The Role of Sauces in Cuisine


A mother sauce or foundation sauce acts as a basis or foundation for other smaller sauces. It is used to add flavor, moisture, color, and overall appeal to the product.

    Sauce Videos

Mother Sauce/Foundation Sauce

Description/Method of Preparation


- known as a white sauce.

- used in Italian and French cooking.

- foundation for other sauces such as Mornay

(cheese), cream, and mustard sauce.

- made by combining equal parts of a fat and flour. This mixture is cooked for a few minutes to remove the starchy taste. Milk is added to make a thin consistency.


- the basis for other variations.

- not usually served alone.

- velvety in texture.

- basis of shrimp sauce, chicken, mushroom, and supreme sauce.

- a light stock is made from the bones of veal, fish or chicken.

- a roux thickens the stock.

- chicken veloute is the most commonly used.



- also known as Espagnole.

- it is the basis of a sauce that would accompany red meats in a meal.

- more complicated to make.

- flavor and richness is added to the broth by using mirepoix.

- used for making Bordelaise or demi-glace.

- stock is made from beef or veal.

- mirepoix is sauteed in some butter and flour is added to create a roux. Cook until the mixture is browned but not burned.

- the meat stock is mixed into the roux, stirred and brought up to a boil.

- simmer with a sachet of herbs. Skim off fat.

- strain and reserve for sauces.


- may also be called a coulis (puree of tomatoes).

- variations include marinara sauce.

- many uses e.g. pastas.

- rarely made by using a roux instead just the pureed tomatoes serve as the base.

- very simple to make.

- whole tomatoes can be cooked in some olive oil and pureed tomatoes can be added.

- water may be added if moisture is required.

- seasonings such as salt and pepper can be added to taste as well as oregano, basil, onion and garlic.

- used in making Creole and Spanish sauce.



- can be used by itself.

- the sauce used in Eggs Benedict and often served over asparagus.

- the main ingredient is butter not stock or milk

- Bearnaise sauce is closely related to Hollandaise.

- creamy, smooth, and pale yellow in color

- made by an emulsion. (a mixture that is formed when two liquids, an oil and liquid are


- in this case butter, water, lemon juice and egg yolks are used.