Culinary school is getting down to the pure culinarity of it. Today, three classmates partook in the making of a white roux, a pale roux and, from them, a bechamél sauce and a velouté sauce.
Chef Tony Marano walked us through the process, which included tasting before, during and after seasonings were applied so we could catch the subtle differences. Salt, white pepper and, in the bechamél a little nutmeg, made subtle, delightful differences.
The "magic" that Chef Tony says occurs in sauce-making was very much present. There was indeed a magic in the way the roux came to color, texture and flavor and then how it combined with the liquids -- milk for the bechamél, chicken stock for the velouté -- to get to the end products (in photo, velouté is in foreground, bechamél behind it).
On Wednesday, yours truly steps to the stove with the assignment of making a brown roux as the key step toward an as-yet undisclosed brown sauce.
Whisk, small ladle, spoon are all at the ready. As am I.