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Sur La Table Costa Mesa: 1 Best Culinary Journey into French Cuisine

Sur La Table
Sur La Table

Introduction

French cuisine is renowned for its elegance, artistry, and rich flavors. 

One name that stands out when it comes to culinary experiences is “Sur La Table.” 

In this article, we will take you on a delightful journey into the heart of French cooking, exploring the history, iconic dishes, cooking techniques, and the importance of Sur La Table in promoting the love for French cuisine worldwide.

Table of Contents

  • History of French Cuisine
    • Early French Culinary Traditions
    • The Influence of Different Regions
  • Evolution of Sur La Table
    • From Humble Beginnings to Global Recognition
    • The Vision Behind the Brand
  • Exploring French Ingredients
    • Farm-to-Table Philosophy
    • Iconic French Ingredients
  • 9 Classic French Techniques
    • The Art of Sauces
    • The Magic of Baking and Pastry
  • Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes
    • Learning from the Experts
    • A Hands-on Experience
  • French Cuisine Around the World
    • Sur La Table’s Global Impact
    • Cultural Adaptations of French Dishes
  • French Dining Etiquette
    • Embracing the Art of Slow Dining
    • Toasting Like a True French Gourmet
  • Modern Twists on French Classics
    • Fusion Cuisine with a French Touch
    • Sur La Table’s Innovative Offerings
  • Savoring French Desserts
    • Decadent Delights
    • The French Art of Patisserie
  • Collection of Cookbooks from Sur La Table
    • Iconic Publications
    • Inspiring Home Chefs
  • The Presentation of Food as an Art
    • Elevating the Dining Experience
    • Creating Culinary Masterpieces
  • Sustainability French Cuisine
    • Locally Sourced Ingredients
    • Reducing Food Waste
  • Conclusion

History of French Cuisine

French cooking practices and culinary traditions are referred to as French cuisine. 

Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe books of medieval France, was written in the 14th century by Guillaume Tirel, a court cook known as “Taillevent.” 

Chefs François Pierre La Varenne and Marie-Antoine Carême led movements in the 17th century that helped French cookery move away from its foreign influences and develop its own native style.

Evolution of Sur La Table

Sur La Table’s story started in 1972, when Shirley Collins opened a small kitchenware shop in Seattle. 

A privately owned retailer with its headquarters in Seattle, Washington, Sur La Table, Inc. distributes kitchenware such as cookware, cutlery, cooks’ tools, small electrics, tables and linens, bakeware, glassware and bar, housewares, food and outdoor products. 

In addition to their website and catalogs, Sur La Table offered goods in 184 locations throughout 32 states as of October 2018. 

Over 80 establishments provide cooking classes. 

A Sharp Knife & Salt, a blog from Sur La Table, is dedicated to cuisine, chefs, restaurants, and goods. 

Culinary classes are offered in many of the company’s stores, and every new location will eventually have a kitchen. 

The corporate headquarters of the business are situated in Seattle’s Georgetown district.

Exploring French Ingredients

Butter

French butter is frequently mildly fermented to add a deeper flavor. 

It is crucial to many of the classic sauces, as well as to sauté, bake, and spread on crusty French bread.

Speck

Similar to prosciutto, speck is made from the rear hog leg and is first deboned before being cured and smoked. 

Its smoky flavor is a wonderful complement to recipes that are cooked slowly, such boeuf bourguignon.

The Dijon mustard

Dijon mustard has a moderate flavor, a creamy, smooth consistency, and a pale yellow appearance. 

Dijon mustard is a common ingredient in sauces, rubs on roasts, and the traditional vinaigrette dressing.

Flown of Sel

The Guérande peninsula in Brittany is most famous for producing the first white crystals in the salt creation process, which started more than 2,700 years ago.

Cheese

The majority of the world’s best and most plentiful cheeses are produced in France, and they are virtually invariably eaten as a last course. 

The cheese cart is frequently seen as a sign of a high-quality restaurant. Starting with the mildest flavor, you should work your way up to the strongest.

Truffle 

A delicately veined tuber created in a mysterious underground exchange when the filaments of specific tree species, most commonly oak, link with the filaments of the truffle. 

The production of the truffle is influenced by the season, environment, soil, and a great deal of mystery, making it a highly valued and pricey ingredient.

Garlic

a vital component of the renowned Provençal mayonnaise with garlic.

crimson onions

A number of meals, including the well-known French onion soup, benefit from the addition of brown onions. 

Onions should be firm and have lustrous, papery skin.

Shallot

Small, clustered bulbs make up a shallot (eschallot), which has a milder flavor than other onions.

Turnip

Turnips are harvested during the start of summer when they are young, tiny, and sweet, with the first recorded cultivation occurring around 2000 BC. 

The French enjoy them puréed, pan-fried, steamed, or traditionally served with lamb navarin or duck in canard aux navets.

Celeriac

a type of celery that is cultivated more for its taproot than for its stem and leaves. 

Its main component in the traditional French remoulade is peeled and then cut into julienne, but it can also be boiled and mashed, roasted, or used for stews and soups.

Herbs

The herbs flat-leaf parsley, chives, thyme, bay leaves, and chervil are frequently used in French cuisine.

Charcuterie

a general phrase for “cooked meat” that includes rillettes, terrines, pâté, confit, and saucisson.

9 Classic French Techniques

  1. Mise en place: Nothing is more fundamental to traditional French cooking than the idea of mise en place, or “everything in its place.” 

A kitchen’s organizational setup and preparation before cooking is referred to as “mise en place”: 

The ingredients are already prepared and portioned, the spices are nearby, and the tools needed for the entire operation are within easy reach.

  1. Knife cuts: Some straightforward French recipes need particular knife skills. 

The first step to creating the fine dice in mirepoix is learning to julienne, a culinary knife cut in which vegetables are sliced into very thin, even strips. 

A chiffonade, meanwhile, turns leafy, delicate greens or herbs into delicate ribbons for garnishing.

  1. Sautéing: Derived from the French word sauter, which means to jump, sautéing is a cooking technique in which food, such as vegetables, are swiftly pan-fried on the hob over medium-high heat in a thin layer of fat, such as butter or olive oil.

 

      4. Braising: To bring out the flavor of food, it is cooked over low heat in a covered pot.

Although vegetables can be braised, meat is the most common object of the technique.

Depending on the cut, the meat cooks for a specific number of hours in a seasoned liquid over low heat after a brief sear to brown the exteriors and render an initial layer of tasty fat.

  1. Poaching: Poaching is a moist-heat cooking technique in which food is immersed in liquid, usually without the use of fat. 

Shallow poaching, submersion poaching, and par-poaching are the three types of poaching. 

For delicately preparing things including fish, eggs, meat, vegetables, and fruit, all poaching techniques are excellent. 

A kind of poaching known as sous-vide involves cooking proteins for predetermined amounts of time in temperature-controlled water while they are enclosed in plastic bags.

  1. Confit: Home cooks and chefs have long used this technique to slowly cook food in fat while seasoning it. 

Meats are usually preserved using the confit method, which involves cooking the meat in its own fat. 

The most popular illustration is the duck confit. 

Any component that has been cooked slowly in fat at a low temperature, including vegetables, is referred to as “confit”.

  1. Broiling: A method that exposes food to direct radiant heat, broiling is similar to grilling. 

In contrast to baking and roasting, which use indirect hot air to fully cook food, broiling uses intense heat from a direct flame to quickly cook food surfaces. 

The shiny, caramelized surface of a crème brûlée and the boiling, crunchy Gruyère crust over French onion soup both result from broiling.

  1. En papillote: The French term “en papillote,” which translates to “in paper,” is a method of cooking that involves trapping steam inside a folded sheet of parchment paper (or aluminium foil) to tenderise lighter foods like fish, chicken breasts that have been thinly sliced, or vegetables. 

The method uses just one pan for the paper to rest on, cooking food to the precise consistency and level of doneness.

  1. Flambéing: Flambéing is a cooking method that imparts the alcohol’s combustible qualities to a dish, usually sweets. 

The alcohol is ignited in a sauce or pan liquid that has been heated to a very high temperature. 

The alcohol burns out quickly, leaving only the flavor’s main essence. 

The Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee sweets may have introduced this method to Americans. 

The Crêpes Suzette, which contains a sauce of butter and citrus juices lit a fire with a citrus liqueur tableside, may be the dish that the French are most familiar with.

Sur La Table's Cooking Classes

Through practical cooking workshops at Sur La Table, you may completely lose yourself in the world of French food. 

Participants are guided by experienced chefs as they learn essential French cooking methods.

French Cuisine Around the World

Canada’s Quebec

The traditional French-Canadian diet has a high fat and sugar content and is calorie-dense. 

The early immigrants of Québec needed high-fat content to survive the hard climate. 

The high sugar content was also intended to balance the harsh living circumstances.

A stay at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Old Québec will give a history buff who enjoys eating a flavor of the past.

Sugar pie

Vietnam

Particularly during the years under French colonial control, Vietnam’s history has had a significant impact on its cuisine. 

French culture can be experienced in cafés and restaurants that serve a variety of items, including drip-filter coffee and freshly baked baguettes.

Cà phê đá (Vietnamese iced coffee)

Puducherry, India

Formerly a French colony, the coastal Indian city of Puducherry still exhibits the fusion of French and Indian culture in its cuisine. 

The streets are either filled with the aroma of freshly baked croissants coming from bakeries or the aroma of aromatic curries being cooked by street vendors.

When you come, stay at the Palais De Mahe – CGH Earth, which is in White Town, the center of the city’s European cuisine and architecture.

Vadouvan spice mix

New Orleans, USA

Louisiana and New Orleans are synonymous with hearty sauces, fresh seafood, and regional herbs; French culture has greatly influenced the history of the city from its founding in 1718. 

Book a room at the Hotel Provincial in the French Quarter when you go.

Po’ Boy

French Dining Etiquette

The skill of talking and slowing down to enjoy meals is stressed in French dining etiquette. 

The French eating tradition includes toasting as a fundamental component.

Modern Twists on French Classics

Chefs all over the world use French cuisine in different ways. 

Different types of materials are used in this experiment and new techniques are used. Sur la table is very well presented in a creative way.

Savoring French Desserts

Delicious macarons, rich chocolate mousse and many other French desserts are famous for their exotic taste. 

Sur La Table’s baking tools help in preparing a variety of dishes in the kitchen.

Collection of Cookbooks from Sur La Table

A selection of French cookbooks has been assembled by Sur La Table. 

Both budding chefs and home cooks can benefit from these publications.

The Presentation of Food as an Art

French food emphasizes both aesthetic appeal and flavor. 

Elegant dinnerware is available from Sur La Table to enhance the eating experience.

Sustainability French Cuisine

Sur La Table supports farmers and encourages customers to put food waste to work. 

Being eco-friendly is part of the brand’s commitment to the environment.

Conclusion

A celebration of tastes and customs may be found in French cuisine.

FAQs

Are there Sur La Table locations outside of the US?

Yes, Sur La Table has extended internationally, and there are now locations in many other nations.

Are the culinary sessions at Sur La Table appropriate for beginners?

Absolutely! For cooks of all experience levels, from novices to experts, Sur La Table provides lessons.

Does Sur La Table provide online purchasing and shipping to other countries?

Yes, Sur La Table has an online store that offers shipping to a number of foreign countries.

Do Sur La Table goods respect the environment?

Sustainable practices are important to Sur La Table, and they provide green products.

Is it possible to buy Sur La Table gift cards for loved ones?

Yes, Sur La Table has gift cards that are ideal for giving food-related presents.

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