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The reviled 18th C. politician and bon viveur, Talyrand, once claimed that England
had 3 sauces and 360 religions, while France had 3 religions and 360 sauces!
There are, as he intimates, many hundreds of official French sauces. Of these, five are the so-called “Mother Sauces”: Béchamel; Espagnole; Hollandaise; Tomate; and Velouté. The rest are variations of these five top-tier sauces, quaintly referred to as “Daughter Sauces”.
Well, we’re not going to be able to teach you all of them, but we will show you how to make some of the most popular and most useful. These classic sauces can be used to accompany all manner of fish, shellfish, meat, vegetables and pasta dishes.