Friday, October 02, 2009

Tourné or not tourné; that is the seven-sided question

Our "Bible", Gisslen's "Professional Cooking", ends its step-by-step instruction for the tourné by showing a photo of the finished product with this caption: "If perfectly done, the potato has seven sides." Then it adds in parentheses and somewhat wryly: "(but customers rarely count them)."

You can bet that the next time I am in a good restaurant and find tournéed potatoes on my plate, I will count the sides.

Tourné -- past participle of "to turn" in French -- is the knife cut that produces a little football-shaped potato, and it is the last of the 10 basic cuts learned in this, my first week of culinary school. In one week, we students in Chef Tony's Foundations of Culinary Arts class must do the 10 cuts in 30 minutes.

The tourné exercise went well, and it is one cut that I feel confident about. It aso happens to be the one that from all appearances is the most complex. Yet it was simpler for me than the julienne (1/8 of an inch square by 2 1/2 inches long), which others in the class appeared to cut with ease.


  1. Is that your tournee in the photo? Well done! It looks like the ones in that great movie, Pressure Cooker. Very laborious, I imagine. And what happens to all the bits that don't qualify as tournees? Do they become Tater Tots?

  2. Thanks for the compliment! Yes, that is one of my very own tournéed potatoes. The bits that don't make it go into soup and/or mashed potatoes.