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May 15, 2024

Bon Appetit: 34 French Cooking Terms

We will teach you how to work in a restaurant kitchen at Los Angeles Hospitality Education Center and help you talk the talk. Here are 34 French cooking terms to talk turkey, or dinde.

What Does Bon Appetit Mean?


One of the most common phrases in French cooking is “Bon Appetit.” The direct translation to English is “good appetite,” but it can begin a meal or tell someone to enjoy their food.


The phrase, “Bon Appetit” originates linguistically from French, but the phrase has stood the test of time. However, the sentiment is not unique to France, with the Ancient Greeks invoking the god Zeus before meals, or Medieval Europe with the Latin phrase “Benedicite.” It is now a common saying around the world, while it transcends borders and cultures.


You may have enjoyed a cooking show with Julia Childs, when she cooked French cuisine. She ended every show with “Bon Appetit.”


French Cooking Terms


There are many French cooking terms that we use in the kitchen every day. Here are some of the most popular:

A La carte - used to order a separate item from the main meal.

Au Gratin – cooked with bread crumbs, butter or cheese, for example Potatoes Au Gratin.

Au Jus – a flavorful French dipping sauce

Bisque – a soup made with crustaceans.

Bouillon – broth or stock

Brie – cow’s milk cheese

Brochette – cooking food on a skewer

Carafe – a container without a handle to serve wine or drinks. Commonly used to serve orange juice at breakfast.

Concasser – to chop roughly

Consomme – clear broth

Coq au vin – stew with meat glazed in wine sauce with butter.

Crepe – a then pancake

Croquettes – potatoes and ground cooked meat, fish or poultry

Croutons – small cubes of bread that garnish salads and soups.

Entrée – term used for the main course

Escargot – snails

Florentine – cuisine with spinach

Frappe – something that is iced, for example a Frappuccino.

Hollandaise – egg-based sauce, commonly used with eggs benedict

Hors d’Oeuvres – a first course or appetizer

Liaison – ingredients used to thicken sauces or soups.

Pain – bread

Paner – coating with egg and crumbs before frying

Parfait – sweet or savory mouse

Pate – a paste made of liver or pork.

Poulet – chicken

Quiche – savory tart filled with different types of ingredients

Roux – melted butter with flour added to thicken sauces or soups.

Saute – quickly cook over high heat in a little oil.

Sorbet – sherbert

Tartare – cold sauce use to flavor meat or fish

Truffle – fancy fungus

Final Thoughts

If you are ready to start cooking and enjoy French cuisine, consider completing the Culinary Arts program at Los Angeles Hospitality Education Center. Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life. Bon Appetit!

Want to Learn More?

Do you want to learn how to be environmentally sustainable in a commercial kitchen? Los Angeles Hospitality Education Center wants to train you in the Culinary Arts and sustainability in the kitchen. This program prepares you for entry-level culinary employment with opportunities for advancement in the food service industry.

Contact us now to learn more.

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