The Mother Sauces
In French cuisine, the mother sauces (French: sauces mères), also known as grandes sauces in French, are a group of sauces upon which many other sauces – “daughter sauces” or petites sauces – are based¹. The five mother sauces include:
- Béchamel sauce: a white sauce made from a roux (butter and flour) and milk²⁵.
- Velouté sauce: a light-colored sauce made by thickening white stock with a roux²³.
- Espagnole sauce: a brown sauce made from brown stock (usually beef), mirepoix (a mixture of diced onions, carrots, and celery), and tomatoes²⁴.
- Tomato sauce: a tomato-based sauce that can be used as a base for other sauces².
- Hollandaise sauce: an emulsion of egg yolk, butter, water, and lemon juice or vinegar².
These five mother sauces are still relevant in modern cooking practices and form the foundation for many classic dishes³⁵.
This was one of the first cooking classes, and it’s essential for making soufflés. This medium-thick white sauce is called béchamel in French
Espagnole is a basic brown sauce that is one of classical cuisine’s five sauces.
Veloute. One of the most fundamental white sauces of French origin, made from a white stock