french dishes

Can A Classical Dish Be Altered If The Name Clearly Indicates That The Dish Is ” In The Style Of… “

Dear Friend’s,

Below find a few recent comment’s by passionate and no doubt competent chef’s.
Some apparently look at thing’s more flexible then others, some might understand the context of a specific situation better than others (in this case, a lighthearted, food loving Blog by a chef who has probably seen it all and understands that different situations sometimes call for different measures. Because I am so passionate about food, I’d like to hear other folk’s opinion about this, because it comes up quite often across the food world. At this point, it is not important to me if I am right or wrong, I just want to take this opportunity to hear other’s opinions about this important, sometimes so hotly discussed matter. And what about fusion cooking………?
Please share your opinion in the Poll at the bottom of this page.

Picture source:

In our LinkedIn group “Master Chefs” ,

esteemed chef George Hill commented on a name I have given to a dish:

” Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese “

“Chefs please keep to the original intent and interpretation of a classical culinary name of a preparation. This is important to all and the profession in a global sense. Bolognaise is meat – I believe Spaghetti Bolognaise needs to be meat based to ensure clients understand this globally no matter where they are. We need to be careful with contradictions in terms.

This is more of a version of a Napolitana but even more accurate would be to name
Spaghetti: Minestra – Verdura – Ortaggio – Olegumi etc or others?”

My response :

Dear George,

I agree with you 100% in the principle of keeping originals original .
However, in light of the many millions of vegetarians who grace our  restaurants on a daily basis, they will no doubt ( as I have experienced around the world for decades) understand exactly what is offered :
A meatless ragout of vegetables in the Bolognese style.

I believe sometimes we have to serve our guest’s by keeping things simple.

Nowadays, unfortunately, most guests (and many so called chef’s) are not as educated in classic cuisine as we wish they were. I believe to simplify is to help them start their education.

Other examples:

Macadamia nut “pesto”,

Lobster “sausage”

Cauliflower “risotto”

Deconstructed “hummus”

I am not a fan of these names but I can accept them, as well as many others, as long as their stray from the original is clearly expressed in the dish’s name. (Back to ” VEGETARIAN bolognese “)

In the group American Culinary Federation,
esteemed chef Larry Dann commented on the same dish dish:

Hey Hans,
Bolognese is by definition a hearty sauce with meat. Either Italian (ragu) or French (ragout). Just messin’ with ya. LOL. Sounds good!

My response:

Thank’s Larry.

I think just about everybody interested in food knows that.
I just did a little word game, did not expect this to get all that flag for it
(I published this in 20 groups, found only a few folk’s without humor or tolerance  🙂
Life is to short to be uptight 🙂
Cheers !

Larry wrote:

That is true. If we can’t have a little fun with it why do it….?

My response :

There you have it 🙂

On another dish, “ Coq au Vin 
esteemed chef Patrick Asfaux commented :

Que d’erreurs !!!!!!!!!
le coq au vin se fait avec du coq de 3 a 4kg et non avec un poulet la chair doit être ferme regardez ma recette mise sur votre blog tous les présidents l’ont testé dans notre restaurant parisien
translate please
best regards
Chef Patrick Asfaux 30 ansétoilé Michelin

My response :

Hi Patrick,

I am sure that most chef’s around the world are educated enough to be aware that Coq in French means rooster, therefore classically coq au vin – rooster in wine.

(Literal translation : Coq au vin – Rooster of the wine)

Most chefs around the world use chicken for two reasons :
“Coq au vin” is a very popular dish because of the cooking method, the sauce and the garnish. It is being served at some venues for hundreds and even thousands of guests at the same time. To source this amount of roosters would simply be impractical if not outright impossible.
I have worked in many countries around the world, mostly in five star operations. While at some places it is easy to source roosters, at others it is just too impractical or cost prohibitive. I try to keep my Blog light and practical, so that professional chefs can smile about some of the things I do and suggest, while less experienced cooks, hobby cooks and housewives will be able to easily re-create the recipes, maybe even applying their own twist.
I have been teaching at le cordon bleu for nearly eight years, classical French and international cuisine and when I was teaching about classical French dishes I made always sure that I teach these with the revered respect and quality they deserve. I have always tried to make sure the students understand the difference between a classic dish and one that is prepared ” in the style of ”
And I too have cooked for a # of presidents and royalty over the years, no biggie there.
Anyway, I do appreciate every single comment and critique,
so thank you and please stay with us.
Your input is highly appreciated.

Happy Bastille Day !   (Try 🙂