Restaurant sauces are there to provide moisture and complement the flavors of whatever they are put on. For a chef, this means more than just mindlessly putting tomato sauce on spaghetti or chocolate sauce on ice cream.
Pairing a sauce with food takes a bit of analysis and thought to get it right. A chef sauces food to show it off at its best by ensuring that the food and sauce flavors are well-balanced.
A rich, fatty fish benefits from a tart lemon sauce. The sweetness of pork or venison can be underscored by serving it with a fruit-based sauce.
A simple au jus perfectly complements a juicy, fatty prime rib, while a vibrant sauce can be too much of a good thing. Like a chef, try to identify the prominent flavor and texture characteristics of the food you are serving and then pair a sauce with it that will present a pleasant contrast of flavors and a balance of flavors.
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