Friday, 28 September 2012

Styles of Cooking & Food Presentation - a Quiz

It's all very well when a restaurant menu states that a dish is served, say, a la bonne femme. But if they don't give an explanation and you're not sure, then your choice is to ignore it, risk it, or ask the staff.

Here's a multiple-choice quiz with ten food prep/presentation descriptions. Answers at the end, should there be any you don't know! And the pictures aren't necessarily clues. The terms are, of course, often applied to meat dishes, but are relevant to vegetables or meat substitutes. 'Nicoise' didn't make it, as it includes anchovies or sometimes tuna.
by Richard North via
 1  Since it's already mentioned, a la bonne femme:
       (a) produced by a female chef
       (b) rustic food served simply
       (c) with asparagus.

 2  Lyonnaise
       (a) prepared or garnished with onions
       (b) with a clear sauce of white wine and parsley
       (c) with a dark sauce containing chervil. 

 3  En Papillote
       (a) snipped to resemble a butterfly
       (b) sealed in foil or parchment and oven-cooked
       (c) encased in breadcrumbs and shallow fried.
by Sebastian Mary

4  a la Grecque
       (a) garnished with feta cheese then grilled
       (b) with olives and sundried tomatoes
       (c) vegetables cooked with herbs, olive oil, lemon juice.

5  Chasseur (or cacciatore) 
       (a) cooked in a casserole with capers
       (b) sealed in puff pastry and decorated with relevant pastry shapes
       (c) in a sauce of mushrooms, onions and white wine.

 6 Al Forno
       (a) baked or roasted in an oven
       (b) containing minced meat or meat substitute
       (c) in a rich cheese sauce topped with breadcrumbs.

7  Chevaler (or chevalier)
       (a) with each main ingredient served separately
       (b) served on toast
by Paul Esson
       (c) ingredients arranged in an overlapping pattern.    

 8  Meuniere (French: farmer's wife)       
       (a) with a sauce of shallots, tarragon and red wine
       (b) ingredients floured then fried in butter
       (c) deep fried in oil and served with a lemon sauce.

 9  Brunoise
       (a) diced and braised in butter
       (b) with a sauce made from browned/burnt flour, stock and garlic
       (c) in a thick sauce, served in a savoury pancake.

10 Provencale
       (a) a rich stew with crusty bread to mop up juices
       (b) with olive oil, tomatoes and garlic
       (c) a clear sauce, strong on rosemary, thyme and chervil.
Here are the answers:
1 (b)     2 (a)     3 (b)     4 (c)     5 (c)     6 (a)     7 (c)     8 (b)     9 (a)     10 (b)   

If you feel like it, do let me know how you got on by commenting below.

PS  Antonin Careme, in the early 1900s, declared that there are five basic sauces, and that all sauces are based on one of them. They are: Hollandaise - oil/fat and egg yolks, veloute - a thick, blond sauce of flour, stock and butter, bechamel - white sauce of flour, butter and milk, Espagnole - stock with herbs and tomatoes, and vinaigrette usually oil and vinegar. By the way, sorry no accents used with the French vocab - can't get them. Au revoir!


  1. Who can I blame for not knowing this stuff - I did sewing at school, but not cookery? Good thing there are people like you around, to look after those of us who know nothing!

    1. How funny - I did sewing at school, but not cookery too. Lower stream did cookery, rest of us Latin. For this quiz, I knew about half only but had fun collecting the info for it. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Food tastes so much better when served aesthetically. And at Simmone Logue, we exercise extra care to ensure that everything goes well with the food served at an event. Well-served can make the difference between a good and bad event!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Cathy. Totally agree with your point.

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