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Apr 18, 2009 10:57 AM

glossary of restaurant terms

i'm looking for words like ganache, amuse bouche, confit, mousseline, etc. - the kind of stuff you see on menus, and that you hear chefs say on shows like 'top chef ' or 'iron chef' to describe their food, but isn't generally part of the non-restaurant world. I can't think of a good english-origin one, but i'm looking for an online list of special preparations/ techniques.

i've googled and found glossaries of food terms (and i own the herbst's food lover's companion) but nothing i find seems to deal with the kind of chef and restaurant specific talk i'm looking for (even the glossary)

anyone else got any other ideas?
or feel free to list a term you think i might be looking for, and let me know what it means (i only need about ten or twelve - it's for a song)

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    1. re: KTinNYC

      thanks for that link - easy to use.
      i'm trying to remember the term for a warm/ reduced sherry or vinegar sauce. i can't remember it for the life of me but it's one of those generic terms for a kind of sauce and then you can add something to it. any ideas?

        1. re: pikawicca

          yes - that's the word i was looking for!

    2. Here's a few special items that I like the sounds of:
      (They taste pretty good, too.)

      A concentrated fish stock

      A small, thin, flat cake or cookie

      Caramelized sugar deglazed with vinegar; various flavorings can be added to the basic gastrique (yes, sherry, also fruit juices, etc.)

      Thin slices of meat, poultry or fish - stuffed, rolled, and gently poached.

      A small egg-shaped dumpling - can be made of poultry or veal, even fish mixed with egg or a panade - poached and served in a sauce. Other foods such as pureed vegetables, ice creams, are sometimes shaped like quenelles and used as decoration on other dishes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mcsheridan

        all of those are nice - thanks!
        i've been surprised that almost all the ones i've found are french. except the occassional asiatic one. one of my favorites so far is Bagoong - a salted, cured, fermented fish used in phillipines as a condiment

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            But the fun comes in trying to guess where the accent goes in bagoong monamon vs. bagoong alamang.

      2. An "all day". As when a saute guy turns to his chef and asks for an "all day" on fettucine. He wants to know how many fetts he has to plate or set on the next firing of tickets. Almost all terms in a classic kitchen are French-Thanks, Escoffier! Mise en place, montee aux beurre, etc.

        6 Replies
        1. re: adamshoe

          "He wants to know how many fetts he has to plate or set on the next firing of tickets"

          An "All Day" is how many orders for all of the tickets or chits all together ,
          Not just the next firing.
          It's important to have an "All Day" count in case you run out of an item or need to prep something if you run short at the end of service. Asking for an "All Day" and getting a count just for the next firing may well leave you in a very unpleasant position.

          86'd = Gone!

          Blackened=Julia Childs had one too many.

          1. re: Fritter

            I'm more inclined to go with Adamshoe. I'm used it being used like this:

            Waiter: I need one Special!
            (a minute later, before the first special has been picked up)
            Waiter: I need two Specials! Three all day!

            Used to clarify that the waiter means two more, not two total.

            1. re: manraysky

              The wait staff does not run the pass or call orders to stations in most kitchens.
              In either event your example is illustrating exactly what I said. ;)
              It's a total accounting for all orders yet to be filled. Three "all day" means your server is looking for three plates total. Not two as adamshoes post would seem to suggest as they would very likely be cooked on seperate firings if the orders came in more than a few minutes apart.
              All Day= The total all together at least in all the kitchens I have run or worked in. However it's only fair to note that a generic term like "all day" could be used by another crew in a totally different way.

              1. re: Fritter

                Ah, I misunderstood what you were saying.

                And while the waitstaff doesn't call orders to the stations in most kitchens, they frequently do in catering, at least for special plates ("I need one more with no sauce, two all day.") Most of my years were spent in catering.

                1. re: Fritter

                  Does anyone know the origin of the term "all day?"

              2. re: Fritter

                Mr. Fritter, you are absolutely correct. Many bows in your direction.. I think I consumed one (or four) too many cocktails that day! An "all day" is an "all day!!"- not just what's to be fired, but orders that just came in to the kitchen, too. The total count of the item on the "wheel", fired or not is the "all day" adam

            2. Hi, maybe some of these might be of use. A list of French culinary terms and their meanings. Terms professional chef's use in commercial kitchens.