Foodie Vocabulary


Blanching is the immersing of products into freshly boiling water. Sometimes this is carried out pre-freezing to prevent off-colours developing during frozen storage. Peas and runner beans are blanched to retain their lovely green colour when frozen. Some products are blanched to help the removal of their skins such as tomatoes or peaches.


A bain-marie is a water bath that surrounds another container so that heat is gently passed through.  It is sometimes called a double boiler.  It can be used to keep food hot during service in a canteen.  The principle is used when melting chocolate where a container is placed over a pan of boiling water.


Providing food and beverage service to people in a particular location.  A caterer is a business or person who arranges the preparation, delivery and presentation of food for clients.


An appetizer with a bread, toast or biscuit base topped with savoury toppings and decoratively served.


A thin sauce made from sieved or blended vegetable or fruit. Often used to dress a plate or to enhance a dish.


Cuisines refer to the authentic style or method of cooking characteristic of a particular country, region, or establishment.  It could be local or national e.g. Norwegian cuisine is based on seafood.

Food Styling

Making food products appear more exciting and enticing by presenting them in styled containers or with props that are appropriate. Food styling is usually carried out for food photography but the principles apply to serving food in a stylish way

Fast Food

Fast food is ordered from a visual display.  The food or drink is prepared on demand and often served in take-away wrapping.

Geuridon system

Geuridon service is moveable usually as a trolley, which enables personal service and cooking of food for customers e.g. flambé of a dish,


Hospitality is the business of providing people with accommodation meals and drinks away from their home.


A way of helping to give flavours to an ingredient such as milk. Rose leaves or black peppercorns, bay leaves or vanilla pods can be allowed to stand in milk for a period of time to infuse the milk with their flavours. They are then removed and are not part of the final dish. Fruit infusions are now a popular tea substitute – the flavoured water is infused using a ‘bag’ which is then removed.


Flour and fat cooked together and used to thicken sauces. Usually equal quantities of flour and fat by weight. A roux can be white, as in bechamel sauce, or browned for speciality sauces.


Ragoût is a slow cooked, seasoned dish of small pieces of meat cooked with vegetables. Or simply a mixture of vegetables cooked together and seasoned well.


Ragù is a classic Italian sauce used to serve with pasta. Bolognese is a type of ragù.


Seasoning is an art that needs to be practised. It marks a great chef from an ordinary cook. Initially salt and pepper were ‘the seasonings’ that every cook used. Seasoning brings out the natural flavour of the food products. It is not the dominant flavour. Now we know about global cuisines the range of seasonings coming from herbs and spices and other ingredients are increasing and ‘non-seasoned’ food is hard to find. Developing seasonings has become a big food industry as flavour additions are created artificially and using natural mixtures and are added to plain flavoured products such as potatoes. Nowadays it is hard to think of having only plain crisps. Understanding and developing skills in seasoning food requires the knowledge and understanding of the effect of many ingredients and how they change and develop on cooking.

Mise en place

This means getting everything in place before you start cooking.


Vol au vent are small round cases of puff pastry that are filled with tasty sauce fillings.


Larger puff pastry cases filled with well seasoned fillings.

Vending system A method to sell or dispense drinks, snacks and meals.  Vending machines need regular maintenance and also require regular re-stocking.