preparation and organisation of ingredients and equipment
Nappe A certain consistency in liquid that coats the back of a spoon
Render To transform solid fat into liquid form by the use of heat
Refresh Submerging a hot food item in cold water (also known as an ice bath) to quickly stop the cooking process
Ricer A sieve-like tool that is used to force solid food through, to evenly breakup the product – such as potatoes
Roulade Slice of meat, poultry or fish rolled around a stuffing
Savoury Spiced or seasoned food, opposed to sweet
Scald To heat a liquid, usually milk to just below boiling
Silverskin Tough connective tissue that surrounds certain muscles
Steep Soaking food in a hot liquid in order to extract flavour or remove impurities
Sweat To cook food in a pan, usually covered, without browning over low heat to encourage flavours to be extracted from vegetables and spices
Truss Tying whole poultry or meat to encourage even cooking


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