Hors d’oeuvres course & it’s classification


Horsd’oeuvre course is the first course of the meal.
This course is composed usually of spicy tangy, salty, hot natured items which help to stimulate the appetite or make one feel hungry.

The function of this course is to stimulate the appetite by producing more saliva & other digestive juices in our system.
This course was originated in Russia, Later on it was taken to France & it was termed as ‘Zakuski’.

It is served as a small portion size & in a very attractive manner.
Horsd’oeuvres are better served from trolley (ravier) & tray.

It can be served Hot or cold
Generally breads are not served with Hors d’oeuvres but there are few exceptions.
Classification of Hors d’oeuvres.

Hors d’oeuvres course classify into two categories

1)Single Horsd’oeuvres
2) Horsd’oeuvres varies


Single Horsd’oeuvres Course 

It is also called as “Classical Horsd’oeuvres” or “Horsd’oeuvres substitute” or “Deluxe Horsd’oeuvres” or “Royal Horsd’oeuvres”, which is served in a special manner.
These are single preparations served in the beginning to stimulate the appetite.
It is costly & more luxurious horsd’oeuvres.
Classical recipes are follow.
These can be serve hot or cold.

Examples of Single Horsd’oeuvres course are

  • Caviar
  • Paté de foie gras (Goose liver paste)
  • Prawn cocktail
  • Grapefruit
  • Oysters
  • Cheese/Assorted cheese
  •  Grapefruit cocktail
  • Melon
  • Snails
  • Asparagus
  • Smoked salmon

Horsd’oeuvres varies Course 

It is made with Fish / shell fish / Eggs / Vegetables / poultry /meats / pork products /dairy products / fruits and dry fruits / breads /biscuits/salads etc.

It comprises of assorted starter’s.
A very small portion of multiple dishes are served but the amount served may vary according to the number of varieties chosen by the guest.

It is not as expensive as Classical horsd’oeuvres.
These can be served hot or cold.
The Guest selects from a large display of food on a platter, plate or a trolley.
Example are



Fish salad, kippers, roll mops, Bismarck herring, Mimosa salad.


Simple salads & Compound salads
You can read my full article about salas here All about Salads, Types of Salads, Dressing use in Salads and many more


Oeuf dur Mayonnaise (hard boiled eggs cut in to half with mayonnaise).
Oeuf farcis (hard boiled eggs, egg yolk taken out and mixed with desired stuffing & pipe out into egg white).
Plover eggs (egg with a light green colour shell with black spots- served hard boiled & cold)


Pork trotters, salami, etc.


Green or black olives are stuffed. Stuffing is done with red pepper or almonds.
Now how we serve the Horsd’oeuvres that is

Service of Horsd’oeuvres Course 

  • It is serve in special manner.
  • All serve in half plate.
  • Fish knife and fish fork is given as cutlery.
  • Oil and vinegar cruet is given along.
  • Salt pepper & mustard is placed on the table.

Garnishing of Hors d’oeuvres

  • The use of garnishes is traditional, but in modern times, chefs around the world are switching over to trendy garnishes.
  • Hors d’oeuvres being the first course of the meal, it is very important to present the same in an artistic and decorated manner. Hence garnishing plays a very important role.
  • Sometimes the accompaniments served alongside the main appetizer are also called as garnishes as the dish would look incomplete without the same.
  • The main purpose of the garnish is to add color, texture, taste, nutritional value and an element of surprise to the dish.
  • The garnish should always be edible and add to the visual beauty of the dish.
  • Garnish should be simple and not complicated. It should be intricate and should complement the appetizer in terms of color, texture and flavor.
  • Complicated garnishing can result in delayed food orders.

Some Garnishes are


Vegetables – Vegetable carvings

Bread – Can be used in many forms. Thinly slices rye bread is toasted to make an attractive garnish. Other examples are pita bread, tortilla chips, baked phyllo pastry.

Salads – Micro greens and lettuce can be used. Few vegetables can be thinly sliced and put in ice cold water to get crisp.

Sauces – Thickened sauces can be squeezed onto a canapé or any appetizer

chutneys – various types of pickles, relishes can be used as garnish as they add contrasting flavor to the hors d’oeuvres.







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