A French classical menu refers to a type of culinary tradition that originated in France and is characterized by its emphasis on high-quality ingredients, classical techniques, and a focus on presentation. The menu typically features dishes that are made with a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables, as well as a range of sauces and condiments.
The dishes are often served in a specific order, with appetizers followed by a main course and then dessert.
French classical menus are often associated with fine dining and are typically served in restaurants that specialize in this type of cuisine.
History of Classical French Menu
The Classical French Menu made by in Europe over 100 year ago. Still we follow this sequence for arranging the classic menu. Now days full classical menu rarely served except as a special dinner or banquet menu.
French Classical Menu was established by “Chef Maitre Auguste Escoffier.”
We will see step by step French classical menu in sequence
- Hors d’oeuvres (Appetizer)
- Potages (Soups)
- Oeufs (Eggs)
- Farineux (Pasta & Rice)
- Poisson (Fish)
- Releve (Joints)
- Roast (Roti)
- Legumes (Vegetables)
- Salade (Salad)
- Buffet Froid (Cold Buffet)
- Fromage (Cheese)
- Entremets (Sweets)
- Savoureux (Savoury)
- Dessert (Fruits)
17 Course in French Classical Menu
The first course of in Classical French Menu is
1) Hors d’oeuvres (Appetizer)
In French classical menu It is the very first course serve as starter to start the meal.
Traditionally this course consisted of a various compound salads, but now a days mousses, fruits, charcuterie and smoked fish will be used.
The course is composed is usually salty, tangy and spicy. This serve in small quantity on either tray or trolley.
|Caviar||Roe of fish belonging to the sturgeon family this roe then sauted and packed in tins or glass Jars.|
|Oyster||Chilled Oyster served in cold half plate|
|Caesar Salad||Romain lettuce with vinaigrette dressing along with garlic, crutons and grated parmesan cheese.|
|Melon||They can serve with Melon with Castors sugar and coarse Ginger Powder.|
|Snails (Escargots)||They are serv with bread, butter, lemon etc.|
If you want more information about this course then read the article Hors d’oeuvres course & it’s classification
2) Potages (Soups)
This is a second course in French Classical menu in this course all types of soup included hot as well as cold.
Cover require for presenting soup – Soup bawl/soup plate, under liner(quater plate) and paper napkin.
The function of soup is to supply immediate requirements of the nutrients in the body so, being in the liquid form it is absorb quite easily & is utilize very quickly in the body.
|Bisques||Bisques are soup which is shellfish base. These are usually serve in soup plate.|
|Chowder||Chowder are thick soup contains seafood and cream or milk.|
|Cock-a-leekie||veal and chicken consomme garnished with shredded leeks and chicken. Served with prunes.|
|Minestrone||Vegetables paysanne soup with pasta.|
|Consomme||Clarified soup made from poultry, beef, game or vegetable bouillon. Usually served in consommé cups with a sweet spoon.|
For information you can read the post Different types of International Soup.
3) Oeufs (Eggs)
It consists of all types of egg preparation the most important egg dish is omelette, now day popularity of omelette also increases.
This is Luncheon meal. Suitable for quick business lunch. A preliminary course before fish poultry or red meat.
The other preparation of eggs are poached egg, Boiled egg, scrambled egg. Here is most important point in dinner menu egg is avoided.
Cover use for serving this french classical course is small fork, small knife, half plate, dessert fork with conquetier dish sur-le-plat dishor half plate.
|Egg mornay||Boiled egg baked with a cover of Bechamel sauce.|
|Oeuf en cocotte||The egg cooked in the cocotte dish and served in this dish with do various garnishes.|
|Omelette||The are two types one is plane omelette and another is Masala omelette. The omelette eaten with joint fork and serve with hot fish plate.|
4) Farineux (Pasta & Rice)
Pasta is an Italian word which means “dough”. It is a Luncheon meal too.
Invented by Marco Polo in Italy but pastas root begin in China during the Shang Dynasty so it’s little bit confusing (1700-1100 BC). Anyway there are two types of pastas Fresh and Dry.
In this course Includes all pasta and rice dishes refers to as Farineux. Basically these rich in Carbohydrates.
Cover for the French classical menu Farineux includes all purpose fork(AP), all purpose spoon deep plate / half plate for spaghetti.
Accompaniment for the Farineux is Grated parmesan cheese.
|Ravioli||Noodle type pasta filled with minced lean beef in rich brown sauce.|
|Gnocchi Romaine||Semolina based pasta with melted butter and gratinated.|
|Macaroni||These are the basically dry pasta.|
|Pilaf Rice||The pilaf Rice toasted in butter and gives it nutty flavor then cooked with broth, this make different from plain rice.|
|Risotto Rice||This is a basically Italian rice made from short-grained.|
All pastas are serve in a half plate. They are eaten with small knife and fork. Grated cheese serve in a bowl or a sauce boat.
Only noodles and spaghetti are serve in a different manner. These are serve in a soup plate or a special deep pasta plate. Cutlery use will be dessert spoon and large fork, with fork in right hand and spoon in left hand.
5) Poisson (Fish)
In Poisson course includes all fish dishes. Both hot and cold, fish such as seafood and salmon smoked comes in hors doeuvres course so this course would be serve in beginning of meal.
The flesh of fish contains less nitrogenous substances than other meat & is easily digestible, therefore good for patients & children.
Cutlery use for Poisson course are fish fork, fish knife and in general crockery is half plate.
|Poisson Orly||It is a basically fish fillet dipped in batter and and then deep fried.|
|Sole Meuniereis fish||shallow fired cooked in butter.|
|Sole Colbertis||Deep fried flour egg and bread crumbs.|
It is first meat course in menu and sixth course in French classical menu.
Entrées are generally small, well garnished dishes which come from the kitchen ready for service. They are usually accompanied by a rich sauce or gravy.
This course was initially served before the roast but now days it is serve in main course.
For Entree the general cover use AP spoon, AP Fork and Half plate.
|Poulete sauce chasseur||Saute chicken rich in brown sauce Garnishing with tomato and Mushrooms.|
|Vol-au-vent||filled with Mushrooms, chicken prawns and fruit or cheese.|
|Kebab orientale||cooked as a Savory and skewered minced meat item.|
|Steak Diane||Minute steak shallow fried and flavoured with onion and Mushrooms and shallots.|
Traditionally sorbets were serve to give a pause/break within meal, allowing the palate to be refreshed. They are lightly frozen water ices, often based on unsweetened fruit juice,
They can be served with a spirit, liqueur or even champagne poured over. Russian cigarettes also used to be offered at this stage of a meal.
|Spoom||Iced water flavoured with champagne to which double the quantity of meringue is added.|
|Sorbet Alexander||Juices of fruits combined with desired liqueur filled with strawberry water and served with parfait glass.|
8) Releve (Joints)
This refers to the main roasts or other larger joints of meat which can be serve together with potatoes and vegetables.
The cover is joint fork, joint spoon and joint hotplate.
|Boeuf Strongoff||Russian stew with capsicum, celery, mushroom and onions are served on bed of a pulao rice.|
|Chicken Maryland||consist of breaded, deep fried chicken breast served with a slice of bacon, a banana or pineapple fritter (or both) and chips.|
|Lamb shashlik||consist of a marinated meat over a grilled with hot coal.|
9) Roast (Roti)
In this French Classical menu roasted game birds are served for example chicken, pigeon, turkey, duck etc. Each dish is accompanied by its own particular sauce and gravy with a green salad.
|Poulet Roti||Seasoned roasted chicken finished with bread sauce.|
|Dinde Roti||Roasted turkey|
|Canneton Roti||Roasted duckling|
10) Legumes (Vegetables)
Apart from vegetables served with the Relevé or Roast courses, certain vegetables (e.g. asparagus and artichokes) may be serve as a separate course, although these types of dishes are now more commonly serve as starter.
Vegetables falls into various categories:
Roots – Carrots, Parsnips, Salsify and beetroot.
Bulbs – Onions and Fennel.
Leaf – Chicory, Spinach, Cress and various Lettuces.
Brassicas – such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and pak choi.
Fruiting – including aubergine, avocado, cucumber, peppers and tomatoes.
Plantains – Ackee and Breadfruit.
Mushroom and Fungi – Mushrooms, Chanterelles, Morels and truffles
The vegetables dishes are usually serve hot in half plate. Depending upon the cutleries are provided a small knife and small fork.
|Asparagus a la Flamande||It is made from hard boiled eggs, butter parsley and lemon juice.|
|Petit Poisau Beurre||Green peas tossed in butter.|
11) Salade (Salad)
It is take in after the main the main course.
Their are two main types of Salads.
Plain salad – which consist of two main types. These may be either green salads made up of green leaf ingredients or vegetable salads made up of one main vegetable ingredient which will dominate the overall flavour of the dish.
Plain salad may often be serves with a main course or as a separate course after a main course.
Compound Salads – which may be a plain salad plus other ingredients, such as meat, fish and mushrooms, or a combination of a number of ingredients, mixed together using specific dressing.
For more information about the Salads you can read the post All about Salads, Types of Salads, Dressing use in Salads and many more
Example of Salads
- Green Salad
- Broccoli Salad
- Pasta Salad
- Greek Salad
12) Buffet Froid (Cold Buffet)
This is a 12th course in French classical menu in this course includes various cold meats and fish, cheese and egg item together with salads and dressing.
|Canetoni Roti||Duck dish|
|Curied Lobster||it is Jamaican dish made frem Lobster, tomato, garlic, onion, water, and seasonings such as curry powder, hot peppers, thyme, and cumin.|
|Chicken Salad||consist of celery, bell pepper, green olives, apple, lettuce, and mayo|
13) Fromage (Cheese)
Includes all ranges of cheeses and include accompaniment of breads, celery, grapes, apples and chutneys.
|Mozzarella||Italian cheese made from buffalo milk but may now also be made from cow’s milk.|
|Feta||Greek cheese made from both goat’s and sheep’s milk.|
|Gouda||Buttery textured, soft and mild flavoured well-known Dutch cheese with a yellow or red.|
14) Entremets (Sweets)
In sweet course hot and cold pudding, mousse, pastries, cake and souffle served.
Most sweet served in the sweet plate or pre-plate.
Cover for the sweet course is sweet spoon and fork.
There are no particular accompaniments to sweets and the choice of whether to serve on a plate or in a bowl is often dependent on the texture of the sweet dish, for example fruit salad in a bowl and gâteau portions on a sweet plate.
|Diplomat pudding||French version of the bread and butter pudding.|
|Crème caramel||Mixture of egg, milk, sugar which is poured into.|
|Souffle Milanaise||Baked egg-based dish originating in France in the early eighteenth century.|
|Crepes Suzette||Pancakes in fresh orange juice flambeed with brandy.|
15) Savoureux (Savoury)
In this course simple salary, such as Welsh rarebit and other items Savoury souffle, pastry served.
This course serve alternative to sweet in dinner and lunch.
|On toast||Usually shaped pieces of toast with various toppings such as anchovies, sardines, mushrooms.|
|Souffles||Made in a soufflé dish with various flavours such as mushroom, spinach, sardine, anchovy.|
|Flans||Either single or portioned savoury flans such as Quiche Lorraine.|
16) Dessert (Fruits)
All forms of fresh fruit, nuts are serve. Fruits are accompanied with a castor sugar and salt for nuts.
- Cashew nuts
Traditionally this referred to coffee but nowadays includes a much wider range of beverages, including tea, coffee (in both standard and de-caffeinated versions) as well as other beverages such as tisanes, milk drinks (hot or cold) and proprietary drinks such as Bovril, horlicks or Ovaltine.
FAQ: 17 Course of French Classical Menu
Who invented French classical menu?
Maitre Auguste Escoffier
The 17-course French classical menu is a culinary journey that showcases the artistry and finesse of French cuisine. From the delicate hors d’oeuvres to the rich and decadent desserts, each course is carefully crafted to tantalize the taste buds and create an unforgettable dining experience. The sequence of the courses is designed to build anticipation and excitement, while also providing a balance of flavors and textures. From the palate-cleansing sorbet to the comforting cheese course, each dish serves a specific purpose in the overall dining experience. The French classical menu is a true testament to the French passion for food and their dedication to creating memorable culinary experiences.