The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts

Auguste Escoffier is considered the Father of the term “Mother Sauce.” While he’s to be commended for birthing the term a hundred or so years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that some blogger would try to incorporate his saucy theories into a post that includes Glenn Danzig and Tracy Bonham.

Chef Auguste Escoffier

Photo from

First, Dear Gentle Reader, here’s a photo of M. Escoffier. His mustache – epic and French, n’est-ce pas? – is making a comeback. But, if we trust our friends over at Top Shelf, so are some of his ideas. Like this one: the Mother Sauce. There are five of them, and, in honor of our title – “The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts” – we’re adding an accompaniment to each one. Bon appetit! *Note: Top Shelf pairs each sauce with wine and gives you a recipe suggestion to boot. We’ll share those with you, but with a twist: We’ll pair each sauce with music.*

The Five Sauces: bechamel, veloute, tomate, espagnole, and hollandaise. Learn them all and you’ll be on your way to greatness.


How to use it: While Top Shelf shows you a pretty cool-looking lasagna noodle rollup thing, we’re most familiar with this sauce as the base for Martha Stewart’s killer mac-and-cheese.

Wine pairing: They like White Burgundies and White Bordeaux over there. We won’t disagree.

Musical pairing: Let’s opt for the most relaxing song in the world.


How to use it: Considering the article says we can use it in Chicken Pot Pie, let’s find a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. This recipe starts off heading down Veloute Boulevard, but the sidetracks over to Dairyland. (Using milk.)

Wine pairing: Champagne? Cava? Works for us. (We should see what bubblies we’ve reviewed at Metasip HQ; the reality is that there’s only one that qualifies, and it’s the first one in this post: 10 Under 10.

Musical pairing: Challenging, but, since this is a post about Mother Sauces, let’s go with a song from the “Mother” category.

(Surprisingly good song to write to.)


How to use it: With roasted meat. We’re gonna go with roast pork. (ADVERTISEMENT: Last time we roasted pork, we should have had a working kitchen thermometer. So we’re going to nab a new one over at Use this link and see what valuable gadgets you can find there.)

TIP: Don’t rely on color to figure out when pork is done. Learn more here:

Wine pairing: Dry Rieslings.

Musical pairing: Rodrigo y Gabriela.


How to use it: We’ve decided to just link to the slide from Top Shelf because the meatball dish looks delish.

Wine pairing: Funny, before I read the suggestion, I thought “nice, cheap, but bold red.” You can get a Nebbiolo for a song some places, so…

Musical pairing: Is there any other choice?



If this post is The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts, then Hollandaise is the Mother of all Mother Sauces.

How to use it: Benedict. Or as the Mother of sauces such as bearnaise or (gasp) mayonnaise. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I hate mayonnaise.)

Wine pairing: White and red burgundies.

Musical pairing: This IS the Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts. So, “Mother, Mother” is the song. Right?

Dang, that song is awesome.

And there you have it…

The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts.